Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau, Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, and Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan in The Marvels

‘The Marvels’ Box Office Performance Isn’t an Excuse for Marvel Women To Take a Backseat

Despite scoring 84% in audience response on Rotten Tomatoes, The Marvels performed disappointingly at the box office, becoming the worst-ever North American opening weekend box office for the MCU. A direct comparison when it comes to recent releases has been The Flash, with the controversial DC movie performing better when it comes to box office numbers.

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The movie premiered with a taking of $47 million domestically according to Comscore, and $63.3 million internationally, making a global total of $11.03 million. The Flash, on the other hand, made $139 million globally, while Eternals (generally agreed upon to be the worst MCU movie according to fans) made $161.7 million.

There are, of course, a number of factors at play here, not least the fact that it came out in the midst of the Sag-Aftra strikes. With high-profile actors like Brie Larson, Iman Vellani, Teyonah Parris, and Sam Jackson unable to help promote the film, this could certainly factor into the release stats for The Marvels. Perhaps even more so for MCU movies, which tend to rely on the diehard attention from fans.

On paper, however, The Marvels did everything right. There’s praise being heaped upon the three leading women, especially Iman Vellani as Ms Marvel, it featured several crossovers with other popular MCU characters and titles, and it brought back some of that classic MCU humour that’s been somewhat missing from darker entries to the franchise like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Loki.

It could simply be poor timing for the film’s release but it’s also fair to say that a franchise as massive as the MCU can’t score a home run every time. When it does miss, however, the global film community appears to take a special interest in gloating over it, as noted by none other than Stephen King.

As the author notes, you don’t have to love the MCU. You don’t have to watch the movies. But gloating over the apparent failure of a movie? It’s not just Kevin Feige who you’re rubbing it in the face of. If the strikes have shown us anything, it’s the very real humans who work behind the scenes and, especially in the case of Marvel movies, give their all in poor working conditions to get these movies made.

In addition, it’s hard to ignore the fact that people are glorying over the poor performance of a movie with three leading women, reminiscent of how people loved to hate Captain Marvel before the film even came out. Some things never change, it seems.

At the end of the day, for fans at least, the box office numbers aren’t the be-all and end-all. Public response has been positive, so we can only hope that the disappointing financial performance isn’t taken as an excuse for the MCU’s women to take a back seat once again.

(featured image: Disney)

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