While studios continue to make spin-offs, sequels, prequels, reboots, and remakes of superhero movies no one asked for — each seemingly more woke than the last, see here, here, and here — Americans’ enthusiasm for men and women in capes is waning, a Morning Consult survey found.
The poll data shows that “enjoyment of the seemingly never-ending stream of superhero content continues to drop among U.S. adults — and among even self-identified Marvel fans,” the report states. Between November 2021 and July 2022 the share of adults who say they enjoy superhero movies plunged five percentage points, from 64 percent to 59 percent.
At the same time, the number of adults who do not enjoy superhero movies increased 5 points, 36 percent to 41 percent. That number has increased 9 points since the survey was conducted in 2018.
Self-identified Marvel fans are still overwhelmingly dedicated to superhero movies at 82 percent, though that number is down five points from 87 percent in November. One-third (31 percent) of those fans say they are “getting a little tired of so many of them.” Notably, the number of Marvel fans who do not like superhero movies rose from 13 percent to 18 percent.
Morning Consult noted that the July survey was conducted after Marvel Studio President Kevin Feige announced at San Diego Comic-Con plans for phases five and six of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The announcement included news of two more Avengers films slated for 2025. The survey was conducted July 30-31 with 2,200 U.S. adults and has a margin of error of ±2 percentage points.
“The news came amid a rare slump for the Walt Disney Co.-owned property: Many of Marvel Studios’ latest films, including “Thor: Love and Thunder,” have underwhelmed at the box office,” according to the report. “While the coronavirus pandemic and rise of streaming options have certainly been factors, the slump may stem in part from a tangible increase in superhero fatigue among moviegoers.”
In a late-July statement to the Wall Street Journal, a Walt Disney Co. spokesperson blamed recent lackluster box office results on the coronavirus pandemic. However, data shows that Americans were experiencing “superhero fatigue” before the pandemic, Morning Consult countered.