This is not the comeback Marvel was hoping for.
On May 5, 2023, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 crashed into theatres worldwide. A lot was riding on this film’s success, as Marvel desperately needs a smash hit. So far, the reception of the movie from fans has been absolutely fantastic. As of today, May 8, 2023, the film sits at an 81% critic rating and a 95% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.
The opening weekend of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 ended up raking in $114 million in the United States, which is a success in its own right. Unfortunately, this number still falls dramatically low by Marvel’s standards, especially for a summer feature.
Despite the Positive Fan Reception, ‘Guardians Vol. 3’ is Disappointing for Marvel
First things first, Guardians Vol. 3 from director James Gunn is by no means a failure. In addition to the incredible audience scores, the film also outperformed the release of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
This is good news in its own way, but it also is impossible not to recognize the downward spiral Marvel has taken monetarily. IndieWire reported on the trend, explaining how Guardians majorly falls short of previous summer season opener movies. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) earned $73 million more than Vol. 3.
In fact, when ranked out of the past nine ‘first of summer’ Marvel movies, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 ranks dead last.
Even Top Performers Cant Stay Afloat
Seeing such a dramatic dip in ticket sales is shocking. It is especially concerning when thinking about how famous the Guardians franchise is. This is the climactic ending of a very popular trio of films, and it still was not able to stand against previous years. It begs the question: are viewers fatigued by superhero movies?
It seems that the unfortunate answer is yes. If even the most popular Marvel Cinematic Universe franchises cannot compete, the future for Marvel looks bleak.