Marvel’s Pro-Socialism Flick Facing Historic 2nd Weekend Loss, While Pro-Jesus Film Shatters Expectations
Maybe, just maybe, there is hope for the future of cinema.
As domestic box office returns for this weekend have begun trickling in, two things have become abundantly clear: “Marvel fatigue” is real, and Hollywood is seriously discounting the value of Christian moviegoers.
To the first point, the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s latest flick, “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” released to the masses Feb. 17 to quite a bit of hype and success.
After all, this is the inaugural film of Marvel’s much-ballyhooed “Phase 5,” which will lead into “Phase 6,” which is capped off with a pair of much-anticipated “Avengers” movies slated for 2025 and 2026.
And the initial returns reflected that, as “Quantumania” blew past its predecessor (“Ant-Man and the Wasp”) in terms of opening domestic weekend box office returns. “Quantumania” garnered $105.5 million its opening weekend, per Variety, which easily surpasses the $75 million that “Ant-Man and the Wasp” did. The original Ant-Man film released in 2015 did $58 million its opening weekend, per Deadline.
That was then, this is now. pic.twitter.com/YMrOEe2M5s
— Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania (@AntMan) February 6, 2023
But then something curious happened heading into the second weekend of the latest Marvel movie’s theatrical run: A historic drop-off.
First, the glimmer of good news for Marvel and Disney, Marvel’s parent company: “Quantumania” should still handily win this weekend’s box office totals.
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But that historic drop-off is hard to ignore and sours whatever positive spin you can glean from the previous paragraph.
“Quantumania” is slated to still do $30 million to $32 million in box office returns this weekend, according to Deadline, and while that figure is one that many studios would kill for, it still represents a roughly 70 percent drop from its opening weekend numbers.
According to Variety, only one film in history has ever raked in over $100 million in its opening weekend, only to suffer a 70 percent drop — “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.”
There could be any number of reasons for this stark fall, from tepid reviews to the fact that it’s a poorly kept secret that the movie actually lauds socialism at multiple points during its runtime. (In fact, spoiler alert, a band of “socialist” ants help topple the villain at the movie’s climax.) The movie tries to represent socialism as a hideously misunderstood ideology, instead of the hideous scourge on freedom that it actually is.
To call both the box office returns and overall plot disappointing would be an understatement.
Compare that historic level of disappointment with the other two films rounding out the top three box office returns this weekend, both of which debuted in theaters Friday.
In second place, the bizarre, dark humor/horror film “Cocaine Bear” is projected to net $21.1 million, a strong number for a film that isn’t part of a grand cinematic universe or franchise. Original projections for the movie’s opening weekend box office were in the “high teens,” according to Deadline.
But the real story of this weekend’s box office totals has to do with the pro-Christian movie, “Jesus Revolution.”
That film, which chronicles the great spiritual revival of the U.S. in the 1970s, is estimated to net $14.5 million. Its projected opening weekend box office was in the “high single digits,” according to Deadline.
JESUS REVOLUTION was A++ Amazing date night film tonight with my wife. Talented cast, fantastic true story, written well, and cinematic. For any ‘The Chosen’ haters, it’s ok to see this one 😉 #JesusRevolution pic.twitter.com/19iJS7UJfu
— Corban Cooper (@corbancooper) February 25, 2023
Now, to be fair, “Quantumania” is entering its second weekend, compared to the opening weekends of “Cocaine Bear” and “Jesus Revolution.” But that fact alone doesn’t account for the results, especially considering the significantly larger budget of “Quantumania” (roughly $200 million according to ScreenRant).
Compare that exorbitant figure with the much more relatively modest budgets of “Cocaine Bear” (budget in the low $30 millions) and “Jesus Revolution” (budget just under $15 million.) And keep in mind, the above figures don’t account for marketing budgets, where Marvel has historically spent lavish amounts of money.
Unfortunately for Marvel and Disney, “Quantumania” and its historic second-weekend drop only gives credence to a recent January poll, in which fans and consumers overwhelmingly voted “Yes,” to a question about whether the Marvel Cinematic Universe has peaked.
One genre of film that clearly hasn’t peaked?
Christian films of faith. And this weekend’s box office returns make that abundantly clear.
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