We may be reaching a turning point for Marvel.

It’s unclear if they can bring people out to the theater like they used to anymore. The Marvels was just released, and it opened with the worst opening weekend in the history of the studio, just $46.1 million here in North America. As of now, its Rotten Tomatoes scores are sitting at 61 percent from critics and 84 percent from audiences. Those are not great numbers.

This isn’t the first sign of Marvel's declining performance. It’s been a while since they had a major hit, and there are more and more notable misses coming out, like Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania or Thor: Love and Thunder. There are a variety of factors playing into this whole thing. Of course, there’s the superhero fatigue phenomenon, but there’s also a complete oversaturation of the superhero market. The specific issues with The Marvels, according to some critics, are a cluttered plot and near-constant strange tonal shifts.

Then there is the large number of Marvel shows on Disney+ as well. Just before the start of the pandemic, Marvel was given orders from Disney to ramp up production of its streaming TV shows — which it did. But now it seems like there really might be such a thing as too much of a good thing.

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READ MORE: 20 Actors Who Were Wasted in Bad MCU Roles

A lot of productions, for Marvel and the rest of Hollywood, were delayed because of the recently (and finally) concluded writers’ and actors’ strikes. As a result, a lot of big blockbusters are going to be delayed from their initially planned release dates. For all of these reasons, Marvel is only putting out one movie in 2024. Excluding 2020, the year of the worst of the Covid pandemic, Marvel has not released just one movie in a calendar year since 2012, the year of the very first Avengers.

2024’s sole MCU film will be Deadpool 3starring Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman. They’ll no doubt get some moviegoers in the theater off of the star power, the return of Jackman, and the reputation of the Deadpool series alone. But can they keep that momentum going into 2025, when many more movies are now slated for release? Movies like Blade, Thunderbolts, or the historically difficult Fantastic Four? That remains to be seen.

Deadpool 3 is scheduled to open in theaters on July 26, 2024.

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