Despite a large number of negative comments from online trolls geared towards Captain Marvel in the months leading up to its release, the film has triumphed similarly to other female-led films, reaching $455 million in ticket sales in its first week.
The backlash started when lead actress Brie Larson commented on how she wanted to seek out a more diverse group of journalists and critics to cover the movie after seeing mostly white men in the limelight. Larson explained that she didn’t believe these men should be judging movies not made for them. She also knew the vision for Captain Marvel was clear: make a feminist blockbuster. Many thought she was pushing diversity and unwanted ideals on people, making film too political.
When the first trailer was released, many complained that Larson didn’t smile enough, prompting her to alter pictures of male Avengers with wide smiles on their faces to accentuate the absurdity of wanting female superheroes to smile while saving the world.
Before long, the trolls were back at it, wondering if Larson was strong enough to represent the character of Captain Marvel. Larson retaliated yet again, posting videos of her rigorous workouts where she once pushed a 5,000-pound Jeep. Though, in their defense we’re sure all those trolls could push the same, if not more.
Even with all the negative commentary surrounding the film, Larson used her platform to bring as much attention as possible to its feminist message and how it is working to empower women across the globe.
She said: “This film is about trying to put in as many little revolutions as possible and as many little nods to what that experience is like, being a woman so that other people could feel less alone.”
Despite having already faced a flood of trolls prior to its release, Captain Marvel had to face even further setbacks: review bombing. Over 50,000 people took to Rotten Tomatoes to try and tank the movie’s approval rating—most without having even seen the film..
The tactic became so overwhelming that Rotten Tomatoes was forced to change its policy to stop allowing users to post audience reviews before a film’s release. Actual accredited film critics rated the movie at 81 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
This isn’t the first time a movie has faced backlash of this nature. The Last Jedi, Black Panther, the all-female remake of Ghostbusters, and Wonder Woman all faced negative commentary. Their criticisms spanned everything from casting choices, to how the film was screened, to the way the cast looked.
Despite all this, these films were relatively successful at the box office, just as Captain Marvel was. One can only imagine what it must feel like to be a troll right now.
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