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The Marvels' Budget May Show Disney Hasn't Learned From Past Mistakes

Up next on the theatrical docket under the Marvel Studios banner is "The Marvels" from director Nia DaCosta. The film sees three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's most powerful heroines, Carol "Captain Marvel" Danvers (Brie Larson), Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), and Kamala "Ms. Marvel" Khan (Iman Vellani), team up to figure out why their powers are entangled while facing down an emerging cosmic threat. As it turns out, this is quite the pricey superhero adventure, with the overall budget coming in at a whopping $270 million (via Forbes).

The publication notes that, according to a filing from the Disney subsidiary responsible for "The Marvels," net spending on the film sits around $219.8 million. Thus, to break even, it has to make roughly $439.6 million by the time it leaves theaters. Evidently, Disney has yet to learn its lesson that big budgets don't equal big profits. After all, recent equally expensive MCU efforts such as "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" ($432.2 million gross on a $200 million budget), "Eternals" ($402 million gross on a $236.2 million budget), and "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" ($476 million gross on a $200 million budget) failed to financially impress, resulting in small wins at best or sizable losses at worst.

Sure, cosmic superhero extravaganzas like "The Marvels" require bigger budgets to make the action intense, the locations eye-catching, and the visual effects convincing, but Disney can stand to spend a little smarter. Choices like covering physical costumes with CGI for no tangible reason, enlisting overworked and underpaid VFX artists to create digital locations instead of building full physical sets, and constantly going through extensive and expensive reshoots are money sinks. Besides, the cinematic world is much different than it was back when the predecessor of "The Marvels," 2019's "Captain Marvel," debuted.

The Marvels has a lot more going against it than Captain Marvel did

Seeing as 2019's "Captain Marvel" cracked $1 billion on a budget of $160 million, it's not impossible that "The Marvels" makes a boatload of money when it premieres, too. Then again, there are some key differences between the release of "Captain Marvel" and that of "The Marvels." Not only were MCU fans excited to finally get a female-led film, but between projects like "Black Panther," "Avengers: Infinity War," and "Avengers: Endgame," MCU hype was at an all-time high when "Captain Marvel" arrived. Fans were eager to get their hands on anything new from the franchise, especially productions with new heroes at the forefront.

Meanwhile, "The Marvels" isn't so fortunate. On both the film and television fronts, the Multiverse Saga has struggled to keep up that same level of fan investment post-"Endgame" and post-COVID-19 pandemic. Not to mention, between the inflation of just about everything and lingering public health concerns, people just aren't going to the movies like they were a few years ago. With all of that in mind, it's abundantly clear that "The Marvels" is fighting a much different battle than the film that came before it, and worse yet, it has to try turning a profit on a significantly larger budget.

Hopefully, "The Marvels" won't suffer the same dire fate at the box office as so many of its recent MCU contemporaries when it reaches theaters on November 10.