Marvel Studios’ long awaited sequel to Captain Marvel, appropriately titled simply The Marvels, will finally be in theaters on Thursday night. Nearly four years after the original Brie Larson-starring superhero movie grossed over $1.1 billion at the box office, the follow-up should be an event. And yet industry prognosticators and analysts have shown the movie to be tracking surprisingly soft going into its first weekend, with early estimates ranging between $70 million and $80 million for its opening weekend—the lower end of which is less than half of Captain Marvel’s $153.4 million debut in 2019. Actual ticket pre-sales, however, suggest it could be even lower with the film reportedly tracking behind even Black Adam’s tepid $67 million debut.

As of press time, The Marvels looks like it might be the latest film in a spate of 2023 genre flicks that suggest superhero fatigue is real—which also includes now infamous flops like DC’s The Flash, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, and Blue Beetle, as well as Marvel’s own striking underperformance in February with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. For Disney, this is surely to be disappointing news, but what’s particularly curious about this moment in fan culture is how some folks seem to be taking the box office loss personally.

One viral tweet from a social media user who posts about the box office warned their followers on X, the website formerly known as Twitter, that the numbers “might not be what one hoped for.” As a consequence, the social media analyst suggested, “If you think that it will be too overwhelming for you, out of fairness I’d suggest you to unfollow me so you don’t get any updates from that could make you feel angry or sad.”

All of which raises an obvious question: Are Marvel fans’ relationship with the company’s products really so intensely parasocial that they need trigger warnings about box office reports?

 As The Marvels arrives in theaters, some fans are sharing trigger warnings about its box office tracking.  Read More