The share of adults who enjoy superhero movies ticked down slightly compared to a year ago, according to a Morning Consult survey released Thursday, a worrisome trend for Disney’s Marvel franchise as its movies experience a rare relative slump at the box office and among critics – and Disney expands its investment in the properties.
The poll found 36% of all respondents enjoy superhero movies, down from 41% last November.
Perhaps most worrisome is the share of self-identified Marvel fans who enjoy the movies also fell, dropping from 87% to 82%.
The survey comes just weeks after the release of the latest Marvel movie, Thor: Love and Thunder, which underperformed financially and is the third-lowest rated film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s history with a 65% Rotten Tomatoes rating.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has released 29 movies since its inception in 2008, including four in 2021 and three released or scheduled in 2022. Marvel content has become increasingly crucial to Disney, helping drive subscriptions to its Disney+ streaming service. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige unveiled 10 new Marvel titles movies at San Diego Comic Con last week, including two Avengers films slated for 2025.
Despite underperforming expectations, Thor: Love and Thunder is still the sixth highest grossing movie of 2022 domestically less than a month after its release, according to Box Office Mojo. Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness is the second-highest grossing film of the year. Disney and Sony’s Spider-Man: No Way Home released last December was the highest grossing movie of 2021, netting TK billion. Four of the 10 highest grossingfilms of all-time are Marvel movies, led by Avengers: Endgame, which brought in $2.8 billion, the second-most ever.
This week, Warner Bros. Discovery abandonedBatgirl, set in the DC Extended Universe, after reportedly already spending $90 million on the film.
Marvel Studios Box-Office Slump Shows Limits of Disney’s Superhero Universe (Wall Street Journal)
By Derek Saul, Forbes Staff