‘The Marvels’ Is Officially The Lowest-Grossing MCU Movie, Undeservedly So


Well, this was inevitable. After setting records for lowest opening weekend and the biggest second-week drop in the MCU, The Marvels will set its final, unfortunate record, the worst-earning MCU movie of all time.

While it hasn’t quite left theaters, it’s expected to barely make any more money from there, and as Variety estimates, it will only earn $197 million worldwide, maybe crawling over $200 million if its lucky. That is in fact the lowest grossing MCU movie of all time, and here’s who it compares to:

  • Iron Man – $585 million
  • Ant Man – $519 million
  • Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania – $476 million
  • Thor – $449 million
  • Shang-Chi – $432 million
  • Eternals – $402 million
  • Black Widow – $379 million
  • Captain America: The First Avenger – $370 million
  • The Incredible Hulk – $264 million
  • The Marvels – $197 million

What do you notice here? A few things. The has a number of the earliest MCU movies, the ones that first established heroes like Iron Man, Thor and Captain America before the MCU really blew up into the stratosphere. (The Incredible Hulk is its own thing, and really only technically part of the MCU, so no surprise to see it second to last).

Then, the other half of the list? All movies from the post-Endgame era, both good (Shang-Chi) and bad (Quantumania). But even something heralded as a fail like Eternals is still in the mid-range there, and The Marvels is half that. It’s just a wild, wild drop, especially for a movie that’s a sequel to one that made a billion at the box office.

Marvel has been pretty brutal about The Marvels, with Bob Iger saying there wasn’t enough “executive supervision” on set, and Nia DiCosta facing all sorts of slander about her comments and actions as director (despite this being the highest grossing opening weekend for a movie directed by a black woman). The movie did score lower with critics than most, but critics have been skewing lower on almost all MCU movies lately (Quantumania did worse), and there was no mass review bombing campaign this time with fans actually seeming to like the movie for the most part.

I’ve said before this was the wrong movie at the wrong time, an inflection point of superhero fatigue, MCU aimlessness and other potentially more relevant movies to come like Deadpool 3, the only MCU film out next year after delays drawing on big names like Wolverine. The Marvels may have set all these dismal records but I don’t think it deserves them, and stacked up against the full catalogue of the MCU, there are many worse movies and it feels like 3-4 years ago, this could have tripled these box office totals. Bad luck, and there’s too much blame being thrown around here, even by Disney itself. Sad to see.

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Pick up my sci-fi novels the Herokiller series and The Earthborn Trilogy.


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