“The Marvels” Seeks a Second Chance at Glory on Disney+

When it originally released in theaters, "The Marvels" had a rocky start as the lowest-grossing box-office debut in MCU history. However, struggles at the box-office didn't keep critics and audiences from enjoying the film.

“The Marvels” Seeks a Second Chance at Glory on Disney+
The film unites three connected heroes from the MCU: Monica Rambeau (left), Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel (center) and Kamala Khan aka Ms. Marvel (right). Photo source: Marvel Studios

Exciting news for fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) — "The Marvels" (2023) is coming to streaming soon. The star-studded superhero flick will land exclusively on Disney+ on Feb. 7, marking a new chapter for a film that faced challenges at the box office.

“The Marvels” is the highly anticipated follow-up to several popular installments in the MCU. Perhaps most pertinent is the miniseries "Ms. Marvel" (2022), which starred Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan, an unapologetically Muslim 16-year-old girl who admires Captain Marvel and struggles to fit in until she gains powers of her own. “The Marvels” also ties heavily to "Captain Marvel" (2019), which gained critical attention as the first MCU entry to have a focal female protagonist. In addition to featuring Kamala and the eponymous Captain Marvel aka Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), “The Marvels” also focuses on Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), Captain Marvel’s adoptive niece (of sorts) who gained superpowers over the course of "WandaVision" (2021). 

Picking up where "Ms. Marvel" left off, “The Marvels” explores complex themes beyond the battle for good and evil to focus on issues like interplanetary community and sisterhood. The film connects Kamala, Carol and Monica through a bangle that matches the one that gave Kamala her powers. Through a series of mysterious events, the bangles cause the trio of leads to risk swapping places whenever they use their powers. Marshaled together by fate, the trio must save the galaxy from an intergalactic threat.

When it originally released in theaters, "The Marvels" had a rocky start as the lowest-grossing box-office debut in MCU history. The film earned approximately $84.5 million domestically and $121.6 million internationally, totaling $206 million. While these numbers might be commendable for other films in the post-pandemic era, it fell short for this expensive MCU tentpole, which had a combined marketing and production budget of $320 million according to Variety.

The reasons behind the film's lackluster performance have been attributed to various factors, from the SAG-AFTRA strike to audience fatigue with the MCU universe. However, some critics argue that the broader issue lies in Disney's overall content quality, which may have deterred viewers from engaging with new releases.

Despite its box-office struggles, "The Marvels" has received positive feedback from both audiences and critics. With an 82 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, the film's quality appears to be intact. Notably, Vellani has received near-universal praise for her role as the infectiously enthusiastic Kamala Khan.

As "The Marvels" prepares to stream on Disney+ on February 7, fans have the opportunity to rediscover and appreciate the film in the comfort of their homes. Whether the streaming platform can breathe new life into the MCU installment remains to be seen, but the interconnected narratives and powerful performances by the cast promise an engaging experience for viewers eager to explore the next chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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