5 MCU and DCU Movies That Failed Miserably at Box Office in 2023

Revealing box office missteps in the MCU and DCU.

5 MCU and DCU Movies That Failed Miserably at Box Office in 2023


  • Both MCU and DCU faced major setbacks at the box office in 2023.
  • The MCU recorded an underwhelming start of phase 5 with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
  • Constant box office failures of the MCU and DC films raised the need for more compelling narratives and innovative filmmaking.
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Both MCU and DC Universe stand as globally beloved franchises. Fans love to follow up with the stories of superheroes saving the world from threats like Thanos and Darkseid. Renowned for their commercial and critical triumphs, these cinematic universes have consistently raked in billions at the box office. However, despite their affiliation with these iconic franchises, 2023 has proven to be a challenging year for both Marvel and DC films, witnessing unforeseen obstacles that have led to unexpected setbacks for what were expected to be blockbuster movies.

Marvel and DCU

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MCU And DCU Movies That Failed at the Box Office

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

Released under phase 5 of the MCU, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania was expected to be a major hit, considering it was set to introduce Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror. However, the movie met with disappointing box office reception, making $476 million worldwide. Its failure at the box office can be attributed to several factors, including superhero fatigue and negative word of mouth.

What Went Wrong With Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)

Quantumania faced negative reception from both audiences and critics for its poor script, average CGI, and other factors in the film. It is also believed that Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man threequel suffered due to the requirement of keeping up with the wide range of shows and movies that were considered to overwhelm fans.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods

Following Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, the next superhero movie to hit theaters was Zachary Levi-starrer Shazam! Fury of the Gods. The sequel to the 2019 DC film Shazam! also encountered a disheartening trajectory at the box office. Despite the anticipation surrounding the movie, it opened to a lukewarm reception with a debut of only $30 million and recorded a sharp decline later at the box office.

A still from Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023).
Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023)

Fury of the Gods was even defined as inferior to its predecessor. The sequel managed to pull in just $57 million domestically and made $133.8 million worldwide against an estimated budget of $110–125 million. The box office bomb did not bode well for DC films that were scheduled to be released after it.


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The Flash

A still from The Flash (2023)
The Flash (2023)

The Flash was a long-anticipated movie among DC fans, specifically as it was the first solo movie featuring the iconic character of Scarlett Speedster. Not just that, the movie also marked the return of the fan-favorite Michael Keaton as Batman. Despite the controversies surrounding the movie star Ezra Miller, the pre-release buzz for the film suggested it would be the hit DC has been waiting for. However, its box office performance fell short, making $270 million worldwide. The unexpected performance of the film landed it among the DC films that faced challenges at the box office in 2023.

Blue Beetle

DC’s attempt to launch a new superhero with Blue Beetle also proved unsuccessful, as the movie went on to be a box office bomb, grossing only $129 million on an estimated budget of $104 million. Starring the Cobra Kai fame Xolo Maridueña, Blue Beetle was positioned as a potential contender to make it big commercially.

Blue Beetle
Blue Beetle (2023)

It was also received pretty well by critics and audiences, with many calling it “an amiable, sincere, and fitfully enjoyable piece in the superhero genre.” James Gunn even declared that Maridueña’s DC hero would be the first DCU character. While the film failed to make it big at the box office, the DC head has assured fans that they will get to see Maridueña as Blue Beetle in the DCU as well.

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The Marvels

Expectations were high for Brie Larson’s return as Captain Marvel, considering her MCU debut in 2019 soared to a remarkable $1.1 billion during its run. The movie follows Carol Danvers alongside Iman Vellani’s Ms. Marvel and Teyonah Parris’ Monica Rambeau as they come together against a new threat to the universe.

A still from The Marvels
The Marvels (2023)

The Marvels, however, went on to join movies like Ant-Man 3, The Flash, Blue Beetle, and others that suffered with profitability amid a landscape potentially characterized by superhero fatigue. The movie, unexpectedly, recorded the lowest-grossing entry in the MCU, grossing $202 million on an estimated budget of $273.8 million.

The failure of these movies at the box office highlights the unpredictable nature of cinematic success, even within established franchises like MCU and DCU as they fail to grapple with shifting audience preferences.

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Written by Laxmi Rajput

Articles Published: 2068

Laxmi Rajput is a writer at Fandomwire. She finished her Post Graduation in Broadcast Journalism and worked as a Business News writer for a year. But her interest in entertainment and pop culture compelled her to find a way towards Entertainment Journalism. She has worked across various fields and has 2 years of experience in content writing. She likes reading, music, movies, and traveling. She aspires to become a fiction writer in the future.