Are We in a “Marvel-cession”?” The 2023 Update

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What a difference a year makes. Last year, right around this time, I did a deep dive into Marvel Studio’s performance data to answer the question, “Is the MCU slumping?” As of 2022, I didn’t think you could really make the case. After all, I titled the film section last year “On the Film Side, It’s (Mostly) All Good” and frankly, at the time, that’s what the data showed. Between Doctor Strange and The Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, my biggest gripe as a journalist was that the titles were TOO DAMN LONG.

Since then? Oh, feel free to worry about Marvel.

Frankly, the grim performance of both The Marvels (the lowest grossing Marvel film…ever) and more quietly, Loki’s second season slump makes the story fairly clear: the Marvel-cession is real. Though as with all things, it’s bit less stark and much more nuanced/complicated than the news coverage would make it out to be.

To show that, here’s an update all my charts from last year’s article on “Are We Having a Marvel-cession?” with fresh data. As I did last year, I’ll tackle this in two parts. In today’s piece, I’ll simply present all the data. Tomorrow, I’ll explain why I think Marvel is struggling, though, to be clear, I don’t identify one simple, easy explanation. Yes, lots of people would love to say, “[INSERT PET THEORY HERE] caused the fall of Marvel,” but life isn’t that neat, unfortunately. Reality is nuanced, complex, complicated, and, often, multi-causal.

On to the data! Or in the words of Stan Lee, “Excelsior!”

The Data – Films: The MCU’s Downward Trend is Real, But Complicated

At first glance, it definitely looks like the MCU is on a downward slide, a trend I hadn’t confirmed yet last year

…but I’d add a couple of caveats.

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The Entertainment Strategy Guy

The Entertainment Strategy Guy

Former strategy and business development guy at a major streaming company. But I like writing more than sending email, so I launched this website to share what I know.


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