North American box office|"Captain Marvel 2" encounters Waterloo, highlighting Marvel's internal and external difficulties

    The North American Film Market last weekend welcomed the full release of "Captain Marvel 2" (The Marvels), the 33rd film in the Marvel Universe. The film was released in 4,030 theaters and earned an opening box office of US$47 million. Although it ranked first on the weekend box office list, compared with its production cost of US$220 million and the publicity cost of approximately US$100 million, this figure can only be It's a miserable word to describe it.

    "Captain Marvel 2" sets Marvel's lowest opening box office record

    "Five Nights at Freddy's," the box office champion in the first two weekends, has broken various box office records since its release, becoming the most dazzling star in the North American film market this fall. As of this weekend, it still has a box office of 9 million US dollars, ranking first in the box office. ranked second on the weekend box office list. In contrast, "Captain Marvel 2" also broke multiple box office records this time, but all of them were reverse records, enough to embarrass Marvel.

    "Captain Marvel 2" poster

    As usual, "Captain Marvel 2" premiered early last Thursday night, but only received a box office of $6.6 million, which was far lower than the $20.7 million that "Captain Marvel" received on Thursday night four years ago. Four years ago, the first film opened with a box office of $153 million. Based on this calculation, the industry predicted last Friday that the opening box office of "Captain Marvel 2" would be only US$49.6 million at most (it ended up being only US$47 million, not even reaching the estimate), which is lower than that of 2008's "The Incredible Hulk" " (opening box office of US$55.4 million) and 2015's "Ant-Man" (opening box office of US$57.2 million) have become the lowest-grossing works in the Marvel Universe, and this is in 2023, when movie ticket prices in the United States are rising. .

    However, "Ant-Man" eight years ago can be described as a model of starting low and going high. Although its premiere box office was not ideal, relying on word of mouth from the audience, it eventually earned more than $500 million in global box office. It was definitely a commercial success, otherwise there would not have been two sequels.

    However, as the saying goes, the Marvel Universe eight years ago was still full of fresh excitement for the audience, and it was still on an ever-rising progress curve. Nowadays, the situation is obviously different. It would be tantamount to wishful thinking to expect that the box office of "Captain Marvel 2" can beat the odds.

    The opening box office of US$47 million can only rank 17th in 2023 so far, even lower than the US$55 million opening box office of the previously criticized DC solo superhero movie "The Flash". Prior to this, two Marvel movies, "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantum of Solace" and "Guardians of the Galaxy 3", were released this year. Their North American box office openings were US$106 million and US$118 million respectively. Compared with the past, both It cannot be said to be very ideal - the final overall box office results of the two works were different. The former's total North American box office was only US$214 million, while the latter's North American box office was US$358 million and the overseas box office was US$486 million, which is quite good.

    Therefore, going back to nearly a month ago, although the industry has generally underestimated the box office performance of "Captain Marvel 2", it still gave a prediction of US$75 million or US$80 million. Some media even speculated that this year's "Barbie" and "Taylor Swift: The Age of Concert Tour" both focused on the female market and received good feedback. Is it possible for this superhero movie that emphasizes female elements to replicate their success? Relying on the strong support of female audiences, Sparking a wave of movie-watching craze?

    However, as the release date approaches, a report from a market research company shows that regardless of gender, American audiences reacted coldly to "Captain Marvel 2" and lacked enthusiasm for buying tickets. This also forced Disney, the parent company of Marvel, to adjust its plans. The marketing strategy even temporarily launched a new trailer, deliberately emphasizing the various connections between the film and the "Avengers" series, hoping to win back the chilled hearts of the audience. However, judging from the final result, no matter how hard we try, it is in vain.

    A die-hard American Marvel fan compiled the superheroes featured in the fourth and fifth phases of the "Marvel Cinematic Universe"

    Marvel is in global crisis

    "Captain Marvel 2" did poorly at the box office, and some people attributed part of the blame to its three leads, Brie Larson, Iman Vellani, and Teyonah Parris. Unable to participate in promotional activities due to the Actors Guild strike. However, as soon as the strike order was lifted last week, the three leading actors started running schedules and doing publicity to try to mobilize the audience's popularity as much as possible. In addition, the so-called Marvel Universe fatigue and the most fundamental quality issues of the film itself are probably the real causes.

    Currently, "Captain Marvel 2" has a freshness rating of 62% on the film review website "Rotten Tomatoes" and will pass the 60-point qualifying threshold. However, among the 33 Marvel Universe movies, the freshness rating on "Rotten Tomatoes" is lower than "Captain Marvel 2" is the only one that was classified as a bad movie, "Ant-Man 3" and "The Eternals".

    Two weeks ago, the American "Variety" magazine published a cover article "Marvel in Crisis" written by its executive editor Tatiana Siegel, bluntly stating that this film production machine, which has always been unfavorable in the past, is currently in a state of collapse. The state of the machine: there is not only poor internal management, the production is getting worse and worse, and the actor who plays "Kang the Conqueror" is deeply involved in a domestic violence scandal, the so-called local crisis; there is also the audience who has fallen into aesthetic fatigue and is dissatisfied with the endless series of movies on the big screen and the small screen. Marvel's assembly line works are increasingly tired of the overall crisis.

    According to his disclosure, there were many problems during the filming of "Captain Marvel 2". It took up to a month to resume filming after completion, causing the release date to be postponed from the summer schedule in July to the current November schedule. Moreover, when the film entered the post-production stage, the young director Nia DaCosta did not supervise the team, but went to London to start preparations for the new TV series "Hedda", which also made many people in the industry feel Quite stunned. However, some people familiar with the matter said that the post-production of Marvel works has always been personally controlled by top leader Kevin Feige. The success of so many past works is inseparable from his extraordinary ability to turn stone into gold. However, in today's Marvel Universe, in addition to movies, there are a large number of series that are constantly being produced, and the plate is getting bigger and bigger. I'm afraid it is also a question whether Feige still has the energy to grasp it, and whether the intensity of grasping is not as strong as in the past. .

    Also struggling because the plates are getting bigger and bigger is Marvel's visual effects team. In "Ant-Man 3", which was released in February this year, the CG images were not ideal and even had obvious blurring problems, which caused many viewers to criticize it and directly affected the box office and reputation of the film. In fact, the film was not originally scheduled to be released until the summer. It was precisely because "Captain Marvel 2" needed to be reshot and could not catch up with the original schedule. Poor "Ant-Man 3" had to be temporarily requested to be released four and a half months in advance. The visual effects team was left struggling and complaining. In the end, these post-production staff who were fed up with the 14-hour work day and zero overtime pay were forced to vote to establish a union in September this year to fight for more benefits, but in turn it would further push up the production of Marvel works. Production costs.

    The executive editor of "Variety" also interviewed author Joanna Robinson, who wrote the best-selling book "MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios". She said that the overabundance of works has caused the audience to become tired of Marvel. "I wouldn't say this is a permanent trend yet, but based on the statistics from my friends who do Marvel podcasts, Marvel reporting, Marvel videos, all of those numbers are down significantly. Just going back to Four years ago, most people would still think that the Marvel brand itself represented a certain quality; four years later, this association no longer exists because too many of their projects feel half-baked and half-baked. It was rushed out before it was mature enough.”

    As the saying goes, a flower never blooms forever. Everything has its own objective laws of ups and downs, and movie genres are no exception. Nowadays, Hollywood horror movies that are popular every time have also encountered a trough period when the audience is shrinking. Although the Marvel Universe has continued to show signs of decline since the peak of "Avengers 4", after all, 33 The total box office of the movie has reached 30 billion U.S. dollars. In fact, it has already made a lot of money.


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