Marvel's latest cinematic release was anything but marvelous — marking the lowest debut of any franchise movie over the past 15 years.
Some experts think audiences aren’t necessarily tired of superhero stories — they’re just tired of Marvel’s.
A new Marvel movie typically means a surefire No. 1 debut. But Marvel's latest release flipped the script.
"It's a pretty startling comedown for what is, I think by any standard, the biggest, most dominant and successful franchise in the history of movies," said Sam Adams, senior editor for Slate.
"The Marvels," a $220 million sequel to Brie Larson’s 2019 "Captain Marvel," pulled in $47 million after its Friday debut.
According to Box Office Mojo, it’s only the third film in Marvel’s 33-film history to make less than $60 million on opening weekend.
"A $47 million opening weekend for most movies is nothing to sneeze at. It would be great, but it's not for Marvel," said Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Box Office Pro.
But Adams says the expanding Marvel universe is getting hard for audiences to follow.
"Marvel has released 69 episodes of television in the last three years in addition to the movies, basically forcing fans to miss something," said Adams.
The long actors' strike didn’t help, as it kept the cast of "The Marvels" from promoting their work until the strike was called off last week.
Robbins says audiences also feel that the quality of movies and storylines have dropped since "Avengers: Endgame."
"What has been lost is that urgency and that development of the storyline that is encompassing the universe, and it's a challenge for films to both stand on their own and move that forward and keep the audience interested in the franchise," said Robbins.
The strike and the flop were just the latest in a string of setbacks for Disney, along with waning TV viewership and its stock value hitting the lowest levels in nearly a decade.
Disney is also dealing with harassment and assault charges against Marvel’s next leading man, Jonathan Majors.
If audiences need a break from Marvel — they'll get one.
Disney is only releasing one MCU film next year — "Deadpool 3." The next one won't hit theaters until 2025.
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