There was a time when a Marvel movie would not only draw in fans but also dominate the box office. However, in recent years, coinciding with the onset of “Phase 4” featuring TV shows, the fervour has somewhat cooled. Which is a shame, because the latest release, The Marvels, is actually a fun superhero film that will probably have you leaving the cinema with a smile on your face.
The film’s modest box office haul of only US$187mil (RM874mil), speculated to be less than its production cost, has been attributed to various factors, including contentious social media chatter surrounding its release. Some people argued that the underperformance is due to a female-led cast, and on top that, only one white actress. An X (formerly Twitter) user bluntly stated, “Go woke, go broke” after the movie’s disappointing opening weekend. A video blogger called the Marvel Cinematic Universe the “M-She-U” and said the movie was “AWFUL” (in all caps, no less). Conservative American pundit Ben Shapiro previously declared the female-led Captain Marvel movie in 2019 as "virtue signalling", yet still took the time to watch some of the sequel so that he could call The Marvels "more woke garbage".