Known for his spine-chilling tales and masterful storytelling, Stephen King recently made headlines with his candid take on the underwhelming box office performance of Marvel’s latest movie, ‘The Marvels.’
Stephen King isn’t exactly donning a Captain America shield or sporting Iron Man’s suit in his free time. He openly admits to not being a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), but that didn’t stop him from addressing what he sees as an unsettling trend among fans.
“I don’t go to MCU movies, don’t care for them, but I find this barely masked gloating over the low box office for ‘The Marvels’ very unpleasant,” King tweeted to his 7.1 million followers. “Why gloat over failure?” he questioned.
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What irked King even more was what he perceived as a dose of “adolescent fanboy hate.” In a separate post, he speculated, “Some of the rejection of ‘The Marvels’ may be adolescent fanboy hate. You know, ‘Yuck! GIRLS!'” The movie, centred around three female superheroes and directed by a woman, seemed to draw the ire of a subset of the Marvel fanbase.
Brie Larson, who plays Captain Marvel in the film, has faced her fair share of online toxicity. The actress has been a target of trolls since her casting was announced, and her standalone movie, released in 2019, fell victim to review bombing by misogynistic fans. Despite the challenges, Larson remains resilient. Samuel L. Jackson, her co-star in the Marvel universe, emphasized her strength, saying, “She’s not going to let any of that stuff destroy her.”
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Yet, the fate of ‘The Marvels’ raises broader questions about the MCU’s trajectory. The movie’s disappointing box office performance is noteworthy, considering it follows another Marvel film, ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,’ which also failed to meet expectations earlier in the year. Even with a reported budget of $225 million, ‘The Marvels’ stumbled out of the gate, earning a mere $46 million for its opening weekend in the US, the lowest ever for the MCU.
Marvel’s turbulent year has led some to ponder the existence of ‘superhero fatigue’ among audiences. Disney CEO Bob Iger suggested that the rush to produce an abundance of Marvel content may have negatively impacted quality. In 2024, Marvel plans to take a breather, releasing just one film, ‘Deadpool 3.’
The shadow of a recently concluded SAG-AFTRA strike looms over ‘The Marvels,’ as the stars were unable to promote the film traditionally. Despite positive reviews from critics, the audience score, as measured by CinemaScore, matched that of other underperforming MCU films.