The Marvels loses its powers with lowest-grossing MCU opening ever

Los Angeles, California - The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) once again finds itself at the top of the box office with Disney’s The Marvels, but it might be hard to claim that the film performed higher, further, or faster than its predecessors.

Brie Larson stars as Captain Marvel / Carol Danvers in Disney's The Marvels.
Brie Larson stars as Captain Marvel / Carol Danvers in Disney's The Marvels.  © IMAGO / Everett Collection

The 33rd movie in the ever-expansive MCU took in $47 million in North America in its opening weekend, according to estimates from measurement firm Comscore. It also nabbed the unwanted distinction of having the worst opening box-office tally for an MCU film, finishing behind 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, which scored $55.4 million with its opening.

The superhero flick flew past a two-time box-office champion, Universal Pictures' Five Nights at Freddy's, which scared up $9 million in the United States and Canada in its third weekend. The horror flick now has a domestic cumulative of $127.2 million.

The Marvels performed well below initial box office projections that had it bringing in between $60 million to $65 million domestically.

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Internationally, the super-powered film hauled in $63.3 million according to studio estimates for a worldwide total of $110.3 million.

Rounding out the weekend’s domestic box office were Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour – released through a direct distribution deal with AMC Theatres – that sparked up $5.9 million in its fifth outing for a North American total of $172.5 million; A24's biopic Priscilla, which pulled in $4.8 million in its sophomore wide release outing for a North American haul of $12.7 million; and Apple and Paramount Pictures' Killers of the Flower Moon, which added $4.65 million in its fourth weekend for a North American score of $59.9 million.

The Marvels earns mixed reviews from fans and critics

From left to right: Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, and Teyonah Parris as Captain Monica Rambeau in Disney's The Marvels.
From left to right: Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, and Teyonah Parris as Captain Monica Rambeau in Disney's The Marvels.  © IMAGO / Everett Collection

Directed by Nia DaCosta, The Marvels finds Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), a.k.a. Captain Marvel, dealing with the fallout of an unstable and unpredictable universe that sees a revolutionary attempting to seize control.

Danvers is joined by fellow superheroes Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), a.k.a. Ms. Marvel, and Captain Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) in a mission to bring down the insurgent. The film also stars Samuel L. Jackson, Zawe Ashton, and Park Seo-joon.

The action-packed PG-13 picture scored a lukewarm 63% critic score and a welcoming 85% audience score on the review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes. It garnered a middling B grade from audiences polled by CinemaScore.

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"The film flies but never lets any emotional weight fully land," writes Tribune News Service film critic Katie Walsh.

"Tonally, 'The Marvels' embraces the goofy nature of a sci-fi superhero movie aimed at a female audience. There’s a musical interlude featuring K-drama superstar Park Seo-joon, and a scene with a herd of space kittens that makes reference to 'Cats,'" Walsh continues in her review. "That kind of sincere and self-deprecating humor is the Marvel hallmark, all the way back to 2008’s 'Iron Man.'"

"If audiences are ready to move on from that, it's no fault of the engaging and earnest 'The Marvels.'"

Opening in wide release next week are Lionsgate's The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes and TriStar Pictures' horror flick Thanksgiving.

Cover photo: IMAGO / Everett Collection

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