Marvel has a problem. People just…. don’t care anymore. The most recent films have been flops compared to the older films. They also aren’t buying merch. It begs the question, why? One enthusiast thinks he knows the answer: Woke Marvel has lost its fan base.
Matt McGloin of Cosmic Book News knows a thing or two about Marvel, and his hot take is that Kevin Feige’s woke agenda has ruined the franchise. He states, “Kevin Feige’s woke Marvel approach is again proven to be a failure, this time confirmed by merchandise sales, which also includes Lucasfilm and Star Wars.” He’s not wrong about merchandise sales. Though numbers seemed up during the investor call, it’s only because Parks and Experiences carried the category. Consumer Products is lumped in with it, but if you separate out the numbers, Parks were up 70%. Consumer Products only 2%.
McGloin points out that if people aren’t buying the merchandise, it’s a pretty clear sign that people don’t like the product. He goes on to say that “[it’s been] reported that Marvel has been failing to deliver for Disney Plus, as a report from Business Insider, which followed Disney’s stock dropping significantly, stated that the Marvel shows on Disney Plus are only catering to existing fans and are not bringing in any new subscribers. More of the same comes from Wall Street analysts who have stated they are skeptical of the Disney Plus streaming service and its Marvel and Star Wars brands’ ability to bring in new subscribers.”
The classic characters apparently still sell well, but the report states that Marvel has stipulated that retailers push at least 50% of the floundering Phase 4 stuff in addition to what actually sells. It’s a curious business decision to insist on retailers to push merch that doesn’t sell over merch that does. McGloin speculates it’s because they favor agenda over success.
What do you think? Is McGloin onto something or way off base? Let us know in the comments.