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

Stephen King Is Right, Stop Gloating Over ‘The Marvels’ Underwhelming Box Office

Stephen King has called out the “barely masked gloating” over The Marvels‘ box office shortcomings. The horror author absolutely correct that this particular box office struggle is nothing to be gleeful about.

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The Marvels premiered on November 10, just hours after the SAG-AFTRA strike, which lasted for 118 days, officially ended. The female-led film sees Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), and Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) forced to team up after their light-based powers became entangled. Under the guidance of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), the trio learn to coordinate their entanglement while trying to stop Kree revolutionary Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton)’s quest for vengeance.

So far, audiences and some critics agree that The Marvels is the most fun MCU film in a long time and sets the stage for a bright future for the franchise. Critics’ reviews were a little mixed, mostly due to criticism of the script and villain, but audiences have been loving it; the audience score on Rotten Tomatoes stands at a strong 84%. Unfortunately, as predicted, quality and good reviews couldn’t save The Marvels at the box office. The film raked in $47 million on its opening weekend, which is the lowest opening of any MCU film. It simply had too many things stacked against it, such as superhero fatigue, the SAG-AFTRA strike, the newness of the characters, and the negativity from sexist trolls.

Given that The Marvels is getting good reviews and that audiences are enjoying it, its box office situation feels very unfair and disappointing. It’s certainly not something to be gleeful about.

Stephen King calls out the gloating over The Marvels‘ struggles

King took to X, formerly Twitter, to speak out about The Marvels situation. In his post, he admitted that he’s not a fan of the MCU. However, even from that perspective, he couldn’t help but find all the glee over The Marvels‘ box office results “unpleasant.”

King is right that there’s some subtle—and not-so-subtle—gloating going on with The Marvels. Every media outlet was almost too eager to run dramatic headlines about The Marvels being Marvel’s worst film and marking a new low for the franchise. Then there are the sexist trolls openly gloating because they know they can twist The Marvels‘ shortcomings to insist that women don’t belong in film. King did postulate that some of the negativity “may be adolescent fanboy hate,” although the sexist trolls are usually full-grown men rather than adolescents.

What is there to actually gloat about in this situation? Perhaps if this was a hate-filled movie, like Snow White and the Evil Queen from the Daily Wire, then some celebration of its failure might be understandable. Maybe if it had a problematic lead star, like The Flash, a lack of sympathy over the shortcomings wouldn’t be too perplexing. The Marvels is none of these things, though. It’s a light and fun movie that fell victim to wider problems plaguing the film industry and the MCU. Additionally, the predominantly female team, both behind and in front of the camera, did an excellent job. It’s quite clear The Marvels didn’t deserve to flop.

The reality is that the film’s stars won’t get the recognition they deserve as everyone hyper-fixates on the box office numbers. The film’s underperformance at the box office also can’t be good news for Disney, which is already dealing with a string of financial failures that include recent film releases, the closure of the Galactic Starcruiser hotel, and the impact of both the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes (for which Disney and the rest of the AMPTP only have themselves to blame). Another flop raises concerns for when the next round of Disney layoffs will hit, as the last round earlier this year cost 7,000 jobs.

So, is this really what everyone is gloating about? They’re happy people might lose their jobs? They’re so glad hardworking employees will likely bear the brunt of this loss the most? Are they pleased that all the work that went into this film is being ignored because of box office numbers? Are they thrilled that women will be hearing for weeks that it’s their fault The Marvels flopped because some people can’t stand to even see them in a movie?

The Marvels‘ box office performance is just adding to the mounting troubles in Hollywood, which studios are likely to handle very poorly by passing the consequences off to employees and consumers. Unfortunately, it also means women may find it even harder to be positively represented in Hollywood. It’s really not a good look to be openly celebrating either of these ideas.

(featured image: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.