Origin movies have run their course. They’re all so similar in structure that the change in hero, villain, and power is not enough to keep us interested through one viewing, let alone the multiple viewings needed to make big money. Think about it, what was the last origin movie you were really surprised by? Combine this with the fact that Wonder Woman already claimed the title for first major female superhero movie and you get a recipe for missed expectations.
Don’t get me wrong, Captain Marvel is going to make money, but will it be the $800 million or more home run Marvel hopes for? I don’t think so. Let’s look at some information on costs and money made from other origin films (though, to be fair, the studio is usually pretty good about keeping their expectations in check).
This movie is expected to cost around $152 million according to numbers from the Louisiana government website on entertainment projects, which puts it just over the estimated $149 million in costs for Wonder Woman and within $10 million of other origin films like Doctor Strange, Batman Begins, and Thor. While Wonder Woman made $821 million worldwide the other three made $677 million, $374 million, and $449 million worldwide respectively. Doctor Strange was the last origin film in which a character had not been in a movie before. Black Panther played a pretty big role in Captain America: Civil War before his origin movie hit earlier this year.
Part of the success Wonder Woman had come from the cultural significance of the female lead character and female director. While I am one who hates to see strong females like Ellen Ripley, Sarah Connor, and Princess Leia and their cinematic importance dismissed, I can’t deny that Wonder Woman did break a few glass ceilings. But Captain Marvel is coming after all of that, so does she get any boost from her gender? In short, very little.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is undoubtedly more successful than the DCEU but that isn’t enough. The largest grossing origin film in the MCU is Black Panther ($1.3 billion) followed by Doctor Strange but we must take into account the cultural significance of the former, just like we did for Wonder Woman, which again this upcoming movie will lack.
Now, let’s talk about a more subjective point, the trailer receptions. Us here at LRM talk on Slack, a chat app, often and many of us felt that the first trailer was underwhelming, not bad, just not great. A cursory glance at the wide world of webs shows that feeling is not exclusive. I felt like the first trailer seemed dated, and not because of the 90’s setting, and left me worried. The second trailer was better, but still didn’t jazz me like others in the past. Coming off of the year of Infinity War probably didn’t help. Speaking of The Avengers, I think they should have teased Captain Marvel in the Endgame trailer. I think that playing off of the upcoming finale to the first 10 years of the MCU could benefit the solo movie.
Again, I do not want this movie to fail, be bad, do poorly, or anything negative. I want a knock out blockbuster to lead us into Avengers: Endgame and help make 2019 the greatest year in cinema history, but nothing I have seen or read makes me think this will happen. I believe the movie will be fun and another first day Bluray purchase, but I don’t see it being a top 10 MCU film. I hope I am wrong, and this turns out to be one of the best comic book movies ever, or at the very least on par with Black Panther and Doctor Strange. In the end, I can see this movie making around $650 – $750 million worldwide, which is nothing to scoff at (and those numbers would easily make the film plenty profitable, but easily one $100 – $200 million less than some fans would expect.
How much do you think Captain Marvel will make? Were you underwhelmed by either trailer? What are your expectations for the film? Let us know in the comments below!