It's not been a great few weeks for The Marvels: the first four weeks of its box office run have ended and it's officially the lowest-grossing installment of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. That doesn't mean it's the worst film in the franchise or even a bad film, though – just see our ranking of the best Marvel movies.
There are lots of reasons why its box office hasn't been brilliant, with audience burnout after what feels like eleventy billion MCU movies and TV shows being a big part of it. But it has still brought in considerably less cash than its predecessor Captain Marvel.
But of course in movie land money talks, and that means The Marvels will be compared negatively to these five box office record breakers. Which is better? You can see for yourself because four of the five are available to stream on Disney Plus right now.
The US numbers are big, but the global numbers are incredible. 2019's Avengers: Endgame pulled in nearly $2.8 trillion worldwide and it's well deserved, as Avengers: Endgame is one of the best comic book-based movies we've seen in years. After all, it's the finale of more than a decade of universe-building. While its three hour length is as bad for your buttocks as taking on the Avengers is for the bad guys, it's an extraordinary film that combines superb spectacle with a smart script.
Avengers: Infinity War
Avengers: Endgame broke the records previously set by Avengers: Infinity War, which raked in a massive $2 trillion worldwide. Avengers: Endgame is the better film but this one's pretty great too. If you're an MCU fan who's already invested in the characters this is a layered and powerful film that's surprisingly emotional in between the action scenes. If anything there's a little too much going on, but the film moves so quickly and so thrillingly you'll forgive its flaws.
Spider-Man: No Way Home
Spider-Man: No Way Home is the only one out of this list that is not currently streaming on Disney Plus (but it is available to watch elsewhere on the best streaming services), and it's also the only one that isn't an Avengers ensemble piece. It's one of the biggest, boldest live action Spider-Mans to date (the animated movies are even wilder, of course) with superb performances by Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch and Zendaya. It's a love letter to the Spidey franchise, and while as with most such films there's a bit of a tendency to go all Meat Loaf and make everything louder than everything else it's still a hugely enjoyable romp with a big heart as well as big battles.
Available to stream on Starz in the US, Netflix in the UK and Foxtel Now in Australia.
Avengers Assemble / The Avengers
Fitting for a superhero movie, this film has a double identity: it's known in most of the world as The Avengers, but in the UK and Ireland it was renamed Avengers Assemble. The 2012 film is an early MCU installment and it's a flawed but fun and often very funny ensemble piece that turns the volume up to eleven, starts with a bang and then keeps adding more spectacle. It's perhaps a little less deep than some of the latter instalments but it's a brilliant popcorn movie with a truly exceptional climax.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron has the lowest rating of all the movies here, coming in at a comparatively poor 76% on Rotten Tomatoes – Ultron also ranks quite low in our Marvel movie villain rated list. Some critics felt it was all style and little substance, while this viewer felt that the climactic scenes were a little too heavy on the shaky fast-cut blur-o-vision that's undoubtedly kinetic but also quite headache-inducing. It's definitely one of those "if you like this kind of thing, this is the kind of thing you'll like" movies. tTe sequel to The Avengers delivers everything you’d expect but doesn't really live on in your mind after the closing credits have rolled.
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Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.