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Dune: Part Two's Delay May Be Great News For Marvel's 2023 Box Office Earnings

Hollywood is in a precarious situation. Instead of resolving the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, movie studios have delayed many of 2023's most-anticipated films, with "Dune: Part Two" being among the latest releases to get pushed into 2024. However, it may not all be doom and gloom, as the wide-open box office could give Marvel Studios the chance to end 2023 with a bang.

With the delay of "Dune: Part Two," IMAX theaters worldwide suddenly have plenty of open screens, as the Denis Villeneuve-led sequel planned to dominate the large-format screenings much like its predecessor. Richard Gelfond, CEO of IMAX, stated in a July earnings call, "'Dune' moves will just go over to 'The Marvels,' and having a Marvel movie as a backup is not the worst position to be in the world." Now that Warner Bros. has officially delayed the "Dune" sequel, "The Marvels" will enter the November box office with little to no competition — and plenty of IMAX screenings to help ensure Marvel Studios earns a pretty penny before the end of 2023.

It's no news that recent Marvel Cinematic Universe outings have been incredibly hit-or-miss. Despite highlights like "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3," disappointments like "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" have shown that the once-box-office juggernaut is potentially losing some steam. But the original "Captain Marvel" grossed over a billion dollars, and Marvel hopes to recapture that magic with "The Marvels." The delay of "Dune: Part Two" may be just what Marvel Studios needed.

The Marvels plans to combat superhero fatigue

For a while, the superhero movie genre was a surefire recipe for success, with Marvel Studios, Sony, and even DC seeing massive numbers at the box office. However, 2023 hasn't been so kind, leading to many disappointments like "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" and "The Flash." So, while the delay of "Dune: Part Two" opens the door for "The Marvels" to return the MCU to the top of the box office, the sequel's director, Nia DaCosta, thinks her movie's biggest challenge is taking superhero fatigue head-on.

"I think superhero fatigue absolutely exists," the director told "Total Film" magazine, admitting that while audiences may be getting tired of seeing comic books come to life, the "Captain Marvel" sequel offers more than your typical MCU adventure. "The biggest difference from the other MCU movies to date is that it's really wacky and silly. The worlds we go to in this movie are worlds unlike others you've seen in the MCU. Bright worlds that you haven't seen before."

From the looks of things, "The Marvels" seems perfectly poised for massive box-office success despite a tumultuous year for Hollywood. DaCosta's comments suggest the sequel will separate itself from the pack, which could mean "The Marvels" could give fans a movie more akin to "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" instead of "Quantumania." Add that to Marvel Studios having complete control over IMAX theaters thanks to the delay of "Dune," and "The Marvels" could catapult the MCU to its first billion-dollar movie since "Spider-Man: No Way Home."