• The Marvels saw decreased interest from Gen Z viewers, potentially due to MCU’s age and nostalgic references.
  • To address this, introducing Young Avengers could be a step forward, as seen with Barbie’s Gen Z success.
  • Marvel should adapt to changing demographics and focus on attracting younger audiences to sustain MCU’s success.



The latest MCU release, The Marvels, failed to attract a large audience of Gen Z members, but luckily Marvel might have a solution. What makes The Marvels’ low percentage of Gen Z viewers more surprising is the fact that its predecessor, Captain Marvel, had a much larger percentage of young viewers. Of course, in the five years since Captain Marvel, many of those viewers have aged out of the 18-24 demographic. The Marvels‘ lower numbers would suggest that younger audiences might not be as interested in the MCU’s recent fare.

Marvel would be smart to try and address Gen Z’s apparent lack of interest in the MCU. Luckily, at least one recent box-office success may have some answers for them. This would help them avoid future financial disappointments like The Marvels and be a good way to ensure the MCU brand stays relevant.


Everything We Know About The Marvels 2 Aka Captain Marvel 3

The Marvels sets up a future MCU sequel through its three protagonists, potentially in the form of Captain Marvel 3 or a new team-up movie.

Marvel’s Gen Z Problem Explained

The Marvels Showed A Decline In Interest From Younger Viewers

Kamala Khan watching Photon power up in The Marvels

Data from The Marvels‘ opening weekend showed that viewers in the 18-24 demographic only made up 19% of the audience. This was a sharp decline from Captain Marvel, which had 40% of its viewership in that age range. This would seem to imply that the MCU is failing to attract new, younger fans. Part of this could be due to the fact that the MCU is now 16 years old, meaning members of this younger demographic were at most eight years old when it started.

It is possible that the interconnected nature of the MCU could leave some younger audience members feeling like they are too far behind to start watching now. Some of the MCU’s creative decisions may also be to blame, as the films use references and music that are more recognizable to older viewers but that younger ones might not have the same nostalgia for. Whatever the reason for Gen Z’s apparent disinterest in the MCU, it is something Marvel should actively try to address. Luckily, it seems like they have an opportunity now that they are teasing the MCU’s Young Avengers.

Marvel’s Young Avengers Can Learn From A Gen Z Success Story

The Young Avengers Were Teased At The End Of The Marvels

Margot Robbie smiling at the elderly woman while sitting on a bench in Barbie

Marvel’s upcoming Young Avengers project seems like a good first step toward getting younger audiences interested in the MCU. However, Marvel needs to do more than put younger heroes on screen to attract a Gen Z audience. After all, Iman Vellani’s Ms. Marvel had a major role in The Marvels, and the movie still didn’t do great with the younger demographic. However, another major blockbuster in 2023 proved that it is possible to get a sizable number of Gen Z viewers out to the theater.

Barbie ended up being a massive hit in 2023, especially with younger viewers. According to statistics presented by Yahoo!, over 46% of Barbie‘s audience were members of Gen Z. Marvel should take cues from Barbie‘s success with younger audiences when it comes to creating the Young Avengers for the MCU.

One way that Barbie ingratiated itself to younger audiences was by including elements that were already popular with Gen Z viewers. For example, instead of relying completely on pop songs from the ’80s or ’90s, Barbie had Billie Eilish make a song specifically for the movie. Barbie also established a strong presence on TikTok (Variety), a platform popular with Gen Z.


The MCU’s Young Avengers: Everything We Know So Far

Marvel Studios has finally provided the first official tease of the MCU’s Young Avengers, meaning the team will likely form in the MCU very soon.

Why The MCU Needs To Court Gen Z

The MCU Needs To Change Focus As Demographic Groups Shift

If the MCU wants to continue being successful, it would be a service to itself to attract more Gen Z viewers. As time goes on, Gen Z will be making up a greater percentage of possible audiences, while older generations might start aging out of the MCU or succumbing to the often referenced “superhero fatigue.”

Even if Marvel is planning for Avengers: Secret Wars to be a soft reboot of the MCU, the franchise needs to last three more years. With budgets for Marvel movies continuing to balloon, they can’t afford to miss out on any potential sales at the box office. If Marvel wants to avoid future disappointments like The Marvels, they would be smart to follow Barbie‘s example and start trying to get younger audiences into the theater.

The Marvels Movie Poster

The Marvels

Nia DaCosta

Release Date
November 10, 2023

105 Minutes

Where To Stream

Key Release Dates

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