Marvel loses hundreds of millions, Disney’s most profitable studio ‘in a bit of a slump’

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For years – since Robert Downey, Jr. debuted as Tony Stark in Iron Man (2008) – Kevin Feige’s Marvel Cinematic Universe reigned supreme at the box office.

Credit: D23

Related: New Marvel Star Accused Of Cultural Appropriation, Fans Plan ‘Shang-Chi’ Boycott

At worldwide box officethree of the seven greatest films of all time are MCU films – Avengers: Endgame (2019), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Spider-Man: No Coming Home (2021) all occupy the first places:

  1. Avatar (2009) – $2,847,397,339
  2. Avengers: Endgame (2019) – $2,797,501,328 2019
  3. Titanic (1997) $2,201,647,264
  4. Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015) – $2,069,521,700
  5. Avengers: Infinity War $2,048,359,754 2018
  6. Spider-Man: No Homecoming $1,901,232,550 2021
  7. jurassic world
Tobey Maguire, Tom Holland and Andrew Garfield as Spider-man
Credit: Marvel Studios/Sony Pictures

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Now, however, it looks like Marvel Studios, Disney’s top-grossing movie house, may be in “a bit of a slump.” According to a new the wall street journal report, Feige’s superhero films – while still incredibly popular – have recently lost hundreds of millions of dollars compared to their earlier predecessors.

WSJ note, in particular:

Since Disney acquired Marvel in 2009, the studio has produced 25 superhero movies that have grossed a combined $25 billion worldwide, making it one of the highest-earning movie studios in the world. Hollywood history. Among them are Marvel’s 2019 “Avengers: Endgame,” the highest-grossing film of all time with $2.8 billion at the global box office; “Avengers: Infinity War,” which grossed $2 billion, and eight others that topped $1 billion each.

But since the start of 2021, the average worldwide box office of the six Marvel-produced films has fallen to $773.6 million, about half the $1.5 billion average of the previous six films.

Avengers Endgame characters arrive (left to right) M'Baku, Hulk, Captain America, Korg, Thor
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Marvel Releases First Trailer Starring Sam Wilson’s Captain America

The outlet also reported that:

“Eternals” ($402.3 million in total gross), “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” ($420.7 million) and “Black Widow” ($373.2 million) were released as major flops, at least by Marvel’s lofty standards the movies’ previous box office performance.

The films’ critical reception also suffered. According to Rotten Tomatoes, a website that tracks movie reviews, the latest six Marvel titles have averaged a 75% approval rating among critics, compared to 88.5% for the previous six.

(L-R): Richard Madden and director Chloe Zhao on the set of Marvel Studios' ETERNALS.  Photo by Sophie Mutevelian.  ©Marvel Studios 2021. All rights reserved.
Credit: Marvel Studios

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However, other metrics prove that it’s all in the way you see it, especially when it comes to the fact that pandemic culture has drastically altered the way Hollywood works.

Despite the fact that Marvel has seemingly lost ground with the recent release, it’s worth noting that the film industry is still catching up with the COVID-19 pandemic theater closures and filming delays – plus, a growing number studios are turning to streaming services and series to fill the void for theatergoers.

Oscar Isaac as Marc Spector/Moon Knight
Credit: Marvel Studios

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Marvel, for example, has an extensive roster of Disney+ Original series that have introduced characters like Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), Moon Knight/Marc Spector/Steven Grant (Oscar Isaac), Sylvie (Sophia di Martino) and Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis Dreyfus) in the MCU.

The Walt Disney Company released films in a variety of ways as the pandemic continued into 2021, with CEO Bob Chapek at one point stating that the studio and its subsidiaries – including Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, Ltd./star warsand Pixar Animation Studios – had to “put a stake in the ground” when it came to making decisions about how movies would reach audiences.

loki (left) and sylvie (right) sitting in a booth
Credit: Marvel Studios

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Despite the struggles, Marvel movies have still topped the 2021 box office, despite not bringing in the numbers of previous projects.

The brand’s standout year with five films added to the brand’s already massive library. Between Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures, the Marvel Universe added black widow (July 9, 2021), Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (September 3, 2021), Venom: let there be carnage (October 1, 2021), Eternals (November 5, 2021), and the record Spider-Man: No Coming Home (December 17, 2021).

black widow (lr) rachel weisz, scarlett johansson, florence pugh at the table
Credit: Marvel Studios

By a article about the awesome feat:

…those [five] the films grossed more than $1.35 billion in North America – about 30% of the $4.45 billion earned in ticket sales last year…

The cast of Captain America Winter Soldier with Kevin Feige at Comic Con 2013
Credit: Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons

Related: Kevin Feige Reveals The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Next Decade

Now, as Marvel moves through Phase Five and Phase Six, MCU fans clearly have a lot to look forward to both on the small screen and in theaters around the world – as new characters continue to join the roster. Marvel Cinematic Universe and fans continue to return to normal life in a post-pandemic culture, perhaps Marvel Studios will see a dramatic rebound sooner rather than later.

What do you think? Will Marvel continue to be dominant in 2023 and beyond?

You can stream Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow and all seven of Marvel’s Phase Four series so far – WandaVision from Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier from Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan, Loki from Tom Hiddleston, What If…? by Marvel, Hawkeye by Jeremy Renner, Moon Knight by Oscar Isaac and Ms. Marvel by Iman Vellani— on Disney+ anytime.

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