Marvel Has Another Box Office Hit, But The Damage From Phase Four Likely Won’t Be Undone
These are just a few of the many signs of good news for Marvel and the box office, but this weekend’s success isn’t a cure for all of Marvel’s problems. Let’s dive deeper into the good and bad news about how the release of the latest Guardians chapter went:
The good news
Clearly, this strong audience reception means that “Guardians Vol. 3” won’t have the unusually short box office legs that “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” suffered earlier this year. Hit by some of the most lackluster reviews and critical acclaim ever for a Marvel movie, “Quantumania” dropped 70% from its $106 million opening weekend and failed to make it. to reach $500 million in worldwide revenue.
“Watchmen Vol. 3,” meanwhile, is expected to have two weeks of robust ticket sales with support from premium formats, which made 40% of the film’s opening weekend gross. Universal’s May 19 “Fast X” will offer stiffer competition than May Marvel’s releases usually before Memorial Day weekend, so it’s possible that word of mouth will attract a general audience that has enjoyed previous films.” Guardians” but didn’t immediately show interest in “Vol. 3” due to Marvel’s recent decline in popular reception.
Disney insiders also said the film particularly outperformed in some overseas markets such as South Korea, where the film competed with “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” and local sports film “Dream,” and in Latin America, where sci-fi movies tend to make less money.
Despite not releasing the weekend of May 1, “Guardians Vol. 3” is on international pace with “Guardians Vol. 2” with the exception of China, where the film’s opening of 28.5 million is well below the $48.5 million opening of “Vol. 2” but significantly better than most Hollywood films released in the last year.
With a strong second weekend, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” should have a good chance of reaching a domestic total of $300 million and at least $750 million worldwide. Although less than the $955 million made a year ago by ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’, that would still make it a theatrical hit for Disney, while a global run that stretches to 800 million would put it between the unadjusted box office total of $773 million for the first “Guardians” and the $863 million for its 2017 sequel.
The bad news
As good as it is, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ should have surprisingly strong legs even against intense box office competition in the coming weeks – including ‘The Little Mermaid’ on Memorial weekend. Day – in order to achieve “Vol. 2” and become the highest-grossing film in the “Guardians” trilogy.
Even when eliminating China and focusing only on the home front, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” was able to enjoy a relatively weaker slate than what “Vol 3” did. is facing a gross of $389 million in North America this year.
In May, “Vol. 2″ faced a lukewarm R-rated “Alien: Covenant” that just grossed $74 million in the domestic market and the Memorial Day weekend release of Disney title “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” which did well internationally but fell domestically to $78 million gross in its opening weekend and $172 million overall, the lowest domestic total of all the “Pirates” movies. “Fast X” and “Little Mermaid” should perform much better and lead to tougher weekend drops for “Guardians Vol. 3. »
And even if “Guardians Vol. 3” becomes a hit as expected, that doesn’t necessarily mean the stale MCU fans it brings back to theaters will stick around for upcoming movies like “The Marvels” or “Thunderbolts.” ‘Vol. 2’ has surpassed $850 million worldwide, not only due to the popularity of its ragtag superhero team, but also because it oversaw the unstoppable momentum of the MCU’s Infinity Saga, where each episode felt like a buildup of “Avengers: Infinity War” and the impending showdown with Thanos.
“Guardians Vol. 3”, conceived by director James Gunn, is not intended to set up future episodes as “Quantumania” did. started nine years ago, as Gunn and some cast members like Dave Bautista left the Marvel stable.
While the film’s mid- and post-credits scenes tease more potential adventures for some Guardians members, all of the above is to say goodbye to the original quintet of Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, and Groot, as well as new members. who met along the way. Because of that, “Vol. 3” in many ways feels more like a true finale than even “Avengers: Endgame,” which sowed the seeds for future MCU titles like “Loki,” “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.” and “Spider-Man: Far From Home”.
Disney insiders believe it was this standalone presentation that led to weaker pre-sales than previous Marvel movies released in May rather than the poor reception of “Quantumania” and other Phase Four MCU films, and It’s also because of this standalone style that these insiders say Disney doesn’t expect “Guardians Vol. 3” to necessarily interest audiences in future films.
So when it comes time for Disney and Marvel to thrill audiences for “The Marvels” this summer, it can’t be ruled out that a significant number of moviegoers will decide to wait for word of mouth or even a streaming release. before committing to see it. If that happens, and the MCU’s slow decline resumes with disappointing box office returns for ‘The Marvels’, the successful release of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ may seem like a rally in retrospect. bearish.
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