The Marvels | Disney boss puts box office disappointment down to Covid filming

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Bob Iger has been chatting about the underwhelming box office of Marvel’s The Marvels – and has a thought or two.


Wherever you stand on the latest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that’d be The Marvels, there’s little arguing with the fact that in box office terms, it’s not really delivered. The film won’t make a loss, given the Marvel coating for it, but its current takings of $187m worldwide at the time of writing suggest a commercial lowpoint for the cinematic saga.

Reviews – once you cut through the usual blah – have been fairly decent for the movie though. But that’s not stopped a fair amount of analysis as to what’s going awry. Here’s our contribution to that.

Disney boss Bob Iger has been quizzed about what he thinks went wrong with the film at an event that took place in New York this week. And he’s argued that The Marvels suffered from a lack of direct supervision.

The Marvels was shot during Covid”, Iger said, “and there wasn’t enough supervision on set” from executives. It’s certainly a take, but again, the reviews for the film have hardly been on the hostile side. They certainly felt like they were an uptick on Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania, for instance.

Wrapped into the conversation, Iger also argued that “we need to get more realistic” about just what a hit movie looks like in the age of streaming”. He’s doubled on the fact that the quantity was taking precedence too, arguing that it was a “definite mistake” to up the amount of stuff Disney was making, which presumably ties into his swipe at his predecessor too.

All of this took place at a Dealbook event taking place in New York, and The Verge has a few words on what Iger was saying here.

There’s been lots of words from Iger on what feels has gone wrong and what needs fixing over the last week or so. Now, the onus is on action going forward. Iger’s contract runs until 2026, and Marvel only has one film in 2024. That suggests 2025 might be the year to judge how things are really going.

The Marvels is – despite the naysayers – still in cinemas now.

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