THE MARVELS Suffers Historic Second Weekend Drop At U.S. Box Office As THE HUNGER GAMES Prequel Underwhelms

The odds weren’t in the favour of any movie at the North American box office this weekend.

As we reported yesterday, The Marvels went into its second weekend in theaters facing a massive decline, bringing an end to the notion that the sequel – which drastically underperformed when it opened – might have legs thanks to positive word of mouth. Now, the latest figures point to a 78-79% decline in attendance.

Earning a mere $10.2 million from 4,032 theaters, this was not a heroic second outing for Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, and Photon. In fact, the Captain Marvel follow-up now holds the dubious record for the biggest second-weekend drop in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s 15-year history.

The previous record-holder was Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania with 69.9% (a figure which looks positively healthy in comparison). 

With a total domestic haul of $65 million, it’s clear The Marvels won’t reach $100 million stateside. If we were still in the pandemic, then explaining this away would be easy; as things stand, Disney executives and box office analysts alike are scratching their heads and asking, “What went wrong?” 

Overseas, the MCU blockbuster didn’t fare much better. It grossed just $19.6 million, a 69.2% drop which takes it to roughly $161 million worldwide thanks to a total international haul of $96 million. As of now, we’re expecting a final global total of between $210 million – $240 million.

Not helping matters, of course, was the release of The Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. It too has fallen short of early projections, earning $44 million and $98 million globally during its first weekend. 

Each of the previous movies opened to north of $100 million and with a young cast that arguably holds the same level of popularity as The Hunger Games‘ ensemble (Jennifer Lawrence was not yet a megastar when it opened in 2012), it simply appears interest in the franchise has waned. 

Despite an almost identical opening, the advantage The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes has over The Marvels is it cost quite a bit less to produce ($175 million less, to be precise), meaning it still stands a chance of being a moderate hit for Lionsgate. 

Outside of Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour, nothing in recent months has taken off at the box office. All eyes will soon turn to Wonka and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom to see if they can tempt moviegoers back to theaters, but it’s been a strange year overall. After all, who could have ever guessed that Barbie and The Super Mario Bros. Movie would find such success, with the latest Mission: Impossible movie bombing just a year after Tom Cruise broke records with Top Gun: Maverick?

What did you watch in theaters this weekend? Let us know in the comment sections.