“The Marvels,” the 33rd movie in the Disney-owned Marvel Cinematic Universe, is shaping up to have the lowest box office opening weekend ever for an MCU movie, according to multiple reports, with Variety reporting a $21.5 million Friday performance for the action sci-fi film that had a $220 million budget.
“The Marvels” is projected to generate between $47 million and $52 million for its opening weekend, Deadline reported.
Despite being far and away the top-grossing film in theaters this weekend, the projection is lower than opening weekend numbers for “The Incredible Hulk” in 2008 — which held the previous low-water mark for an MCU debut at the box office — and starred Edward Norton in the MCU’s second movie.
“The Marvels” is competing with movies such as Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of The Flower Moon” and “Five Nights At Freddy’s,” the latter of which has raked in $118.2 million domestically and maintained the No. 1 spot in theaters for its first two weekends.
Despite the poor projection, “The Marvels” could help the domestic box office separate itself from one of its worst performances of the year experienced last weekend, when it generated a measly $63 million during what would have marked the release of “Dune: Part Two,” which was delayed to 2024.
“The Marvels” currently has a 62% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes, though audience scores have proved more favorable, clocking in at 85%.
“The Marvels” currently has a 62% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes, though audience scores have proved more favorable, clocking in at 85%, with some reviewers suggesting the movie’s poor box office numbers aren’t reflective of its quality.
Most box office weekends in the last two months have generated less than $100 million domestically, marking a huge shift from the numbers seen in the heat of the summer. The box office brought in a whopping $310 million on the weekend of July 21, when Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” and Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” both released and went on a tear for the next month.
The movie released just after the end of the SAG-AFTRA strike, giving its lead actors little time to promote it aside from an appearance by Brie Larson on “The Tonight Show.” Deadline reported the lackluster numbers for “The Marvels” is about Disney’s overexposure of the Marvel Cinematic Universe on Disney+, which is home to several spin-off shows starring marquee characters and new additions to the universe. The shows, which have similar budgets to Marvel movies, have been criticized for their quality and reluctance to hire showrunners, instead relying on film executives to run the series, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Outside of Larson’s portrayal of Captain Marvel, two main characters in “The Marvels” include Ms. Marvel and Monica Rambeau, both of which were introduced to audiences in separate series on Disney+.