Weekend Box Office: THE MARVELS Earns Lowest Marvel Cinematic Universe Opening of All Time

The Marvels, photo by Laura Radford, Courtesy of Disney/Marvel Studios

#1 = The Marvels

Disney’s superhero sequel posted by far the worst opening in the 15-year history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) with only $47.0M.

That’s -15% below the prior worst: 2008’s The Incredible Hulk ($55.4M), only the MCU’s second installment, which came out before the franchise reached its future levels of cultural ubiquity.

The Marvels also opens -34% below 2021’s Eternals ($71.2M), often cited (before this weekend, at least) as the MCU’s biggest underperformer in its “modern” era.

Put another way, The Marvels could finish with a final domestic total less than the opening weekend for 2019’s predecessor Captain Marvel: $153.4M.

Compared to Marvel’s rival DC Comics, The Marvel also opens below some other recent DC Extended Universe underperformers: -14% below June’s The Flash with $55.0M and -29% below 2022’s Black Adam with $67.0M.


Here are some of the estimated opening weekend demographics for The Marvels, compared to 2019’s Captain Marvel:

  • 61% male, surprisingly higher than Captain Marvel with 55%
  • 67% older than 25, slightly older than Captain Marvel with 63%
  • Premium formats comprised 45% of the box office, higher than Captain Marvel at 34%

Overseas / global

The Marvels opens to $63.3M overseas and $110.3M globally, or 57% overseas.

That’s -75% below the global opening for 2019’s Captain Marvel: $455.4M. The Marvels appears unlikely to reach its predecessor’s global opening even by the end of its run.

In particular, The Marvels starts with only $11.7M in China, or -86% below its predecessor’s $89.3M start in the country.

The Marvels appears poised to become either the lowest- or second-lowest grosser of the MCU globally. Currently, the lowest is The Incredible Hulk with $265M, followed by 2011’s Captain America: The First Avengers with $370M.

The top five market totals for The Marvels to date are:

  1. China: $11.7M
  2. U.K.: $4.3M
  3. Indonesia: $3.7M
  4. South Korea: $3.5M
  5. France: $3.1M

#2 = Five Nights at Freddy’s

Last frame, Universal’s horror video game adaptation fell a steep -76% yet still repeated in first place, marking the first “true” horror film to win the post-Halloween weekend since 1991’s The People Under the Stairs.

Now in its third frame, it falls a significantly milder -53% to $9.0M and second place.

Freddy’s already became the top horror film of 2023 so far last weekend after only two frames, beating the final total of March’s Scream VI with $108.1M. Freddy’s now stands at $127.2M total.

Overseas / global

This weekend, Freddy’s declined -62% in overseas holdover markets, steeper than its -53% domestic drop.

Freddy’s has earned $124.7M overseas and $251.9M globally, or 49% overseas.

It could soon become the top horror globally for 2023, a title currently held by The Nun II with $265.8M to date. (That film looks likely to top out somewhere around $270M or so.)

Freddy’s top five market totals to date are:

  1. Mexico: $19.5M
  2. U.K. $11.9M
  3. Brazil: $9.2M
  4. Australia: $7.8M
  5. Spain: $6.4M

Major markets yet to release include South Korea in mid-November and Japan next February.

#3 = Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour

Now in its fifth frame, the AMC Theatres Distribution / Variance Films concert documentary event drops -57% to $5.9M, falling from second to third place.

The movie already became the highest-grossing concert film of all time after its opening weekend alone.

With $172.5M total, it’s currently the #11 film released in 2023, making it certain to finish with the top year-end rank a concert film has ever achieved. Some of the prior yearly bests include:

  • 2009’s Michael Jackson’s This Is It = #46
  • 2008’s Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour = #48
  • 2011’s Justin Bieber: Never Say Never = #49

#4= Priscilla

Last weekend, A24’s drama biopic about Elvis Presley’s wife Priscilla expanded to wide release with $5.0M in fourth place.

Now in its sophomore frame of wide release, Priscilla expands from 1,359 to 2,361 theaters and declines only -5% at the box office to $4.7M, one of the mildest sophomore drops of the year.

Compared to the wide sophomore drops for some other films from writer-director Sofia Coppola, that’s far milder than:

  • 2017’s The Beguiled: -35%
  • 2006’s Marie Antoinette: -47%
  • 2013’s The Bling Ring: -58%

Though, to be fair, none of those films had anywhere near the 1,002-screen jump enjoyed by Priscilla; the closest is The Beguiled, which gained 267 screens between its first and second frames in wide release.

#5 = Killers of the Flower Moon

Now in its fourth frame, the historical drama from Paramount / Apple Studios declines -32% to $4.6M, dropping from third to fifth place.

Through 24 days of wide release, it’s earned $59.9M total. Though it seems unlikely to recoup its reported $200M production and marketing budget, this film is aimed less at huge box office and more at prestige and possible awards contention for Apple Studios.

Still, compared to the three prior Martin Scorsese + Leonardo DiCaprio collaborations through the equivalent point in release, it’s running:

  • -29% below 2013’s The Wolf of Wall Street: $84.8M
  • -34% below 2006’s The Departed: $91.0M
  • -44% below 2010’s Shutter Island: $108.0M

Versus some other comparable DiCaprio films from the past dozen years through the equivalent point in release, that’s also:

  • -47% below 2019’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: $114.4M
  • -53% below 2013’s The Great Gatsby: $128.5M
  • -54% below 2012’s Django Unchained: $130.1M
  • -56% below 2016’s The Revenant: $138.5M

#6= The Holdovers

In its third frame, Focus Features’ comedy-drama expanded from a limited 64 theaters to a moderate 778, still slightly less than one-fifth the reach of the widest film in the marketplace.

It increases to $3.2M and sixth place, with a $4,113 per-screen average.

#7 = Journey to Bethlehem

The Sony Pictures / Affirm Films faith-based musical began with $2.4M in seventh place.

Versus three of the other biggest faith-based films from 2023, that opening is behind:

  • -44% below September’s The Blind: $4.3M
  • -52% below October’s After Death: $5.0M
  • -56% below March’s His Only Son: $5.5M

Bethlehem will aim to hold on well at the box office, as every coming week approaches the Christmas season which provides the film’s plot.

#9 = Radical

Last weekend, in only 419 locations on about 11% the reach of the widest film in the marketplace, Pantelion’s Spanish-language drama surprised with a $2.6M start in fifth place.

Now in its sophomore frame, it expands slightly from 419 to 534 theaters, declining only a mild -34% at the box office to $1.7M but slipping to ninth place.

Versus other major Spanish-language films of the past decade or so, that sophomore drop is notably milder than:

  • 2016’s No Manches Frida: -43%
  • 2018’s La Boda de Valentina: -54%
  • 2019’s No Manches Frida 2: -54%
  • 2019’s Tod@s Caen: -57%
  • 2018’s Ya Veremos: -58%
  • 2017’s Hazlo Como Hombre: -67%

Limited release: Dream Scenario

A24’s fantasy comedy debuts with $215,552 in six theaters. That estimated $35,925 per-screen average ranks #7 of 2023 so far, behind only:

  1. June’s Asteroid City: $142,230
  2. April’s Beau is Afraid: $80,099
  3. June’s Past Lives: $58,067
  4. July’s Theater Camp: $50,203
  5. August’s Bottoms: $46,105
  6. July’s Barbie: $38,186 (in wide release, no less)

Dream will expand wider through early December.

Weekend comparisons

Total box office this weekend came in around 85.8M.

Here’s how this weekend compares to last weekend, the same weekend last year, and the same weekend in the last pre-pandemic year of 2019:



This weekend is:


Last weekend



Five Nights at Freddy’s, second frame: $19.0M

Same weekend in 2022



Black Panther: Wakanda Forever = $181.3M

Same weekend in 2019



Midway = $17.8M

YTD comparisons

Year-to-date box office stands around $7.79B.

Through the equivalent point, here’s how that compares to last year and the last pre-pandemic year of 2019:


YTD total

2023 YTD now:

After last weekend:












Top distributors

Grouped by parent company, the YTD leaders are:

  1. Disney + 20th Century + Searchlight + Star: $1.77B
  2. Universal + Focus Features: $1.74B
  3. Warner Bros.: $1.15B
  4. Sony Pictures + Sony Classics + Crunchyroll + Affirm: $870.8M
  5. Paramount: $832.5M

Sunday’s Studio Weekend Estimates:

Title  Estimated weekend  % change Locations Location change Average  Total  Weekend Distributor
The Marvels $47,000,000   4,030   $11,663 $47,000,000 1 Disney
Five Nights at Freddy’s $9,000,000 -53% 3,694 -95 $2,436 $127,205,000 3 Universal
Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour $5,900,000 -57% 2,848 -756 $2,072 $172,546,901 5 AMC Theatres Distribution + Variance
Priscilla $4,792,678 -5% 2,361 1,002 $2,030 $12,728,840 3 A24
Killers of the Flower Moon $4,650,000 -32% 3,357 -429 $1,385 $59,937,000 4 Paramount
The Holdovers $3,200,000 463% 778 714 $4,113 $4,274,000 3 Focus Features [Universal]
Journey to Bethlehem $2,425,000   2,002   $1,211 $2,425,000 1 Sony Pictures
PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie $1,760,000 -13% 1,779 -625 $989 $64,564,000 7 Paramount
Radical $1,752,000 -34% 534 115 $3,281 $5,209,758 2 Pantelion Films
The Exorcist: Believer $1,150,000 -45% 1,587 -833 $725 $64,994,000 6 Universal
After Death $807,195 -60% 1,711 -1,019 $472 $10,890,458 3 Angel Studios
What Happens Later $678,438 -55% 1,450 -42 $468 $2,909,784 2 Bleecker Street
It’s A Wonderful Knife $605,110   923   $656 $605,110 1 RLJ Entertainment
Saw X $533,000 -52% 741 -768 $719 $53,434,360 7 Lionsgate
Anatomy of a Fall $469,890 -22% 583 143 $806 $2,781,627 5 Neon
Freelance $382,200 -69% 794 -1,263 $481 $5,125,148 3 Relativity
The Creator $300,000 -51% 460 -470 $652 $40,630,136 7 20th Century Studios [Disney]
Dream Scenario $215,552   6   $35,925 $215,552 1 A24
Oppenheimer $100,000 -81% 121 -313 $826 $325,237,000 17 Universal
A Haunting in Venice $48,000 -73% 125 -310 $384 $42,447,981 9 20th Century Studios [Disney]
Stop Making Sense $32,017 -23% 26 -6 $1,231 $4,996,205   Cinecom
Dicks: The Musical $14,670 -42% 22 -80 $667 $1,418,638 6 A24
All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt $10,145 -9% 6 3 $1,691 $28,439 2 A24
Common Ground $8,760 176% 6 1 $1,460 $177,379 7 Area 23a
Orlando, My Political Biography $7,500   1   $7,500 $7,500 1 Janus Films
The Marvels, photo by Laura Radford, Courtesy of Disney/Marvel Studios