After the release of James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, the superhero fatigue debate is once again storming over the internet. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 represents the culmination of the trilogy, serving as a swan song for the original Guardians. While the Marvel Cinematic Universe says farewell to its quirkiest team, the opening weekend box office numbers have arguments starting everywhere.
With Variety reporting that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 earned $114 million at the domestic box office this weekend — down from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2‘s $146 million domestic take — debate about superhero fatigue is erupting. Check out some of the tweets below:
One side of the debate argues that the seemingly large take of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 proves that recent trends of diminished returns for superhero movies are the result of poorly-made movies causing predictable flops. Others see the numbers as a sign that even Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is failing, which could mark the end of an era for superheroes.
Is Superhero Fatigue Real?
After Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania‘s box office take turned it into the MCU’s lowest-grossing sequel, worries about the state of the MCU appear to be well-founded. To make matters worse, the MCU isn’t alone either. The DC Universe also took a massive hit with the failure of Shazam! Fury of the Gods which earned a mere $133.4 million worldwide. With superhero movies failing left and right, fatigue appears to have already arrived, as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 appears to prove.
Not everything is as it appears. While Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is down, compared to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, there is still time for it to improve upon its predecessor and boost its performance. While it launched a month out from The Super Mario Bros. Movie, the success of Nintendo’s adaptation has had a massive impact on theaters and is still providing decent competition.
Right now, the DCU is in the middle of a transition under the direction of Gunn and Peter Safran. With that in mind, downturns in the DCU are to be expected as the wait continues for the coming reset. On the MCU side, Marvel Studios is still building its Multiverse Saga and will need some time to develop its new cast of characters. The success of Invincible and The Boys indicate that audience interest is still there for superheroes. The numbers for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 are undeniably disappointing for Marvel, but it doesn’t necessarily need to spell the end of the superhero era.
Source: Various (see above), Variety