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The Marvels: A disappointing case study

By: Sabrina Clarke

· Sustainability,Leadership

The Marvels is one of the most disappointing case studies I have to write about this year.

broken image

If you are around me for 5 minutes, you will know that I LOVE the MCU, but the car crash that is The Marvels will get the smoke everyone else gets from my pen.

Where do I start?

The Marvel was a 'box office bomb' according to Marvel standards is a true statement. It is also true that:
- The Marvels was the #1 Movie in America at its opening weekend following one of the most prolonged Hollywood strikes in history
- The Marvels is the biggest box office for a Black female Director ' ever'

The media coverage and micro-aggressions towards Nia DaCosta, The Marvel's Director, have been relentless. At least, Paul Tassi, Senior Contributor at Forbes, has called out how maligned she has been. The disgraceful coverage from The Hollywood Reporter, who couldn't be bothered to fact check or intentionally omitted Nia was not at a screening (which is not a big deal and industry practice) because 1. She didn't know about it 2. It was on the night of her own birthday party.; an example of the double standards.

But the majority of the smoke is for Marvel.

The MCU needs to get its act together and reposition itself to understand who its audience is now and the channels to reach them. I am an outlier in that I appreciate the comic books and the movies. MCU needs to make up its mind as to whom it is going after. 'Comic book bros' aren't going to accept the inclusive direction the MCU is taking; they never have. The comic book, streaming and cinema audiences are three different groups that may overlap but are distinct. This wasn't an issue before because there was a clear strategy and a marketing budget to get people into the cinema. However, the audience is now split; the personas have changed.

Nia DaCosta and The Marvels aren't Dr Strange running through all the scenarios on how this might work. The Marvels are a casualty of the MCU's ineffective approach, which is disappointing.

Get it together, Marvel.

What does this have to do with Social and Economic Sustainability?

Social: A Black female Director at the helm of one of the worst performing box offices of a franchise, despite the context, is a case study for 'why' other women shouldn’t have the opportunity.
Impact: less/no female directors in the MCU.

Economic: The Marvels cost circa $270m to make and market; if the film does not cover its own costs, which is currently projected to not make it, there is no commercial justification for investing in The Marvels. Impact lower budgets.