Disney Executive Points Finger at Biased Fans for The Marvels Box Office Failure

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Disney Executive Points Finger at Biased Fans for The Marvels Box Office Failure

A Disney executive blames biased fans for the underwhelming box office performance of The Marvels.

The Marvels didn’t quite hit the mark, becoming the lowest-earning movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with a global revenue of only $206 million. Disney encountered stiff competition from Universal Pictures in the past year, as movies like Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, Haunted Mansion, and Wish failed to match up to expectations.

Matt Belloni, who reports on entertainment for Puck, shared comments from an unnamed Disney boss in response to questions about whether politics affect box office success.

In a newsletter, the  Disney executive suggested that some viewers judge a film’s quality based on its political messaging, especially when it comes to female empowerment.

"Everyone says 'It’s the movies, stupid,' which is an easy thing for people to say. More appealing movies are a great way to jump the political issues. But more and more, our audience (or the segment of the audience that has been politicized) equate the perceived messaging in a film as a quality issue.

Movies like “The Marvels” and the recent Star Wars trilogy have been criticized, with some saying they’re “bad” because of their political messages. This has caused a stir, with some people arguing that it’s unfair to blame the audience for Disney’s problems.

"They won’t say they find female empowerment distasteful in The Marvels or Star Wars [the latest trilogy starring Daisy Ridley], but they will say they don’t like those movies because they are ‘bad.’ "
The unknown executive concluded the message by stating, "So ‘make better movies’ becomes code for ‘make movies that conform to regressive gender stereotypes or put men front and center in the narrative.’ Which is what you’re seeing now, and what Bob [Iger]’s pivot is about right now."

Disney’s CEO Bob Iger has announced a change in direction, focusing more on sequels and quality content. This move aims to steer Disney back on track and deliver better stories that audiences will love.

But while Disney works on fixing its movie lineup, questions remain about whether it’s fair to blame fans for the box office struggles. Amidst the ongoing debate, one certainty remains that Disney needs to find the right balance between telling great stories and respecting its audience.

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