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Charted: Marvel’s Box Office Rise (and Fall?)

Charting marvel box office returns

Charted: Marvel’s Box Office Rise (and Fall?)

Disney’s investment in Marvel Entertainment has earned it tens of billions of dollars, but the latest Marvel box office performances are starting to prove worrying.

On November 10, The Marvels released to movie theaters as the 33rd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). After one weekend, it had earned just $46 million domestically, making it the lowest-ever debut for an MCU movie.

This chart shows the rise and fall of Marvel box office earnings using data tracked by The Numbers as of November 12.

Marvel Box Office Earnings (2008‒2023)

The MCU was officially kickstarted with the release of Iron Man in 2008, a well-reviewed hit that earned $585 million worldwide at the box office.

Over the next few years, Marvel has released multiple movies in the same universe, building up characters and stories in “phases” and capitalizing with crossover releases. Phase 1 ended with 2012’s The Avengers—The first Marvel movie to earn more than $1 billion.

Here are Marvel’s movie releases in order of recency, as well as their estimated production budgets, box office hauls, and percentage of positive reviews:

Release Date Film Production Budget Opening Weekend
Box Office
Review Score
(Rotten Tomatoes)
Nov. 10, 2023 The Marvels $275M $46M TBD 61
May 05, 2023 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 $250M $118M $845M 82
Feb. 17, 2023 Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania $200M $106M $464M 46
Nov. 11, 2022 Black Panther: Wakanda Forever $250M $181M $854M 83
Jul. 08, 2022 Thor: Love and Thunder $250M $144M $761M 63
May 06, 2022 Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness $200M $187M $952M 73
Dec. 17, 2021 Spider-Man: No Way Home $200M $260M $1,908M 93
Nov. 05, 2021 Eternals $200M $71M $402M 47
Sep. 03, 2021 Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings $150M $75M $432M 92
Jul. 09, 2021 Black Widow $200M $80M $380M 79
Jul. 02, 2019 Spider-Man: Far From Home $160M $93M $1,132M 90
Apr. 26, 2019 Avengers: Endgame $400M $357M $2,789M 94
Mar. 08, 2019 Captain Marvel $175M $153M $1,130M 79
Jul. 06, 2018 Ant-Man and the Wasp $130M $76M $623M 87
Apr. 27, 2018 Avengers: Infinity War $300M $258M $2,048M 85
Feb. 16, 2018 Black Panther $200M $202M $1,336M 96
Nov. 03, 2017 Thor: Ragnarok $180M $123M $850M 93
Jul. 07, 2017 Spider-Man: Homecoming $175M $117M $878M 92
May 05, 2017 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 $200M $147M $869M 85
Nov. 04, 2016 Doctor Strange $165M $85M $676M 89
May 06, 2016 Captain America: Civil War $250M $179M $1,152M 91
Jul. 17, 2015 Ant-Man $130M $57M $519M 83
May 01, 2015 Avengers: Age of Ultron $365M $191M $1,395M 76
Aug. 01, 2014 Guardians of the Galaxy $170M $94M $771M 92
Apr. 04, 2014 Captain America: The Winter Soldier $170M $95M $714M 90
Nov. 08, 2013 Thor: The Dark World $150M $86M $645M 67
May 03, 2013 Iron Man 3 $200M $174M $1,215M 79
May 04, 2012 The Avengers $225M $207M $1,515M 91
Jul. 22, 2011 Captain America: The First Avenger $140M $65M $371M 80
May 06, 2011 Thor $150M $66M $449M 77
May 07, 2010 Iron Man 2 $170M $128M $621M 72
Jun. 13, 2008 The Incredible Hulk $138M $55M $266M 67
May 02, 2008 Iron Man $186M $102M $585M 94
Median $193M $118M $808M 83

Throughout the years, Marvel’s movie releases garnered greater box office draws and critical praise, culminating in Avengers: Endgame earning $2.79 billion at the box office and becoming one of the highest grossing movies of all time.

But subsequent releases have been hampered, first by the COVID-19 pandemic and then by a mix of poor reviews, scaled-back marketing campaigns, and oversaturation. While the first three phases of the MCU were limited only to Marvel’s feature film releases, Phase Four (2021‒2022) included eight television shows released on Disney+.

The Marvels, the sequel to the billion-dollar-grossing Captain Marvel and the Disney+ show Ms. Marvel, is the third movie in Phase Five. The phase was planned to span five movies and seven television shows, but Marvel’s recent underperformance and production delays from labor strikes in Hollywood are already causing Disney to re-evaluate its release plans.

Will Marvel be able to climb back into pole position at the global box office?

The post Charted: Marvel’s Box Office Rise (and Fall?) appeared first on Visual Capitalist.

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