Why Captain Marvel's Controversy Won't Matter
For all the heat Captain Marvel appears to be generating, the truth is it's probably safe to relax. These trolls aren't doing anything new; they attacked Star Wars: The Last Jedi in pretty much the same way, and that film went on to become the highest-grossing blockbuster of 2017. This isn't even anything Marvel Studios hasn't had to deal with before, as it's a rinse-and-repeat of what happened with last year's Black Panther. Far-right trolls announced a campaign to sabotage Black Panther's Rotten Tomatoes score, claiming to be angry that Disney was spotlighting non-white and/or female characters in their films. Director Ryan Coogler even wound up responding to the news after it gained traction, insisting he wasn't worried about it. He was right not to be concerned; Black Panther grossed over $700 million in the domestic box office, and made over $1.3 billion worldwide. It was a cultural event, and is the first superhero film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. The trolls really didn't succeed in their goal.
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Nor will they succeed this time. All signs indicate that Captain Marvel will be the latest in a long line of Marvel Studios blockbuster hits, and that all the trolls' fury will have no effect at all. In fact, according to IMDb Captain Marvel was the most anticipated movie of 2019. Granted, that statement was made before the trailer for Avengers: Endgame was released, but it still suggests that the trolls have failed to connect with the average viewer.
The truth is that this vocal minority like to act as though they speak for audiences everywhere, but they're actually pretty easy to tune out, and their actions don't have much of an impact on box office performance. There's no evidence at all to suggest review bombing works, and the handful of fan-sites cheering on the trolls are roundly mocked. That's not to say Captain Marvel will outperform Black Panther; that sort of box office performance for a solo superhero movie is a cultural event, and Marvel will be fortunate if they ever manage to repeat it. But Captain Marvel will be just fine.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019