Marvel has been dominating the box office for years, but there’s reason to worry that it could be on the decline. So what’s going on? Is Marvel losing its touch? Or is this just normal variation within a successful franchise?
Marvel movies are in the box office top ten almost every week
In the last decade or so, Marvel movies have been at or near the top of almost every box office chart.
These films are popular with audiences and critics alike, consistently scoring high on Rotten Tomatoes.
In fact, Marvel films have been in the top ten at both U.S. and international box offices for over a decade—the only franchise that has managed this feat for more than five years since 2002 is Harry Potter. And if you look at it from another angle: 9 out of 10 highest-grossing films of all time feature a Marvel character (with Avengers: Endgame being number one on both lists).
All these numbers reflect how much fans love what Marvel does with their characters on screen.
Captain Marvel set a record for women-led films
Captain Marvel was the first female MCU film and marked a change in tone for the franchise as well. But critics were still mixed on it. Some found that it failed to live up to its potential while others felt that it was a good start for future female-led films in the MCU. Either way, no one can deny that this movie has been setting new standards for women-led movies!
But the first Ant-Man movie was a flop
It’s true, Ant-Man was destined for success. So why wasn’t it successful? Maybe it had something to do with its title. Maybe people just didn’t like ants because they’re kind of creepy looking.
So were The Incredible Hulk, Thor: The Dark World, Doctor Strange, and Iron Man 2
Iron Man 2 was considered to be a flop, but it was still the highest-grossing movie of 2010. The Incredible Hulk was also considered to be a flop. Thor: The Dark World earned $644 million worldwide against an estimated $170 million budget—not exactly stellar numbers for an MCU film but far more than any DC movie has ever earned in that timeframe. Doctor Strange made just shy of half its budget back ($678m on $231m) and was deemed by many critics to be “Marvel’s riskiest outing yet” due to its focus on magic rather than science-fiction or superheros.
We don’t know if Marvel is going downhill yet
It’s too early to tell for sure what’s happening with the franchise.
In 2017 and 2018, Marvel movies made $2 billion each year on average – but this number has been dropping since 2015 when it was $3 billion per year. This suggests that there has been some sort of downward trend in terms of box office revenue, which could mean that Marvel films are getting less popular or losing viewers as they age into their sequels.