After enjoying an incessant success of around 30-plus movies that earned $30 billion, it seems Marvel Studios is experiencing some unforeseen turmoil. Marvel has been in the headlines recently for some unfavorable reasons. Here’s a breakdown of everything Marvel Studios is going through.
An Underwhelming Box Office Prediction of The Marvels
MCU movies’ box office performance is no joke. These movies collect billionS of dollars worldwide, and we expect superhero movies to gross at least half a billion dollars on average. Now take that number and put it next to the estimated box office collection of The Marvels which is coming out on November 10. Before its trailer release, the film was predicted to open at $75-80 million. But it is now reported that it will only be able to collect $60-65 million in its opening week.
This is by far the lowest box office prediction of a Marvel movie. What’s equally astounding is when you compare this with the first movie which came out in 2019 earning $1.13 billion. Back when the ‘superhero fatigue’ wasn’t there and Marvel movies were in their prime, a billion-dollar business for one movie wasn’t uncommon for Marvel. But with less-impressive projects like Eternals, the Marvel box office momentum has diminished.
An Alarmingly Poor Quality of VFX
Eye-catching visual graphics have always been a hallmark of the MCU. Fans LOVE the painstakingly epic quality of effects used in the Marvel movies. However, a few recent projects are noticeably poorer than usual when it comes to quality.
Variety reports a CGI issue with the Ant-man and the Wasp: Quantumania according to a spectator:
There were at least 10 scenes where the visual effects had been added at the last minute and were out of focus.
Quantumania isn’t the only project to go through this issue. Disney+ series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law also has some noticeable VFX issues. Workers on the projects reveal that the reason these issues arise is the “half-baked scripts”. This makes sense considering how the creators add last-minute changes to storylines.
VFX Artists Unionization
These VFX troubles are not only disturbing for the fans but are equally problematic for the VFX workers. After multiple statements came forward regarding Marvel studios making VFX artists work overtime, the artists stepped forward against this pattern. As such, the workers all decided to unionize in September 2023 for the first time. CNET revealed many statements given by these workers where they expressed the high pressure and extremely unfavorable conditions for VFX artists to work.
I have worked on several projects for Marvel and other tentpole films. For many years, I did work long hours, mostly unpaid. No longer. At no time do I work for free, nor will I work an all-nighter for a perceived emergency.
The main reason for such unusual circumstances is the massive number of projects. Marvel has its hands spread everywhere from streaming shows to movies. It seems like there’s a bulk of underdeveloped scripts. It also seems like the production is so overwhelmed with content that it is rushing everything out, even if that means utter destruction of the quality. This also means tiring the artists to accomplish something impossible in short time.
The Bumpy Production of Blade
Ever since its announcement, Blade has gone through a bumpy production ride. We also recently learned that this ride isn’t going to get smooth anytime soon. The story about a vampire hunter has reportedly gone through five writers and two directors. This is also the year of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. It is currently targeting to release in 2025, two years later than its original release announcement.
Phase 4 In Trouble
Hollywood is also witnessing another celebrity’s legal troubles. This time it is the guy who happens to be the focal point of Marvel’s Phase 4, Jonathan Majors. His domestic abuse trial begins on November 29 and this case has made it difficult to keep going forward with him. Marvel selected Majors to portray the central villain in the MCU known as Kang the Conqueror. That puts Marvel on thin ice as it will now have to look for an alternative actor or it will also have to rearrange storylines that will curate the ultimate big picture.
Is there a way out?
To combat all these crises, there are a few strategies Marvel can turn to. According to reports, Marvel is contemplating bringing the previous Avengers back. However, that’s a hard catch knowing Robert Downey Jr.’s big salary demands and Marvel’s drowning boat. Another plausible solution to improve the company conditions is hiring more writers and compensating the existing ones. As for the concerning issue of the character ‘Kang’, there are rumors of Majors’ replacement or an introduction of a new villain like the Fantastic Four‘s Dr. Doom.
Amid all these crises, let’s not forget about the end of the WGA strike which will surely benefit new projects like Blade. It also means that writers can now get back to work and save the future of this universe. Long story short, there may be some light at the end of the tunnel after all.
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