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Disney Executive Blames The Marvels' Disastrous Box Office Run On Sexist Fans

There are several theories regarding why "The Marvels" bombed at the box office. Some commentators equate it to superhero fatigue, arguing that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is too focused on quantity over quality. Meanwhile, some argue that the movie isn't essential viewing in the wider franchise pantheon, while others believe the SAG-AFTRA strike played a part. That said, one unnamed Disney executive cites toxic fans with anti-feminist political stances for the film's poor box office showing.

While speaking to Puck, the executive noted that "The Marvels'" naysayers accused the film of being low quality, but that's a cover-up for their actual views. "They won't say they find female empowerment distasteful in The Marvels or Star Wars [the latest trilogy starring Daisy Ridley], but they will say they don't like those movies because they are 'bad,'" they said. "So 'make better movies' becomes code for 'make movies that conform to regressive gender stereotypes or put men front and center in the narrative.'"

This is one way to look at the film as underperforming, and the movie certainly did inflame the ire of some anti-woke online trolls. However, some high-ranking executives within the Disney camp hold different opinions regarding the negative response to the blockbuster.

Bob Iger says The Marvels needed more oversight

"The Marvels" didn't light up the box office, with its $47 million opening weekend being a record low for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While speaking at the New York Times' DealBook Summit (via CNBC), Disney CEO Bob Iger gave a couple of reasons for why he thinks the film didn't live up to the franchise's lofty expectations, noting that it suffered from a lack of oversight while it was in production.

"The Marvels was shot during COVID," Iger said. "There wasn't as much supervision on the set, so to speak, where we have executives [that are] really looking over what's being done day after day after day."

Iger added that "The Marvels'" box office performance was a wake-up call for the studio. It's one of the few MCU movies not to gross over $1 billion, having only raked in just over $199 million. As such, Iger believes that the studio needs to have more realistic expectations and not press ahead with developing projects, particularly sequels, for the sake of putting out regular content. Despite the setbacks, "The Marvels" still boasts an 83% fan score on Rotten Tomatoes, suggesting that many people enjoyed the superteam caper.