I might be back in on the MCU. I was done with it, but now it's getting to the level of train wreck status where I can't look away. "The Marvels," which is the sequel to the billion-dollar film "Captain Marvel," except this one involves a side character from the TV show and another one of the Avenger babies (who I've heard is actually the best part of the film), had the single worst opening of any MCU film ever. When marketing costs are considered, a film usually needs to double its budget to be considered profitable. "The Marvels" opened with 110 million worldwide on a 275 million dollar budget. The odds of this being profitable are essentially zero.
Remember that the MCU dates back to 2008 when the original "Iron Man" was released. That's a lot of movies, and all of them, in one way or another, were successful either critically, financially, or both. Even though films like "The Eternals" and "Ant-man and The Wasp: Quantumania" weren't any good, at least they made some money. The same will not be said about "The Marvels."
When I tweeted about this, many people clapped back by saying that the actor's strike had something to do with us. The stars of the movie were unable to promote their own film because of the strike. I'm sure that's played a role, but it's not the sole reason why this thing derailed. Also, Brie Larson on press tours is a disaster every time. I know she's only one of the stars, but she doesn't exactly sell these movies like Robert Downey Jr. did.
I'm not going to claim to know more than Kevin Feige, but in this particular instance, I will claim to know more than Kevin Feige. What happened to the MCU post "Endgame" is exactly what I didn't want to happen. The universe has gotten too big. "Avengers: Endgame" was an incredible achievement. It was also the biggest movie ever. Instead of going smaller in scale, telling more intimate and character stories, the MCU expanded to the point of being bloated. The Infinity Saga never claimed to be high art, but it got the one thing right that every film or film series needs to get correct, it made you care about the characters, and by the time the shit went down in those last two Avengers movies, you were on the edge of your seat. This is not a universe that's given people much reason to care.
I've been critical of the MCU for a while now. Even some of their victory laps, like "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" and "Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume Three," weren't that good, in my opinion. But I've also said that they will keep turning out product after product as long as these movies make money. Well, that's in danger of no longer being a thing. To Marvel's credit, it seems like they're scaling things down slightly. But at this point, you essentially need to hit the emergency reset button. You don't have to retcon everything that's happened post "Endgame," but you need to draw something of a line in the sand here so that people can jump back on now without having to go back and watch some of the garbage that's come before. This is Marvel's darkest hour. Will they come back from it? Probably not, but we'll see.￼