2023 has been a rollercoaster year for Marvel Studios. Since so many things went out of their control, fans are now concerned about the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With the failure of The Marvels (2023) and Jonathan Majors’ public controversy, Marvel Studios definitely has to come up with a solid plan to tackle these setbacks.
Some rumors claim that Marvel is planning to bring back the original Avengers for a movie in the future. Apart from this, fans are looking forward to 2024’s Deadpool 3, Kraven the Hunter, and Echo miniseries. Here are 5 occasions when Marvel Studios faced a massive setback this year that affected fans’ morale:
1) Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania‘s performance
2023’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania was the third installment in the Ant-Man series, focusing on Scott Lang and Hope van Dyne as they accidentally get transported to the Quantum Realm with their family and face off against Kang the Conqueror.
The film was a massive box office success, grossing roughly $476 million at the global box office, however, it received mixed reviews from critics as well as the fans. It remains one of the biggest disappointments in the MCU as of now.
2) Jonathan Majors controversy
On March 25, 2023, Majors was arrested on assault, strangulation and harassment charges. Majors’ ex-girlfriend, British dancer Grace Jabbari claimed that she “sustained minor injuries to her head and neck and was removed to an area hospital in stable condition,” however, Majors’ representative claimed that the accusation is false.
On December 18, 2023, Majors was found guilty of one count of reckless assault in the 3rd degree and a charge of harassment as a violation. He was also acquitted on another charge of assault and one of aggravated harassment. Naturally, Marvel Studios will be removing Majors from the MCU, but since they set up the entire storyline around his character, Kang the Conquerer, it will be hard for them to recover from it.
3) Secret Invasion received mixed reviews
Secret Invasion (2023) miniseries was based on the 2008 Marvel Comics storyline of the same name, however, it seems like fans weren’t satisfied with its execution. The series, which was the first series in Marvel’s Phase 5, received mixed reviews from critics, criticizing the writing, pacing, and visual effects.
Samuel L. Jackson’s performance as Nick Fury was liked by the fans but his work wasn’t enough to save the series. With a disappointing finale, the series was certainly a setback for Marvel Studios.
4) The WGA and SAG-AFTRA strike
Not only Marvel Studios but many big Hollywood studios were affected by the Writers Guild of America and The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists strike in 2023. Many major projects were halted as many writers and actors revolted against the industry.
Due to this strike, Marvel Studios had to push back nine MCU titles from their announced release dates, including Deadpool 3, Captain America: Brave New World, and the WandaVision spin-off, Agatha.
5) 2023’s The Marvels broke an embarrassing record
The Marvels (2023) is officially the lowest-grossing film in the MCU, grossing roughly $204 million worldwide against a gross production budget of $274 million. The film played a key role in setting up Phase Five of the MCU but unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to save the film from being a financial failure.
It seems like Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, and Iman Vellani’s stardom couldn’t convince the fans to watch the film. The film struggled to fill up the theatres and many were concerned about Larson’s future in the franchise, but the actress hinted that her journey as Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel isn’t ending anytime soon.