In the ever-twisting saga of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), a new chapter unfolds, but not on the silver screen. Renowned author Stephen King, a titan in the world of literature with a knack for sniffing out the extraordinary in the ordinary, has waded into the choppy waters of movie critique. His target?
The odd phenomenon of audiences reveling in the financial misfortunes of ‘The Marvels,’ the latest addition to the MCU, which is now floundering with the weakest opening in 15 years. But why does King, a self-proclaimed non-fan of MCU movies, care?
The intrigue deepened as Stephen King, a man who doesn’t mince words, took to Twitter to express his displeasure. In a world where box office numbers are dissected like high-stakes sports scores, his comments offer a refreshing perspective. But what exactly did he say, and why should we care?
Stephen King, in a recent Twitter outburst, stated: “I don’t go to MCU movies, don’t care for them, but I find this barely masked gloating over the low box office for THE MARVELS very unpleasant. Why gloat over failure?” This comment, coming from a non-enthusiast of the genre, raises significant questions about our collective attitude toward entertainment and success.
Stephen King’s Decree and the Marvel Dilemma
King’s statement, though brief, packs a punch. In the world of pop culture, where the success and failure of movies are often celebrated or mourned with equal fervor, his perspective is a deviation from the norm.
It’s not just about ‘The Marvels’ or its underwhelming $47 million domestic and $63 million international opening weekend. It’s about a broader trend of taking pleasure in others’ misfortunes, particularly in an industry as volatile as filmmaking.
The MCU, a juggernaut since its inception in 2008, has seen its fair share of ups and downs. The recent dip, evidenced by the lukewarm reception of ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ and now ‘The Marvels,’ signals a change in audience sentiment. But is this shift a natural ebb and flow, or is there something more at play?
Consider the scores: ‘The Marvels’ languishes at 63% on Rotten Tomatoes, a stark contrast to the stellar 82% of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’. These numbers aren’t just digits. They’re reflective of audience and critical reception, which begs the question: Are we seeing a genuine critique of content, or is there an undercurrent of bias, especially considering ‘The Marvels’ features a diverse lead cast, including women of color?
The Female Lead Factor and Actors’ Strike Impact
Significantly, ‘The Marvels’ stands out for being a female-driven movie with three female leads, a rarity in superhero franchises dominated by male protagonists. This aspect brings a unique context to the film’s performance and the audience’s reception.
Moreover, the recent actors’ strike and the lack of promotions also add another layer to this complex scenario.
The strike, highlighting longstanding issues within the industry, including pay disparities and working conditions, may have indirectly affected the film’s production and promotion, thus influencing its public perception and success.
Are the box office numbers reflective of a market still adjusting to female-led superhero movies, or do they hint at a deeper, more systemic issue within the industry and its audience, compounded by the recent labor disputes? Maybe it is just the superhero fatigue.
Anyway, Stephen King, while not an MCU aficionado, raises important questions about our collective psyche. As fans, critics, and casual viewers, it’s worth pondering over these questions. After all, isn’t the true power of movies to make us think, feel, and question?
Are we, as an audience, evolving in our tastes, or is there an element of backlash against diversity in big-budget films?