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Marvel In Decline

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) ushered in a new era of superhero films and it's been incredibly successful. But the MCU is starting to show signs of decline. Many of the recent films have not been as well-received as previous entries, box office receipts have dropped, and the ongoing pandemic & the companies activism with Disney & "getting the message out". Has disrupted the production of new films, further jeopardizing the future of the franchise. Ultimately, it's up to Marvel to rejuvenate the franchise and keep it on top. If they don't, the MCU could end up as just a footnote in the history of superhero films.


(Marvel Cinematic Universe)


With the release of Avengers: Endgame, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has 22 movies under its belt. While there are undoubtedly some movies that stand out in the collection as cornerstones of the MCU and classics of the superhero genre, not all of the movies were successes. Let’s take a look at some of the least performing (in terms of box office) Marvel Cinematic Universe movies.


With a worldwide box office gross of $644 million, Thor: The Dark World comes in at #10 on this list. While some praised the inclusion of Malekith and the Dark Elves in the MCU, the plot felt scattered and the movie was mostly a miss for Marvel fans.


Coming in at #9 is The Incredible Hulk, which managed to squeeze out a total worldwide gross profit of $263 million. This 2008 superhero flick starring Edward Norton as Bruce Banner had solid action sequences, but ultimately felt uneventful and like a retread of Ang Lee’s Hulk from 2003.


8. Iron Man 2 (2010)

The sequel to the 2008 smash hit Iron Man, Iron Man 2 made $623 million at the worldwide box office. This follow oup had flashier action sequences and a good villain in the form of Ivan Vanko, but couldn’t quite reach the emotional heights or storytelling finesse of its predecessor.


7. Captain Marvel (2019)

With a worldwide gross of $1.1 billion, Captain Marvel may feel a bit too high on this list. Therefore, it should be noted that as of 2019 this is one of the lowest performing MCU movies, but Marvel’s first female led film is still a success overall and likely to have legs at the box office for years to come.


The follow up to 2015’s surprise hit Ant-Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp made $622 million at the worldwide box office. Despite having more dynamic action sequences and better special effects, the story felt manufactured and the movie didn’t quite connect with audiences.





5. Iron Man 3 (2013)

With a worldwide gross of $1.2 billion, Iron Man 3 can hardly be considered a failure. Nevertheless, it is one of the lowest performing movies in the MCU and the least liked by audiences despite praise for Ben Kingsley’s memorable performance as the Mandarin.


4. Thor (2011)

Thor was the MCU’s fourth movie and managed a worldwide gross of $449 million. Praise for Chris Hemsworth’s stellar performance wasn’t enough to elevate the underwhelming story or landscape-filling action sequences of this entertaining, but ultimately forgettable movie.


3. Doctor Strange (2016)

Doctor Strange made $677 million at the worldwide box office. Despite an impressive cast and flashy visuals, the movie felt formulaic and the story focused too much on Benedict Cumberbatch’s titular Doctor, leaving less room to explore interesting supporting characters like Mads Mikkelsen’s Kaecilius.


The weakest entry in the Avengers franchise, Avengers: Age of Ultron made $1.4 billion at the worldwide box office, which is still one of the lowest box office numbers for the MCU. Poorly handled subplots and a stompy, almost-unstoppable CGI villain left fans disappointed with this sophomore effort from Joss Whedon.


The Incredible Hulk took the #1 spot on this list due to its measly worldwide box office total of $263 million. Even though this film had solid action sequences, two beloved actors in the form of Edward Norton and Tim Roth, and an interesting take on Bruce Banner’s transformation into the Hulk, this movie ultimately got lost in the shuffle and was almost forgotten entirely.


These are the top 10 least performing Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, ranging from Doctor Strange to the Incredible Hulk. Marvel has created a bonafide blockbuster franchise, and even their weakest movies are still worth watching. However, as of late, not so much. With the flood of "All New All Different Marvel" & a bunch of lack luster movie returns resulting in a massive box office drop off when is enough, enough? You cannot gender swap, race swap focus on agenda, instead of story and expect a return on investment that is substantial based on ideology and narrative when none of the themes mention do anything to progress, the story forward it is a recipe for disaster. Which is why the MCU not just in movies but on Disney+ is in such a downward spiral & with the failure of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania I think its time to change direction & fast.


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