We have all talked about it endlessly, both here and at other websites. The Fall Of The House Of Marvel. We talk a lot about superhero fatigue, market saturation, and streaming devaluing the brand experience. According to a report in Forbes, via the ever-reliable Dark Horizons, rumors of their demise may have been grossly exaggerated.
The Forbes article points to media reports as being “overstated” and refers to some media as “hyperbolic”. Compared to pretty much all of their competition, Marvel Studios is still doing way above average. How does it reach this conclusion? With data.
The final global gross for all 22 films in the Infinity Saga, which ran from Iron Man to Avengers: Endgame, averaged out to $935 million per film.
Since Avengers: Endgame, there have been ten movies (eleven if you include The Marvels, which is still in theaters), and these average out to around $815 million per film. The fact is that just about any studio out there would, right now, rip your arm off if you offered them ten movies on the bounce making over $800 million apiece.
The article also points out that the biggest drivers of that high per-film-average were the mega-event Avengers movies. Infinity War and Endgame alone made $4.8 billion.
The box office is bad for everyone, and has been for a couple of years since COVID. Barbenheimer, Mario, and Top Gun: Maverick are the exceptions rather than the rule at the moment.
Underperforming Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania still got on the way to half a billion, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 close to $850 million. Forbes basically says the data simply does not back up the narrative of the near-total collapse of all things Marvel.
To which we say, yes Forbes, that is all very interesting, but there is one thing you are not taking into account here.
The third Ant-Man had an official production budget of $200 million, but it was rumored to be higher. Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness was more than $290 million. Guardians Vol. 3 was $250 million. These moves are simply way too expensive now.
Add to this a 3 movie per year cycle, and 2/3 series on Disney+, and you are still over-saturating your own market.
So yes, we agree, that things are probably not as bad as the general noise makes it out to be… but it is still a trend line that is only going one way right now.
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