If there was one thing Marvel Studios’ releases were reliable on, it was just how frontloaded most of their projects are. Commonly, the films post-COVID have dropped at least around 55% at the box office but it started to get harsher and harsher as time went on. Even Spider-Man: No Way Home dropped around 68% after a massive opening. No matter if a B or A CinemaScore, it seemed like most of these projects are facing around 65% drops at least.
Finally, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has broken that very course with an impressive hold over its second weekend. The film has pulled in $60.5M in its second weekend, which marks its best second-weekend hold since the pandemic started at 49%. While earlier most suspected around 55%, this marks the film only $5M off from the previous entry and could actually mark a much stronger run moving forward. It’s even $1.7M off from Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which had Marvel Studios’ best post-covid opening so far.
What makes this so significant is that it’s even lower than Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings‘ 54% drop, which was the last before the films started dropping more and more. It also marks a turning point from Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’s drop at around 70% earlier this year; a film that seemingly ran out of steam after a record-breaking opening for the trilogy. In a way, it further highlights that this is less a superhero fatigue but rather a more selective audience due to quick accessibility via streaming.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever had a similar A CinemaScore to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 but still faced a 62.9% drop. The film still managed to make around $854M at the box office after a powerful $181M opening weekend. Guardians 3 had a weaker softer opening but is set to leg out, which is far more important for Marvel Studios at the moment. If they faced Quantumania developments moving forward, we could discuss fatigue being a key factor at play.
While some will point to this being the last hurrah by James Gunn and a much better showcase of DC Studios’ future, it also marks a turning point for Marvel moving forward. If The Marvels doesn’t capitalize on this development and they can continue back to building A CinemaScores with their offerings, they may see a much more positive development once again. While it’s hard to say where the film will land, it already passed $528M worldwide and has a chance of breaking the $900M mark. The power of its word-of-mouth will push it forward.
Source: Deadline, Twitter, BoxOffice Pro