Disney CEO Bob Iger, speaking at the New York Times’ DealBook Summit and reported by CNBC, mentioned that “The Marvels” performed poorly at the box office partly due to inadequate supervision during its production.
This issue arose from the challenges posed by the COVID pandemic. The pandemic’s restrictions on film sets, combined with Disney’s ramped-up production for its new streaming service Disney+, made it hard for studio executives to manage the surge in new projects.
Since its release in theaters in November, the Marvel sequel starring Brie Larson has earned only $77 million domestically and $187 million globally. This makes it the least successful film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far. It also looks like it will be the first movie in the MCU not to reach the $100 million threshold in the U.S. market.
Bob Iger, Disney’s CEO, mentioned during the New York Times’ DealBook Summit, as reported by CNBC, that “The Marvels” faced challenges during its production due to COVID. The pandemic led to less oversight on set, as executives couldn’t monitor the daily activities as closely as usual.
“The Marvels” is part of a recent trend of Disney films not performing as expected, joining others like “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” and “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.” As Variety reported, 2023 is set to be the first year since 2014, barring the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021, that Disney hasn’t released a film grossing over a billion dollars. This is a significant change from 2019, when Disney had several billion-dollar hits, including “Avengers: Endgame” and “The Lion King.”
Iger reflected on Disney’s past success at a press conference, acknowledging that the company had set incredibly high standards for itself, often expecting films to gross over a billion dollars. He emphasized the need for more realistic expectations moving forward.
— MarvelVerse (@MarvelVerse___) November 30, 2023
Discussing Disney’s approach to making sequels, Iger stated that while many sequels have been successful and well-received, the story needs to be compelling enough to justify a sequel. He noted that Disney has made too many sequels in recent years, as reported by CNBC. However, he assured that Disney would continue making sequels, but only if the story is worth telling.
“The Marvels” had a particularly rough start, opening with just $47 million in the domestic box office, the lowest for any Marvel Cinematic Universe film. This was a stark contrast to the previous low, held by “The Incredible Hulk” in 2008. The film’s performance worsened in its second weekend, experiencing a significant drop in earnings.
Iman Vellani, the star of “The Marvels,” in an interview with Yahoo Entertainment, expressed that the box office results were more a concern for Bob Iger than for her. She emphasized her focus on the aspects of the film within her control, expressing satisfaction with the final product and the enjoyment it brought to her and others. Vellani described the film as a fun experience, highlighting its themes of teamwork and sisterhood.