Surprising no one, The Inhumans did very poorly at the box office. Yet ABC continues to insist everything is fine.
Marvel’s The Inhumans opened this past Friday in IMAX, an international release that made little sense, considering that the only country where it’s been picked up to air is the United States. It made only about $2.6 million, landing it at number 18 in the Top Ten box office for the weekend.
Compare that to Game of Thrones who released Season 4’s episodes 9 and 10 as a two-hour feature nine months after they originally debuted on TV, which did $1.5 million on not even a quarter of as many screens, and you can see the issue.
Part of the problem comes down to advertising — ABC has done little in the way of promoting The Inhumans, either as a TV show that’s sitting in for Agents of SHIELD this fall, or as an IMAX stunt, which was supposed to make this show somehow larger than the small screen. Most who have heard about it have only heard negative news, and the few reviews that have crossed the embargo line have been worse.
Taking all this into account, along with ABC’s canceling of Agent Carter, the Marvel’s Most Wanted screwjob last summer that robbed Agents of SHIELD of two prime cast members only to never make it to air, and the refusal to air Inhumans and Agents of SHIELD at the same time during the television season, and the writing on the wall is pretty obvious: ABC is tired of having Disney’s low rated bargain basement spin offs of their much more loved and cared for movie divisions. Let them go to Freeform (a far-less-watched ABC subsidiary) or Netflix, where they do better.
Except Marvel’s Head of TV Jeph Loeb insists that what our lyin’ eyes see is simply not true.
As it is with every single one of the networks that we have gotten with that this is with, and whether it’s Fox or it’s FX or it’s Freeform, or it’s Hulu, or it’s Netflix, ABC is always going to be our mothership. It is a Disney-owned network. We are a Disney-owned corporation and we’re a good fit for each other.”
While that sounds nice on paper, it doesn’t seem to be happening in practice. Take for instance that ABC still has no Star Wars TV spin-off — Disney saves that for their Disney Channel — and yet gets stuck with terribad shows like The Muppets, where the voice of Kermit sacrificed his own career to try to fix.
The worst part is there’s no need for this. Marvel is doing spectacularly well over on Netflix. Even if The Defenders was not a rip-roaring A+ with critics, fans still watched in droves, and Jessica Jones 2 and Luke Cage 2 both look to be big draws when they come out next year. (We’ll see about The Punisher in a few weeks.)
If ABC doesn’t want Marvel’s TV programs they can easily find homes elsewhere. (See the previously mentioned Freeform which will desperately need something when Harry Potter weekend departs next year.) Then the channel can go back to failing at making American Idol be a thing again in peace.