Marvel Studios reportedly expected Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania to be a huge hit.

Joanna Robinson, who wrote the book MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios, talked about the current state of the Marvel Cinematic Universe on The Watch podcast with hosts Chris Ryan and Andy Greenwald. After talking to various insiders while writing her book, Robinson revealed that Quantumania’s negative reception took the executives at Marvel Studios by surprise. “Quantumania really shook them because they felt like they had something good,” she said. “Like they all internally thought everyone’s gonna love this.” She further claimed that the failure of Quantumania made Marvel executives realize that their opinions on projects no longer align with what audiences think.

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With a 46% on Rotten Tomatoes, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania was not received well by critics. The film, which came out in February 2023, also did not attract many to theaters compared to most MCU films. Despite starring well-known actors such as Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Jonathan Majors, Michelle Pfeiffer, and featuring a significant cameo by Bill Murray, Quantumania was the MCU’s first non-pandemic movie to lose money. While the movie made $476 million at the box office, it reportedly needed to earn at least $600 million to break even.

Marvel Studios likely expected much more from Quantumania since it was the first MCU film to feature Majors’ Kang the Conqueror as the main antagonist. While Scott Lang defeated Kang at the end of Quantumania, Majors will return as Kang variant Victor Timely in Loki Season 2. Even though Majors is currently in the midst of a domestic violence case, Loki executive producer Kevin Wright has promised that Victor Timely will play a significant role in Season 2. He said, “Timely was one that we’ve always wanted to do in Loki. And I think we’re really excited about how that integrates into the season. It’s a big part of the show.”

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While Marvel Studios has been setting up Kang as the MCU’s next big bad for years, Thor actor Chris Hemsworth suggested that the massive threat that Kang poses is the reason why Quantumania did not perform well. Hemsworth argued that Quantumania should have been a smaller, more personal story, saying, “The moment, it’s like…Your world is in danger, the entire universe!’ It’s like, ‘Yeah, so [it] was the last 24 films.’ It has to become a bit more personal and grounded.”

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is available to stream on Disney+.

Source: The Watch podcast

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