Given the billion dollar success of Captain Marvel and Kevin Feige’s past comments likening the sequel to The Avengers in terms of its team-up appeal, it seems pretty safe to assume that the accountants at Disney and Marvel Studios had high hopes for The Marvels and its box office prospects when it was initially set as part of the MCU’s Phase Five slate back in December 2020.
However, fast forward three years and Marvel now finds itself in previously uncharted waters, with the once-invincible studio having suffered a number of critical and commercial disappointments, and the superhero genre itself struggling – not least due to a string of high profile disasters from Warner Bros. as it closed out the DCEU with the likes of Shazam! Fury of the Gods, The Flash and Blue Beetle.
So, like Nick Fury, can Marvel call upon Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers – and her buddies Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani) and Photon (Teyonah Parris) to save the day (despite the fact the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike prevents the cast from actually participating in promotion)? Well, early box office tracking had pointed towards a very rough opening for The Marvels, and with the film now just days out from release the pre-sales figures seem to suggest those projections were accurate.
Initial tracking had suggested the Marvel sequel could open with anywhere from $50 – $75 million, and according to Deadline, domestic ticket pre-sales for The Marvels are trailing both Black Adam and The Flash, which opened in North America to $67 million and $55 million respectively, with the latter especially proving to be a huge financial failure for Warner Bros. and DC.
Deadline’s article suggests an opening of below $70 million is indeed a very real possibility, and if that did prove to be the case then The Marvels would deliver the studio’s lowest domestic opening weekend since 2015’s Ant-Man, which debuted with $57.2 million. That’s also Marvel’s second-worst opening ever ahead of The Incredible Hulk’s $55.4 million debut back in 2008.
Is there a possibility that long-standing record could be about to be broken? Surely not, but we shall see when the dust settles this coming weekend…
Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, has reclaimed her identity from the tyrannical Kree and taken revenge on the Supreme Intelligence. But unintended consequences see Carol shouldering the burden of a destabilized universe. When her duties send her to an anomalous wormhole linked to a Kree revolutionary, her powers become entangled with that of Jersey City super-fan Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel, and Carol’s estranged niece, now S.A.B.E.R. astronaut Captain Monica Rambeau. Together, this unlikely trio must team up and learn to work in concert to save the universe as “The Marvels.”
Directed by Nia DaCosta (Candyman), The Marvels stars Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, Iman Vellani, Zawe Ashton, Gary Lewis, Park Seo-joon, Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur, Saagar Shaikh, and Samuel L. Jackson.
The Marvels is released on November 10th, 2023.