It’s Not Superhero Fatigue. It’s Bad Movie Fatigue.
So Marvel Studios has its latest flop, I mean, the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The Marvels made $47 million domestically at the box office on its opening weekend. Worldwide, the gross was about $110 million. It was the lowest opening for a MCU movie in history. When you consider this movie had a budget of $280 million, and then add in post-production and marketing costs, this movie is going to lose a lot of money.
I could see this coming a mile away. Lots of people did. Funny how Marvel Studios didn’t. Marvel Studios and their professional apologists say it’s because of superhero fatigue. Marvel has put out too many movies and streaming series on Disney Plus, and the whole genre is worn out. Except Spiderman: Across the Spiderverse made $690 million, and on a budget of only $100 million, less than 40% of the budget for The Marvels. Some say it’s the “toxic fandom.” A bunch of men gave it bad reviews, talked bad about it on their YouTube channels, and criticized it for being too “woke.” So men stayed away. And men don’t want to see a movie with strong female characters. Except many of those same critics were perfectly happy with characters like Black Widow, Sarah Connor in Terminator 2, Princess Leia, Wonder Woman (2017), Ripley (the Alien franchise), and Lara Croft.
Marvel Under Disney
The problem MCU has is the same problem Disney has (what else would you expect now that Disney owns Marvel): Bad movies. It’s not superhero fatigue or wokeness. It’s bad movie fatigue. Take a movie like Iron Man, which came out in 2008. If that movie came out today, I bet it would still be a hit. It told a compelling story with a character comic book fans knew and liked and brought him to life in surprising ways with a satisfying character arc. Compelling stories with heroes people like and villains who are complex and present real challenges to the heroes. That’s what Marvel fans want. It’s what Star Wars fans want. It’s what Disney fans want. Isn’t it what we all want when we go to a movie? From Iron Man to Avengers: Endgame in 2019, Marvel Studios had mastered that formula. But Disney took over. And just like they ruined their own brand and Star Wars, they ruined the MCU. The Marvels had everything wrong…