'The Marvels' made $47 million at the domestic box office after Marvel Studios' other 2023 releases both grossed over $100 million in their opening weekends
The Marvels is struggling to take flight at the box office.
Brie Larson's return to the big screen as Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel made $47 million at the domestic box office this weekend. That number stands out as the Marvel Cinematic Universe's worst-ever box office opening weekend, per multiple reports.
The film — a sequel to 2019's Captain Marvel, which opened to $153 million back in 2019 — made the most of any film released over the weekend, but its $47 million-grossed pales in comparison to the 32 other films Marvel Studios has released within its interconnected universe since 2008's Iron Man.
In comparison, both of Marvel Studios' other feature film releases in 2023, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, grossed over $100 million during their opening weekends. The third Guardians movie is the fourth-highest grossing movie of the year in the U.S., with the third Ant-Man film currently standing at eighth, per Box Office Mojo.
The Marvels features 34-year-old Larson's Carol Danvers teaming up with Teyonah Parris and Iman Vellani after their respective debuts in the Disney+ series WandaVision and Ms. Marvel. The film also stars Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury, following up on the character after he starred in this summer's miniseries Secret Invasion.
Despite the film's comparatively low box-office opening, The Marvels holds approval from both critics and audiences on RottenTomatoes (62% critical approval, 84% audience approval). The movie also holds a B rating from CinemaScore, which polls audience members on opening night releases.
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The Marvels released at the tail end of a months-long Screen Actors Guild strike that prevented the film's stars from speaking about the movie publicly until Thursday at 12:01 a.m., when the strike officially ended.
The film's release also comes amid continued uncertainty over the franchise's direction and reports that Marvel Studios could recast or pivot away from Jonathan Majors' as a major villain for upcoming titles in its multiverse-themed span of recent films and television series.
Majors, who played the villain Kang the Conqueror in the latest Ant-Man entry and appeared in Loki as two variations of the same character, will appear in a New York City courtroom for a criminal trial beginning Nov. 29 regarding his March arrest and charges for multiple misdemeanor counts of assault and harassment. Prior to his arrest, Majors' character was expected to serve as the main antagonist in the next Avengers movie, scheduled for 2025.
The Marvels is in theaters now.
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