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Disney boss says Deadpool & Wolverine will save the Marvel Studios slump, calling it the biggest MCU movie "in a long time"

Disney CEO Bob Iger thinks Deadpool & Wolverine will give Marvel Studios tis groove back

Deadpool & Wolverine
Image credit: Marvel Studios

How big will Deadpool & Wolverine be... and will it be big enough to change the narrative on Marvel Studios? That's the question we're looking at a month or so before its release. At a recent conference, the Disney CEO said he and the company are "doing a lot" to remedy the company's recent uneven movie business, admitting that that part of the business "hit on hard times that needed addressing."

One of the crown jewels in the Disney empire is the MCU movies, and Iger boldly claims that Deadpool & Wolverine "will be one of the more successful Marvel movies we’ve had in a long time."

Deadpool & Wolverine
Image credit: Marvel Studios

Iger went on to say that for films like Deadpool & Wolverine, he will watch the film "three to five times with the team and just create a culture of excellence and respect, which is really important with the creative community."

Related: If Deadpool & Wolverine isn't the centerpiece of San Diego Comic-Con, they're doing it wrong

Iger also says he has a habit of giving "detailed notes" on films like Deadpool & Wolverine, but is careful for it to be a "respectful process that results in improvement."

Deadpool & Wolverine will be the first proper X-Men movie for Marvel Studios after acquiring 20th Century Fox (and the rights to the X-Men in movies), and has been called by director Shawn Levy a "two-hander" - not just a Deadpool sequel or a Wolverine sequel, but a sequel to both character's movies under the Fox regime.

But going back to what Iger says, what would Deadpool & Wolverine need to do at theaters to be "more successful" than Marvel movies have been "in a long time"? It depends on he means by "a long time"; the last Marvel Studios film, The Marvels, earned $13 million less than its reported budget, but 2023's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 earned three times its reported $250m budget. If Iger means "in a long time" to only be in the past 8 months and not include Guardians, that's a cagedy answer which we don't believe he'd make. So could Deadpool & Wolverine beat the $846m box office of the last Guardians of the Galaxy movie?

It's potentially off to a good start. Early tracking for the movie predicts an opening between $200 million and $239 million, with a note from tracking service Quorom that this number is a conservative estimate, six weeks out. That's a very, very good number for Marvel to see - especially considering that the current record highest R-rated movie opening belongs to the first Deadpool movie, with a $132.4m opening in February 2016. If the new movie places at the high end of the current estimate, that's more than $100 million higher.

By acquiring the Deadpool movie franchise, Marvel Studios might have something even bigger - the first two Deadpool films earned seven times their budgets. (The Wolverine films always at least doubled it, sometimes more). While the budget of Deadpool & Wolverine hasn't been reported yet, Marvel Studios hasn't made a movie for under $200m since 2019's Spider-Man: No Way Home - and that earned 10 times its budget.

Deadpool & Wolverine opens in theaters July 26. Buy tickets on Fandango or Atom Tickets; apparently, you'll be in good company.

Chris Arrant

Chris Arrant: Chris Arrant is the Popverse's Editor-in-Chief. He has written about pop culture for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel, Newsarama, CBR, and more. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. (He/him)


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