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Madame Web's Box Office Has One Thing In Common With Another Marvel Movie Disaster

Superhero movies have broken some amazing box office records over the years. The same could be said for Sony's recent "Madame Web," except it's breaking all of the wrong records. The film, starring Dakota Johnson as Cassie Webb, opened domestically with just $17.6 million in its first weekend (and $26.2 million over the six-day holiday period). This makes it the lowest-performing opening weekend for any of Sony's Marvel movies. To make matters even worse, "Madame Web" now shares an honor with one of the worst superhero movies of the modern era — 2015's "Fant4stic."

"Madame Web" failed to claim the number one spot at the box office for its opening weekend. Instead, that distinction went to the Bob Marley biopic, "One Love," which brought in $28.6 million that same weekend (and $52 million through the holiday). It's the first time a Marvel superhero movie has failed to open at number one since "Fant4stic" lost the top spot to the second weekend of "Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation." Yes, even "Morbius" managed to come out on top during its first weekend. 

It sadly wasn't webbin' time for Madame Web

Even with a relatively modest budget of $80 million, "Madame Web" is looking to bomb big time at the box office. It follows a concerning trend with recent superhero movies underperforming. "The Marvels," which is explicitly set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, grossed far less money than its predecessors. DC Films had an even worse 2023, with "Shazam! Fury of the Gods," "The Flash," "Blue Beetle," and "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom" bringing about a disappointing end to the old reign of the DC Universe. 

A general sense of superhero fatigue isn't helping "Madame Web," which is further exacerbated by extremely negative reviews. The film currently sits at a 13% rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. This puts it in a similar company to 2015's "Fant4stic," which sits at 9% on the same platform. It seems audiences are simply getting tired of the same old stories, and if it's downright terrible, it's easy for viewers to ignore it entirely.

It's hard to paint "Madame Web" as anything other than a colossal failure. It's bad enough on its own but also representative of where the superhero genre is at this point. As one industry insider told The Hollywood Reporter regarding "Madame Web," "We are in transition when it comes to superhero movies. I don't know how big that transition is or what the other side looks like." Whatever's on the other side, it's a safe bet Cassie Webb isn't going to be a part of it, at least for a while.