10 Biggest Marvel Flops, Ranked by How Little Money They Made

10 Biggest Marvel Flops, Ranked by How Little Money They Made
Image credit: Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Universal Pictures, Legion-Media

Has the golden age of the MCU ended?

After Avengers: Endgame, great things were expected from the MCU – original stories with unusual heroes in different genres. However, Marvel Studios chose the most boring option – typical projects of the first phase level, only about minor characters.

In addition, the total amount of this content has increased – five or six more shows have been added to the typical three or four films per year, and the total number of hours with Marvel heroes has become extremely large.

Most of the films on this list are recent projects – confirming that the golden era of the MCU seems to have ended with Endgame.

10. Iron Man, 2008

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Worldwide Gross: $585M

If Marvel had started building its universe with films about Thor or Captain America, everything would have been different. But back at the time, they risked not only betting on a minor comic book hero, but also giving his role to the then problematic but charismatic Robert Downey Jr.

The first MCU movie aged well: it's a realistic story of rebirth, spiced not only with balanced discussions about the costs of war, but also with inventive action scenes.

This didn't prevent the movie from making relatively little money, but only because audiences at the time had no idea how good the first Iron Man was.

9. Ant-Man, 2015

Worldwide Gross: $519M

The first Ant-Man did slightly better than its sequel at the box office, grossing $58 million in its first three days in the US, slightly less than the $60-65 million expected. Not bad considering it was the first solo film for the shrinking superhero.

Ant-Man turned out not to be the most necessary two-hour stage in a great journey through the comics, but it is still a big, enchantingly beautiful attraction with a sea of stunts and chases.

8. Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, 2023

Worldwide Gross: $476M

This installment did not lose the comedic charm of the first part, but it came out at a bad time – between two epoch-making episodes of The Avengers.

In addition, while there are some inventive action sequences involving the shrinking of various objects, the villain is once again as faceless as possible – so much so that it is hard to remember who the antagonist is without the help of Google (it was Kang, by the way).

7. Thor, 2011

Worldwide Gross: $449M

The first Thor movie is better than the sequel, but within the entire Marvel universe they still rank somewhere near the bottom of fan lists of the studio's best and worst movies.

Still not the most necessary Marvel movie, but generally an interesting attempt to do what Taika Waititi would successfully do a few years later with his ruthlessly self-ironic Ragnarok (which would make twice as much money).

6. Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings, 2021

Worldwide Gross: $432M

Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings is one of the most independent films in the cinematic universe: you can watch it without knowing who the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. are. However, if you don't have any nostalgia for movies with Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan or a love for Chinese fantasy, then you can safely skip this one.

Despite the fact that the movie is on the list of Marvel's most unprofitable projects, its release in 2021 was quite successful in the midst of the pandemic and even exceeded analysts' expectations.

5. Eternals, 2021

Worldwide Gross: $402M

As befits a major Marvel release, Eternals took over American and world cinemas from day one. A race of mysterious superheroes appeared on the big screen for the first time and immediately outperformed all previous films in the new phase of the cinematic universe, released in 2021.

Eternals' relatively strong box office performance during the pandemic was overshadowed by the fact that the film received the worst press of any Marvel release, with a critics score of just 47% on Rotten Tomatoes.

4. Black Widow, 2021

Worldwide Gross: $379M

Black Widow wasn't even going to match the numbers of Avengers: Endgame, but it easily took the top spot at the US box office in its debut weekend, grossing $80 million in the US and Canada. After that, however, the grosses began to drop sharply.

The main reason for this was Disney Plus – the online platform decided to release potential 2021 hits simultaneously in theaters and on its own streaming service.

3. Captain America: The First Avenger, 2011

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Worldwide Gross: $370M

The first Captain America movie tells the story of the rise of Steve Rogers and is essentially a World War II fantasy film with super soldiers and evil Nazis with red skulls.

Much of the problem with The First Avenger is that the superhero is too perfect. Captain America is a classic mid-20th century comic book character, shaped by post-war trauma.

He’s honest, willing to give his life for his beloved country, and barely aware of what self-irony is. Well, the result was one of the lowest grossing movies in the history of the MCU.

2. The Incredible Hulk, 2008

Worldwide Gross: $264M

This movie probably deserves to be near the top of the list of lowest grossing MCU movies. The Incredible Hulk came out just a few months after Iron Man, and even then it seemed like a step backward for the cinematic universe.

After the fresh and fun story of Tony Stark, viewers were treated to an inexpressive and easily forgettable plot about the confrontation between science and the army.

The bright spot in all of this was, of course, Edward Norton, but due to his notorious stubbornness, he refused to reprise his role as Bruce Banner. And generally speaking, that's okay: with the arrival of Mark Ruffalo, the Hulk character only became more charismatic.

1. The Marvels, 2023

Worldwide Gross: $206M

The Marvels was predicted to have a less than impressive opening, but the reality was even worse than expected. Even skeptical analysts expected the film to open to around $60-65 million in the US and around $140 million worldwide.

However, The Marvels only grossed $47 million in its debut weekend in US theaters. This is the worst opening in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

On top of that, the box office dropped by 80% in its second weekend, which is also an anti-record. And not just for the MCU, but for all superhero movies.