‘Madame Web’ sees worse opening than ‘The Marvels’ — another diverse, female superhero flop from Disney

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Yet another big-budget superhero movie from Marvel has performed terribly. “Madame Web” is doing worse than its predecessors after a disastrous opening.

The 2024 Marvel film appeared similar to “The Marvels” in that it is a diverse, female-led cast of superheroes. However, it seemed that Marvel and Disney were trying to draw in a younger audience by having actress Dakota Johnson parent three younger women on-screen.

However, the presence of Celeste O’Connor (25), Sydney Sweeney (26), and Isabela Merced (22) as new blood to the Marvel Cinematic Universe did not help the movie’s box office performance.

As Bounding into Comics noted, the non-Spider-Man movie “Madame Web” brought in just $6,051,012 on its opening night, worse than both “Morbius” ($11,605,908) and “The Marvels” ($15,003,104).

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After its release, “The Marvels” seemed poised to maintain its spot as having the worst opening weekend of any Marvel Cinematic Universe movie for at least some time. However, the latest MCU flick did just half the box office of noted feminist Brie Larson’s film.

With a budget estimated at $80 million by TheNumbers.com, opening weekend totals for “Madame Web” were just $23,555,000, which included a special mid-week Valentine’s Day opening. With a long-weekend open, “The Marvels” took in a then-record-low $46,110,859.

The movie has received an abysmal rating of 3.4 on IMDB, which will mark quite a low point for director S.J. Clarkson.

The film was not without attempts at luring in audiences, however. According to Hollywood in Toto, the aptly named main character Cassandra Webb works as an EMT alongside her platonic partner, Ben Parker. Audiences would assume this is Peter Parker aka Spider-Man’s uncle. Peter’s mother, Mary Parker, is allegedly pregnant with the would-be Spider-Man in the film, as well.

The film also notably “brims with cringeworthy scenes,” writer Christian Toto noted.

“If you can watch the endangered trio dancing on a table for the bemusement of some horny young men, you’ve got a steel spine,” he added.

Some of the cast members have been surprisingly less woke in their statements to the press than typical Marvel leads.

Actress Sweeney has faced criticism for wearing MAGA hats (albeit as a joke) and Blue Lives Matter merchandise.

Merced was pummeled by leading questions in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter but managed to sidestep queries about immigration, tight-fitting clothes, and evening the aforementioned dance scene.

However, Johnson has spoken about her previous role playing a single feminist heroine in “Persuasion,” stating that she hoped it would “spark more conversation” about Roe v. Wade.

As well, Kenyan-born O’Connor has been cited as “resisting capitalism” and noted in an interview that black women “are taught to shrink ourselves and accept less than what we want or deserve.”

None of this could help “Madame Web” escape critics and viewers, though. With reviews such as ABC News‘ saying that “God-awful is too weak a word to describe” the film, things do not look good for Marvel.

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