The Marvels Box Office Projections Prove MCU is Kinda Dead
It's now uncertain whether the studio will follow through on its plans for seven more movies.
Despite the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, which mostly affected television, 2023 has seen a lot of movie premieres. From The Little Mermaid to Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One and Barbenheimer, it is impossible to recall all the major releases of the year.
Remarkably, Marvel released the bulk of this year's movies. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quntimania, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and even the animated hit Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse have rocked theaters worldwide. But the studio isn't done with premieres yet, as The Marvels is set to hit theaters on November 10. However, most analysts believe that the movie will prove to be ominous for the company.
The new installment in Captain Marvel's leg of the MCU will follow Brie Larson's character in her new cosmic adventure as she is mysteriously linked to two other Marvels, Monica Rambeau and Kamala Khan, who you may remember from WandaVision and Ms. Marvel, respectively. The three characters will have to investigate their new condition while trying to keep the universe in order.
The upcoming movie boasts a staggering, albeit quite usual for Marvel, $220 million budget. For example, the aforementioned Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantimania and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 were produced for $200 million and $250 million respectively. And while those two managed to recoup their costs and turn a significant profit, The Marvels may not be so lucky.
Several analysts have predicted that The Marvels will do little better than $75 million in its opening week. The median is a modest $50 million, which would jeopardize not only the film itself, which would struggle to break even, but the MCU in general.
Since the late 2000s, Marvel has produced a plethora of hit blockbusters. Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America were successful franchises in their own right, beloved by audiences around the world. When they were brought together to create the Avengers film series, it was also a success, culminating in 2019's Endgame, which grossed a staggering $2.8 billion at the box office.
Unfortunately, after that, the MCU became too branched and complicated. Most importantly, it got too ubiquitous, with Marvel releasing several films a year and not allowing audiences to build up anticipation for new releases.
Now, the studio's films have become too intertwined for audiences to enjoy separately, meaning there may be a point in the near future when fans will turn their backs on the MCU. And essentially, with Marvel spending significantly more money on their latest projects and getting significantly less back, the studio may have been too optimistic in planning seven more films.