It seems there’s been some confusion recently about the production budget for the upcoming Marvel Studios blockbuster, The Marvels, which continues the events of the Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel franchises for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A recent interview with the film’s director, Nia DaCosta, indicated that the film had a production budget of about $130 million. However, a recent report by Forbes indicated the budget of the film is more than twice that amount at over $270 million.
THE MARVELS BUDGET HIGHER THAN ORIGINALLY THOUGHT
The budget for the film was reportedly disclosed in corporate filings released by Marvel Studios. The upcoming Marvel superhero feature is due out later this November. The filings reportedly show that over two years, Marvel Studios spent about $274.8 million on the film and also received a $55 million subsidy from the United Kingdom government where the film was made.
According to the report, this lowered the film’s net spending of The Marvels down to about $219.8 million. This means that the movie will need to make at least roughly $439-$450 million worldwide to break even, if not more. Keep in mind that the budget that’s reported likely doesn’t include prints and advertising, which for movies like this, tend to be significantly high for major cinematic releases.
The government subsidy is due to the UK’s Film Tax Relief program. As a result, studios have to put up with higher levels of disclosure of their film budgets due to the tax benefits. As a result, the films receive a cash reimbursement of $25 percent due to the government subsidy, which requires the films to be shot in the UK and the finances represent at least 10% of the film’s total costs.
As part of the rules of the program, studios have to start up separate companies to make each film and file financial reports showing all the itemized costs of the film. This includes the staff numbers, salaries, and expenses to the amount of the subsidy they receive. So, that’s why the budget figures are coming out right now for The Marvels, which was shot in the UK.
The Marvels was reportedly shot by the Disney UK subsidiary Warbird Productions II UK. At one point in her comics history, Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, went by the superhero name Warbirds, hence the name of the production outfit.
Now, it should be noted the first Captain Marvel movie was a big hit at the box office. The film grossed $426 million domestically and $1.128 billion worldwide. However, that was also when the popularity of the MCU was at its height, in between the releases of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Still, the movie did very well theatrically and earned decent reviews from critics with a 79% rating from Rotten Tomatoes.
Filmmaker DaCosta previously directed the 2021 reboot of the Candyman franchise. The film was a hit theatrically, grossing $61 million domestically and $77 million worldwide from a budget of $22 million. And that was during a time when the box office was still in serious recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. So the budget of The Marvels is more than 12 times higher. Some directors have excelled going from smaller budget to big budget studio features, while others have struggled.
While Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was a big success, a lot of eyeballs will be on The Marvels, and there will be a lot of pressure on the film to perform to potentially end the year on a high note for Marvel and Disney. The MCU had a slow start of the year with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which only ended up making about $214 million domestically and $476 million worldwide. The film also did poorly with critics, scoring 46% on the Tomatometer.
However, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, released in May, did considerably better, earning $358 million domestically and $845 million worldwide. It also scored 82% on the Tomatometer.
Another thing that’s been hindering The Marvels is that the stars have not been able to promote the film due to the ongoing strike by the actors union (SAG-AFTRA) against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which started earlier in July. While the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike appears to be reaching its conclusion, SAG-AFTRA has not yet made a new deal with the AMPTP to resolve the strike. It’s possible the strike could be resolved before the film’s scheduled release date, but the AMPTP would have to start working ASAP to get that done.
For now, The Marvels is due to arrive in theaters on November 10. The film stars Oscar winner Brie Larson, reprising her role as Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers, and Iman Vellani reprising her role as Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel, and Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau. Nick Fury is also back as Nick Fury.
What do you think of the news? Do you think the budget of The Marvels is a sign of trouble ahead for Disney and Marvel Studios? Do you think The Marvels will be a success comparable to Captain Marvel, or it will underperform at the box office? Let us know your thoughts about the subject on The Illuminerdi’s social media.