After a String of Flops, Are Superhero Movies Facing Their Endgame?

Michael Beausoleil
6 min readApr 14, 2023

We’re barely a quarter into 2023, but if we look at the first three months, Americans aren’t looking for heroes. It seems the box office has given us more flops than hits.

In March 2023, DC’s Shazam! Fury of the Gods opened to $30.1 million. Compared to its $125 million budget, this is pretty poor, especially for a sequel in a genre known for producing cash cows. And it’s not alone.

Shazam, Morbius, and Ant-Man standing in front of flames
Shazam, Morbius, and Ant-Man

In February, Marvel released Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, and it opened to $103 million at the US box office. Its worldwide haul is yet to cross the $500 million mark and it currently sits at 47% on Rotten Tomatoes — becoming Marvel’s second movie with a “rotten” score on the site (after 2021’s Eternals).

While it’s very unlikely that we’d never have a couple of duds in the genre, the sheer number of superhero films soared in the 2010s, a trend that’s continued into the current decade. And it’s possible that the new releases aren’t bad, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be popular. There’s a chance that we’ve finally reached the point where people are just bored of superhero films.

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Michael Beausoleil

User Analytics | Digital & Brand Marketing | Productivity … hoping to explore topics that interest me and find others with similar passions