Here’s something we don’t see often: opening projections plummeting for a Marvel Studios movie.
Its latest sequel to 2019’s Captain Marvel, The Marvels, which is also an extension of the Disney+ series WandaVision and Ms. Marvel, has seen its weekend forecast collapse from $75M-$80M three weeks ago to around $60M stateside. Some tracking services, such as Quorum, have lowered their estimates to $50M+. The Marvels opens this Friday.
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A domestic opening that low would put the $200M production in the neighborhood of 2015’s Ant-Man ($57.2M) and lower than Marvel’s November 2021 misfire Eternals ($71.2M).
Overseas projection for the sequel sit at $80M, putting the global start at $140M, which is lower than the worldwide debuts of Eternals ($160M) and the theatrical-day-and-date-impacted Black Widow ($148M). We’re cautious that international could come in lower.
Presales for The Marvels sit just north of $5M, which is on par with Warner Bros/DC’s The Flash, that movie flaming out with a $55M start stateside. Yikes. The worry is that if previews, which start at 3 p.m. Thursday, come in around $6M, The Marvels’ weekend would crater to $40M+.
In a Hail Mary last night, Marvel dropped the final trailer (see below), trying to connect The Marvels back to the greater Avengers canon and stunting a cameo in the pic by Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie.
The trailer also showed off distinctly for the first time who the actual villain was in this silly time-warp superhero movie: Zawe Ashton’s Dar-Benn.
The Marvels sees the team-up of Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers, Ms. Marvel‘s Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) and WandaVision‘s Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris); the 11-year old version of that character starred in Captain Marvel.
What’s going on? Yes, blame the actors strike and Disney’s hands being tied when it comes to fully screaming this movie to the sky. But, at the same time, there wasn’t any outdoor signage for this movie at San Diego Comic-Con. So how to tell the core fanbase this an event?
But more so than that, Marvel fans get the sense that this movie isn’t a hardcore must-see like Captain Marvel, which debuted to $153.4M U.S. and $456.7M WW, the biggest domestic opening ever for a female superhero movie. That movie was propped as a bridge to Avengers: Endgame and eventually finaled at $426.8M U.S./Canada, $1.1 billion global. Right now, guys 18-34 are lacking — not a good sign when it comes to a Marvel pic — with women 17-34 being the most dependable to show-up.
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Media screenings begin Tuesday night, and fans will be keen to read reviews; the embargo on those lifts at 9 a.m. PT Wednesday. Eternals was 47% Rotten on Rotten Tomatoes with a B CinemaScore. Captain Marvel clocked 79% certified fresh on RT and posted an A CinemaScore. The Marvels, is directed by Nia DaCosta who, at 34, is the youngest director ever to helm a Marvel Studios title and the first Black woman to a Marvel film.
The Marvels is booked at 4,000 theaters in U.S. and Canada, with all the powers of Imax, 4DX, Dolby and PLFs.
The Marvels begins its overseas rollout on Wednesday in such majors as France, Germany, Italy and Korea. It will add majors Australia, Spain, Brazil and Mexico on Thursday, followed by the UK, China and Japan on Friday. So, through Friday, the movie will be playing in all markets across the world.
China, where The Marvels was granted a day-and-date domestic release for November 10 back in late September, enabled Disney to leverage the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day/Golden Week in early October for promotion.
The sequel currently leads presales for the weekend in China, but hopes should be tempered. Marvel titles, as with many Hollywood movies in the post-pandemic era, have seen soft returns in the once highly lucrative market as the local industry has bulked up and audience tastes turned more inward. We see China opening to $15M+, or thereabouts.
And, frankly, no one is dupe: At historic rates, Captain Marvel, back in the heyday of 2019, and a month before Avengers: Endgame started its $632M China run, made over $154M in that market — but we are no longer on the same planet.
Definitely expect the European majors along with Mexico and others to prick up their ears for The Marvels, but we are dubious until we see reviews and word of mouth. Hope springs.
Also opening in the U.S. is the Sony/Affirm Adam Anders directed Nativity musical, Journey to Bethlehem, which industry numbers have in the low-single digits. Target demo is faith-based, no doubt.
Focus Features is also expanding Alexander Payne’s awards-season darling The Holdovers, which has grossed through 11 days, over $892K, from 64 theaters to around 800 sites.
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