The Marvel Cinematic Universe set an ignominious record at the box office as its latest film The Marvels debuted with $47 million, the lowest-opening weekend in the history of the MCU.

The sequel to Captain Marvel — which had a $153 million opening weekend back in 2019 — already had low expectations prior to its November 10th opening, with box office forecasters expecting a $75 million debut.

However, perhaps due to a confluence of superhero fatigue, market oversaturation (two Marvels characters required you to have at least a basic understanding of the TV shows WandaVision and Ms. Marvel), uneven reviews, and the actors strike that prevented its stars from actually promoting the film — Brie Larson did some last-minute appearances once the strike ended, but too little, too late — The Marvels fell well short of expectations, and became the first MCU movie to not even make $50 million during its opening weekend.

As Variety notes, the previous opening weekend lows for the MCU were 2008’s Ed Norton-starring The Incredible Hulk with $55.4 million and 2015’s Ant-Man at $57.2 million; however, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania enjoyed a $100 million opening this past February, while the third volume of Guardians of the Galaxy in May also opened with $119 million.

The Marvels reportedly cost $200 million to make, an additional $100 million to promote, putting the sequel in a deep hole financially. “This is an unprecedented Marvel box office collapse,” David A. Gross, of movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research told Variety. “Since the pandemic, superhero films have endured simultaneous streaming, unimaginative and bad movies [and] saturation on TV.”

If the low opening is a case of superhero fatigue, there’s some good news on that front: Marvel’s next movie is Deadpool 3, Ryan Reynolds’ assuredly R-rated entrant into the MCU franchise and likely an instant blockbuster. As of now, that’s also the only MCU film on the entire 2024 slate, with Deadpool 3 scheduling a new post-strike release date of July 26, 2024.

 The Marvel Cinematic Universe was battered at the box office as ‘The Marvels’ debuted with $47 million, the lowest-opening weekend in MCU history.  Read More