Nolte: Disney’s ‘The Marvels’ Crash-Dives with $6.5M Thursday

The Disney Grooming Syndicate’s worst fears appear to be coming true, with the $275 million The Marvels already dying at the box office.

Thursday night previews don’t always tell the whole story. Still, they tell enough of the story that a $6.5 million opening for a Marvel movie, especially one that cost $275 million to produce, is newsworthy:

Marvel Studios‘ sequel, The Marvels, has clocked around $6.5M in Thursday night previews we hear from sources. Disney will be reporting their official figure this morning and we’ll update you then. Previews began at 3PM.

The fear out there by many is that this $200M budgeted sequel to 2019’s Captain Marvel –which stands as the highest grossing female superhero movie of all-time–could clock the lowest start ever stateside for a Marvel Studios movie; lower than The Incredible Hulk (which was a Universal release before Disney absorbed the MCU) which had a $55.4M start. While tracking took its projections down from $80M to $60M for The Marvels, there is a concern out there that The Marvels could see a $40M+ start.

Tracking for The Marvels at BoxOffice Pro has been sinking for weeks. As of Wednesday, the worst case was a $35 million opening. The best case was a $49 million opening. Last month, The Marvels was looking at a worse case of $50 million and a best case of $75 million.

Naturally, the Disney suck-ups at Deadline blame the actors’ strike, even though plenty of movies made big bucks during the strike. Heaven forbid the entertainment media ever show the moral courage to tell the truth, which is that The Marvels looks like two hours of unappealing, sexless, humorless women asking to speak with the manager. Captain Marvel is a dull superheroine because 1) Brie Larson has no charisma, and 2) Captain Marvel can do anything. Her powers are never defined. She has no weaknesses. Whatever she needs to do, she can do, and that’s tedious.

The other problem is that the Marvel brand has spent the last four years leaking the goodwill of its fanbase by injecting its post-Endgame features and streaming series with identity politics. Character no longer matters. It’s all about who’s gay, black, Muslim, whatever… This is not only a violation of human nature; it’s truly awful storytelling if, for no other reason, it’s predictable.

Have you ever seen The Blob? Not the original 1958 version, which stinks, but Chuck Russell’s 1988 remake starring Kevin Dillon and Shawnee Smith? It’s a great, great horror movie, and ***SPOILER ALERT***, one of my all-time favorite twists in all movies, arrives when Jon Seneca arrives on the scene as Dr. Christopher Meddows. Casting Seneca was pure brilliance — a grandfatherly, authoritative, reassuring black man. Think Morgan Freeman. Because of who he is and how we’ve been conditioned (even in 1988) to judge such men, it’s truly a shock when he turns out to be the arch-villain.

That’s how you tell a great story.

That’s how you keep your audience on its toes.

Instead of telegraphing who’s good and evil based on skin color or whatever, you telegraph nothing and keep them guessing.

Here are some more interesting numbers…

Women are not all that interested in The Marvels, and because parents know Disney is now a grooming syndicate, they didn’t bother taking their kids:

[K]ids and parents combined only repped 9% of last night’s audience. The Marvels skewed guys at 63% with men over 25 the biggest turnout at 45% and women over 25 at 24%. That latter demo gave the best recommendation grades of any demo at 61%.

Hopefully, The Marvels will bomb, and then later this month, Disney’s Wish will bomb, and then Disney will go out of business, and Hamas will be ash, and Trump will win re-election, and I’ll invent a time machine and go back to 1974 and meet Angie Dickinson, and she’ll like Blu-rays.

John Nolte’s debut novel Borrowed Time (Bombardier Books) is available today. You can read an exclusive excerpt here and a review of the novel here.  


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