New superhero movie The Marvels has recorded the lowest ever north American opening weekend box office for any Marvel Cinematic Universe film.

Data site the Numbers reports that The Marvels, which stars Brie Larson as Captain Marvel alongside Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau and Iman Vellani as Ms Marvel, took an estimated $47m (£38.4m) over its first three days in US and Canadian cinemas, meaning that it has displaced The Incredible Hulk as the MCU’s worst recorded opening; the latter managed $55.4m on its release in June 2008.

The Marvels’ financial difficulties are compounded by its production budget, which is reported to have been $274.8m, the fourth-highest of any MCU film. However, the film did take an estimated $63m at the international box office, meaning that its worldwide opening-weekend gross came in at $110.3m.

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Speculation around the reasons behind The Marvels’ poor performance have included lack of effective promotion due to the actors’ strike, its relationship with the underwhelming Ms Marvel series on Disney+, and “superhero fatigue” resulting in part from Marvel and its parent company Disney’s decision to increase production of films and TV series over the past few years. Disney CEO Bob Iger said on 8 November: “I’ve always felt that quantity can be actually a negative when it comes to quality. And I think that’s exactly what happened.” He went on to admit: “We lost some focus.”

Since the release of Iron Man in May 2008, the MCU has proved by far Hollywood’s most financially lucrative franchise, with its 33 movies taking over $29.7bn (£24.3bn) at the world’s cinemas. The next most successful are Star Wars ($10.3bn) and James Bond ($7.9bn).

 Marvel Cinematic Universe’s latest superhero movie took $47m over its first three days in US and Canadian cinemas  Read More