As ‘Thor 4’ Surpasses $500 Million, 3 Reasons Marvel Is Now Playing Defense

Thor: Love and Thunder crossed $500 million worldwide on Monday, bringing its domestic total to $239 million. The film’s 68% drop in the second weekend caused quite a bit of online twist and proclamations of doom for the MCU. I was not a fan of Taiki Waititi Thor sequel, and its mixed reviews (for Marvel) and mild buzz (for Marvel, including a B+ Cinemascore) indicate that audiences weren’t over the top either. However, the movie is still likely to A) be one of the summer’s biggest hits and B) earn about as much as Thor: Ragnarok ($712 million not including China and Russia) in 2017. The overall MCU is no more on the brink than it was when Avengers: Age of Ultron kicked off the talk of superhero fatigue by earning just $459 million domestically and $1.405 billion worldwide. There are three factors at play.

Disney+ threatens to de-event MCU movies.

First, things are being done *at* Marvel, namely the shorter theatrical windows and the concurrent growing awareness that the latest MCU movie will be available on Disney+ in as little as 45 days. I still won’t say that the hearty Disney+ TV shows make the movie a lesser event since, so far, the big ones haven’t suggested it. Instead, the shows essentially set up future movies, but can also be skipped for those who just want the theatrical events. You don’t need to look Wanda Vision enjoy Doctor Strange 2and you probably won’t have to look Ms. Marvel enjoy Wonders. However, quality issues regarding visual effects and associated production value can become a factor, as making two or three movies a year is a different workload compared to three to four movies plus four almost TV shows. simultaneously.

Box office expectations are now exceeded.

Second, the MCU has “fallen victim” to inflated expectations. This Black Panther grossed $1.346 billion and Captain Marvel grossed $1.28 billion in 2018 and 2019 doesn’t mean every solo MCU movie is a $1 billion lock globally. Ant-Man and the Wasp just after Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War ($2.048 billion) and still grossed $621 million, including $125 million in China. Damn, Spider-Man: Far From Home opened right after Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame ($2.8 billion) and still grossed “only” $390 million domestically and $1.131 billion globally. In 2017, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok were absolute hits with $315-389 million domestically and $854-881 million worldwide, including more than $100 million each from China. In 2022, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a “disappointment” to earn only $411 million domestically and (excluding Russia and China) $955 million worldwide.

Top Gun: Maverick turned the MCU into a summer runner-up.

Third, Top Gun: Maverick shockingly replaced the MCU sequels as the official event movie(s) of the summer. If you remember, Spider Man stole the buzz from Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones in May 2002, then Iron Man stole the buzz from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in May 2002. And now, the Tom Cruise legacy sequel has made Doctor Strange 2 What Gladiator made for Mission: Impossible 2 (despite smaller recipes for Russell Crowe’s epic) in May 2000. In a sane world we would talk about how the two Top Gun: Maverick ($618 million domestic and $1.24 billion) and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (the third biggest MCU movie “without Iron Man and without Spider-Man”) were both massive hits. However, in this environment, to quote Talladega Nightsif you are not the first, you are the last.

Recent MCU films always generate top-tier revenue.

The last three MCU films (including Sony Spider-Man: No Coming Home) are among the biggest worldwide receipts of the last eight months. No coming homewho was certainly a Force awakens– multi-generational style nostalgic event (this was a third MCU Spider Man film, Spiderman 4 and amazing spider man 3), earned $804 million domestically and $1.91 billion worldwide without a penny from China. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness played like Captain America: Civil War ($408 million from a start of $179 million) and still ended up between iron man 3 ($409 million in 2016) and Captain Marvel ($426 million). Considering the first strange doctor earned $232 million/$677 million in 2016, the “just one strange doctor sequel” playing as the event movie “Iron Man vs. Captain America” in North America and (without China and Russia) worldwide should be considered an unequivocal success.

Thor 4 will always end up among the biggest recipes of the summer.

Thor 4 can wade through, even without a kid-friendly live-action competition until black adam October 21. Even the legs like Eternals and Black Widow (which was concurrently available for an additional $30 on Disney+) it does the trick Thor: Ragnarok $315 million in domestic cume. An “after ten days” multiplier closer to Ant-Man and the Wasp and finish above/below Jurassic World Dominion and The Batmanit is over/under $370 million cumulative. Will it pay more than Minions: The Rise of Gru, Jurassic World 3 and The Batman nationally or globally? Maybe not and probably not. I’m old enough to remember when Despicable Me 3 was the single biggest $1 billion in the summer of 2017 and no one argued the MCU was doomed. Eternals was a miss, but it was worth it for the possibility of having Marvel versions of DC characters supplanting the genuine item in the zeitgeist.

Covid and shifting feelings changed the narrative.

The fourth season of a number of TV shows (Community, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Glee, Gilmore Girls, Smallville, etc.) were seemingly dysfunctional and aimless as they had to set the stage for whatever followed the initial three-act arc. I guess any concerns (mostly online) about the lack of a big plan will be alleviated at this month’s SDCC. Covid, and Disney temporarily fires James Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, spoiled Marvel’s planned release schedule. Changing sentiments about real-world threats (Captain America can’t stop a plague), law enforcement’s unchecked authority (most vigilantes look more like George Zimmerman than Bruce Wayne), and exams more superhero pop culture news (The boys, invincible, etc.) did not help. However, despite this, Spider-Man: No Coming Home is the third highest national grosser of all time, and Doctor Strange 2 is the third highest grossing global since 2019.

The MCU doesn’t need to drown out the competition to win.

Whether Black Panther: Wakanda Forever earns closer to $600 million worldwide than $900 million worldwide, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 comes close to criticism Thor: Love and Thunder that Shang Chi, then we can panic. But this Marvel postEnd of Game the slate simply performs among the best of the best (Shang Chi and No coming home were the biggest national earners of 2021) is not automatically a reason for despair. Hell, that Marvel is always Marvel next door Batman, Minions, Jurassic World and Superior gun (with Avatar coming soon) should be encouraging for both the MCU and everyone else. Kevin Feige’s Marvel Cinematic Universe doesn’t have to stifle the competition to win. In terms of cinema, the Marvel movies are the only part of Bob Chapek’s Disney that is as strong as it was for most of Bob Iger’s run. Oh and Light year will be on Disney+ on August 3.

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