In an unprecedented downturn, last weekend’s box office marred Marvel Cinematic Universe’s star-studded saga with ‘The Marvels’ suffering a catastrophic 78% drop, reaping in only $116 million worldwide. Such dismal figure highlights one of the biggest debacles in the franchise’s 15-year history, putting Disney CEO Bob Iger under the offshore fandom’s critical lens, a grim storm has risen above the film giant’s flagship entertainment vessel that once held the world in its hypnotic trance.
The actors sailing this ill-fated ship with its shattered captain include Iman Vellani playing Kamala Khan (a.k.a. Ms. Marvel) who bluntly shifted the failure blame on Iger’s shoulder in her interview with Yahoo Entertainment, stating with considerable indifference, “I don’t want to focus on something that’s not even in my control, because what’s the point? That’s for Bob Iger”. As Vellani shirks the film’s failure, this covert critique of Iger’s leadership provides an intriguing subplot, adding more fuel to the the fiery discussion.
— New York Post (@nypost) November 20, 2023
The Disney’s megaflop, crafted with a hefty $200 million budget, witnessed a disappointing 62% rating on RottenTomatoes, relegating it to the third-lowest-scoring MCU film following ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ and ‘Eternals’. Vellani, sharing the spotlight with co-stars Brie Larson and Teyonah Parris, further vitiates this narrative, one engulfed by a palpable tension between the box office results and the actor’s dismissive response to the film’s evident downfall.
Unfettered criticism bombarded this latest Marvel canonical installment, painting it as the embodiment of MCU’s deteriorative trajectory. Notably, The Post spared no stars in their review of ‘The Marvels’, describing it as ‘interminable’—a sad chronicle of the collapse of America’s adored silver-screen franchise. Echoing these sentiments, ABC News’ Peter Travers, highlighted an urgent need for MCU to revise its strategy, as “the spawner of glories” appears to be stuck in an all-too-familiar rut.
Yet, amidst this wave of disparagement and woeful box office returns, Vellani staunchly defended the film during her Yahoo interview, brushing off its commercial failure as inconsequential: “[The box office] has nothing to do with me”. The star seems content with the end product, exalting it as a manifestation of ‘teamwork and sisterhood’, characterizing it as ‘a fun movie’ rather than a rigorous cinematic achievement.
As ‘The Marvels’ continues its box office descent, projections suggest an ignominious conclusion with a domestic gross of less than $100 million, which would render it the franchise’s most egregious fiasco, dethroning the 2008’s ‘The Incredible Hulk’ and its underwhelming $134.8 million earnings.
In conclusion, this thrilling yet disheartening tale of ‘The Marvels’ and its rollercoaster journey demands a critical cerebration over the status and future of multi-billion dollar ventures like MCU. While Vellani and her co-stars celebrate their roles in a film that, according to their perspective, encourages ‘teamwork and sisterhood’, one can’t help but ponder about the inviolable nexus between the art of filmmaking and the business of cinema. ‘The Marvels’, despite its grandeur and triumphant narrative, fell short of box office expectations, spotlighting the dual role of films as cultural vehicles and commercial commodities. Thus, as this debacle unfolds, the industry waits with bated breath to see how Iger and his team resurrect themselves, for the magic of Marvel must endure.