Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton) and Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) in “Ant-Man and the Wasp in Quantumania”.
After a fourth Thor movie and a third standalone Ant-Man movie, even disney CEO Bob Iger wants something new from Marvel.
“Sequels have generally worked well for us,” Iger said at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference on Thursday. “Do you need a third and a fourth for example? Or is it time to turn to other characters?
His comments follow the disappointing box office performance of “Ant-Man and the Wasp in Quantumania.” As of Sunday, the film, which has been in theaters for three weeks, has grossed just $420 million worldwide.
Domestically, the film floundered with $187 million in total ticket sales after its $104 million premiere. opening weekend. While this exceeds Ant-Man’s first domestic box office gross of 2015, it’s a steep drop from pre-pandemic averages. Especially, considering that the film introduces the next big villain of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Kang.
“There’s nothing inherent to the Marvel brand,” Iger said. “I think we just have to look at what characters and stories we’re leveraging, and you look at Marvel’s trajectory over the next five years, you’ll see a lot of new things. We’re going to go back to The Avengers franchise, but with a whole different set of things. ‘Avengers.’
Iger’s remarks come as he orchestrates a extensive restructuring of the company, with an eye on reducing $5.5 billion in costs, including $3 billion from content.
Disney has been releasing new MCU content at a somewhat frantic pace over the past few years. The company used the Disney+ streaming service as a vehicle to introduce new characters – Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk – as well as explore legacy characters in more depth (Loki, Falcon, the Winter Soldier) between theatrical releases.
As the MCU has grown, some have rallied around the franchise, excited about the new entrants and the content. Others have found the required viewing of additional series arduous and wonder if Disney should slow down its pace of releases.
The company’s frenetic pace of content distribution has also put a lot of pressure on visual effects groups tasked with turning green screen action sequences into a feast for the eyes. The studio’s increased production has exacerbated the production issues that these third parties have faced following the pandemic shutdowns. The result has been criticism over disappointing superpower effects or sloppy CGI backgrounds that look confusing.
Marvel has started streaming its releases. After “Quantumania” in February, the studio will release “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” in May and has postponed “The Marvels”, previously scheduled for July, to November.
Additionally, the elapsed time between Disney+ Marvel series has increased. A new Marvel series hasn’t debuted since the final episodes of “She-Hulk” launched in early October. “Secret Invasion” and “Loki” season 2 are next on the list, but Disney has yet to provide release dates for either.
“There are a lot more stories to tell,” Iger said Thursday.