10 MCU Movies That Didn’t Perform As Well As Expected

Ever since Iron Man was released in 2008, the MCU has run like a well-oiled machine. Well, most of the time. It goes without saying that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is arguably the biggest, most successful franchise in film history. It has even changed the landscape of modern day cinema.

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That does not mean that there haven’t been a few missteps along the way. A number of films have not met the high expectations that fans have set for the MCU from time to time, Some films just couldn’t live up to the hype, while others weren’t the box office hits Marvel had hoped for.

10 Thor: Love and Thunder Became The Lowest-Rated Thor Movie

Thor: Love and Thunder represented the first solo series to get a fourth film. The film follows Thor as he searches for his place in the universe while fighting Gorr the God Butcher and reuniting with his ex-girlfriend Jane Foster; now the Mighty Thor.

Suffice to say, expectations were high after the massive success of Thor: Ragnarok. However, Love and Thunder is now the lowest-rated Thor movie on Rotten Tomatoes; which is extremely surprising given how criticized Thor: The Dark World used to be. Fans would have preferred to see more of Gorr butchering gods rather than the non-stop comedy that attributed to the film’s uneven tone.

9 Eternals Was Too Ambitious For Its Own Good

Eternals was touted as one of the most ambitious projects in the MCU before its release. Directed by Oscar-winning director Chloe Zhao, the film followed the Eternals; a powerful group of immortal beings, across two different time periods as they protect Earth from the Deviants. The film boasted an impressive cast including Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek.

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Eternals crashed and burned upon release, and is still currently the only MCU film to be rated rotten on Rotten Tomatoes at 47%. The movie was criticized before its release, perhaps unfairly so. It didn’t help that the Eternals were not very well-known to the average MCU fan, and the film had little connection to the greater MCU. Still, Marvel Studios does not seem fazed by it, as a sequel is rumored to be in development.

8 Iron Man 2 Could Not Live Up To Its Predecessor

After Iron Man kicked off the MCU, Iron Man 2 was the first sequel from Marvel. It follows Tony Stark as he deals with his declining health and a new villain, Ivan Vanko, rising to avenge his father.

Iron Man 2 is often seen as the weakest of the Iron Man movies. The MCU has often struggled in second films, and it didn’t help that the movie failed to live up to the successful first entry. Vanko was not seen as a great villain, and star Mickey Rourke did not have great things to say about working with Marvel Studios.

7 Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness Crashed From Immense Hype

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was part of the MCU’s Phase Four, sending Stephen Strange on a multiversal adventure against the Scarlet Witch, building on the multiverse story from Spider Man: No Way Home. Unfortunately, it couldn’t match No Way Home‘s success.

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something Multiverse of Madness could not do was live up to the hype. The internet was sure that the film would be filled with cameos, as nearly every Marvel character either from the MCU, Fox, or elsewhere, was rumored to appear in the film. Fans were treated to the Illuminati, including Patrick Stewart’s Professor X, but no other surprises were in store.

6 Iron Man 3’s Mandarin Polarized Fans

Iron Man 3 was the first MCU movie to be released after The Avengers. Tony Stark gets into a personal war with the Mandarin and hits his lowest point yet. The film was a financial success; becoming the first solo film to gross over a billion dollars at the box office, but it heavily divided fans.

In the movie, the Mandarin is played by Sir Ben Kingsley. However, it has been revealed that he is simply Trevor Slattery; an actor posing as the Mandarin. This decision divided fans so much that it was retconned in a Marvel One-Shot, suggesting that the real Mandarin was still out there somewhere, eventually being followed up in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

5 Thor: The Dark World Sparked A Shift In The Thor Movies

The second entry in Thor’s solo series, Thor: The Dark World found the Odinson battling Malekith the Dark Elf for control over the Aether; later revealed to be one of the Infinity stones. While the film was somewhat profitable, it was a rather forgettable entry in the MCU.

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Malekith was labeled as a forgettable, one-off villain. It is rumored that there was lots of studio meddling in the project as well, which never helps. The film eventually led to the studio taking Thor in an entirely different direction in Thor: Ragnarokwhich fans have dubbed one of the best MCU movies to date.

4 Black Widow Released At The Wrong Time For A Variety Of Factors

Black Widow is a perfect example of a movie that came out at the wrong time. The film was hit by several delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic, finally releasing in May 2021. It was also released simultaneously on Disney+ for an extra fee. Black Widow only made $379 million at the box office; one of the lowest in the MCU to date.

Of course, part of this has to do with the pandemic which is understandable. However, fans argued that the movie came too late. Even if it did release on time, all of this came after Natasha’s heroic sacrifice in Avengers: Endgameand fans wanted her to have her own solo film years before.

3 The Incredible Hulk’s Legacy Lives On, But Was Not Well-Received At The Time

The black sheep of the franchise, The Incredible Hulk introduced Bruce Banner/Hulk into the MCU. Bruce Banner tries to cure his condition while on the run from the US government, also coming into conflict with Abomination.

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In the early days of the MCU, some movies were hit and miss. Unfortunately, the movie didn’t make a big impact at the time. However, the legacy of the movie is impressive. Several characters have appeared over ten years later in other MCU projects, making it one of the most important films in the MCU in retrospect.

2 Captain Marvel Was Considered Average

The first female-led solo movie in the MCU, Captain Marvel was released in 2019 and tells the origin story of Carol Danvers, who becomes Captain Marvel after making contact with the Tesseract. She then becomes embroiled in a galactic war between the Kree and the Skrulls.

The movie grossed over a billion dollars at the box office and was well-received by critics, but some fans thought the film was only average. Some took umbrage with star Brie Larson’s performance, but a lot of this could be attributed to the unnecessary, misogynistic hate Larson received online.

Expectations were sky-high for Avengers: Age of Ultron after The Avengers changed the landscape of cinema, not to mention the trajectory of the MCU. The second Avengers film found the team reuniting to battle Ultron, who is hellbent on destroying the world in order to save it.

The film was described as over-stuffed, not to mention that Ultron felt under-developed. Ultron also did not live up to the villainous expectations set by Tom Hiddleston’s Loki in the first film. about time, Age of Ultron has received more love from the fans, thanks in part to its introduction of important characters such as Scarlet Witch and Vision into the MCU.

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