Has the Marvel Cinematic Universe already seen its best days?
According to a recent poll on Twitter, not only do some fans believe that, a rather sizable chunk of fans believe it.
First, the poll in question, which you can see here:
Do you think the Marvel Cinematic Universe has peaked?
— IGN (@IGN) January 5, 2023
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You need a Twitter account to vote, but should you partake in that poll, you’ll see that (as of this writing) of the 53,000 votes cast, roughly 77 percent voted “Yes” and a mere 23 percent said “No.”
While there is still nearly a full day left on the poll, it’s hard to see that poll creeping back to anything close to 50-50.
Even if it does (or if the majority vote that the MCU has not peaked yet) it still paints a damning picture for Marvel Studios, and its parent company Disney.
First, look at who conducted that Twitter poll.
Have you seen a Marvel movie in theater in the last year?
Yes: 9% (8 Votes)
No: 91% (83 Votes)
This isn’t Breitbart or Fox News, with their ostensibly older and right-leaning audiences. No, this is IGN, a haven for younger, video game-focused, and left-leaning readers. In other words, a large overlap of Marvel’s target audience likely participated in that Twitter poll.
Second, it would be more than fair for Disney bean counters to retort to that poll as “merely Twitter” and how it’s not emblematic of real life.
Well, to that point, there are numbers backing up the early results of that IGN poll as well.
According to Business Insider, while Marvel Studios has still been wildly profitable, there is a worrying trend when you look at the studio’s best-performing movies.
“Avengers: Endgame,” which came out in 2019, is still the peak of Marvel’s prowess. The thrilling conclusion to a staggering 21 films before it, the movie raked in $2.8 billion worldwide.
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“Avengers: Infinity War,” which directly preceded “Endgame” in 2018, brought in $2.05 billion.
Notice those release dates, however. If Marvel was still peaking, it likely happened then.
The fact that the most recent movie on this list sits at 11th place (“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”) is a jarring reminder that Marvel hasn’t had nearly the success since those two aforementioned Avengers movies.
“Multiverse of Madness” brought in $955.8 million, or, less than half of what either of those Avengers movies did.
Going further through the list, the next 2022 Marvel movie to crack this list is “Thor: Love and Thunder,” which clocked in at 16th place and netted $760.9 million.
The next 2022 film on the list, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” has brought in $546.3 million, though that film is still in theaters. It’s unlikely to even come close to the previous heights of the Avengers movies.
Take a step further back to 2021, to when COVID-19 policies were still running amok, and the movies fared even worse than the 2022 outings. “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” “The Eternals,” and “Black Widow” all come in at 26th, 27th, and 28th place on this list, respectively. And not a single one of those flicks surpassed $440 million in the worldwide box office. So each of those movies did less than a quarter of the business that the Avengers films did.
In Marvel’s defense, they do have quite a roadmap of content laid out ahead. With buzzworthy Avengers stories like “Avengers: Secret Wars” and “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty” on slate, Marvel may very well be able to re-kindle those disenfranchised fans.
Or maybe not. Those two movies will be released in 2025 and 2026, and may very well be too little, too late.
It’s the very beginning of 2023, and 2025 and 2026 are very far away. Will Marvel be able to hold the interest of its biggest fans until then?
According to this recent IGN poll, it seems doubtful.
That does not bode well for Marvel Studios or Disney.
Sr. Editor / Sr. Writer
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Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics.
Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics. He graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. He is an avid fan of sports, video games, politics and debate.
Class of 2010 University of Arizona. BEAR DOWN.
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