In November 2023, videos surfaced on social media allegedly sharing comments by actress Brie Larson about the poor box office performance of "The Marvels," but there was no evidence to corroborate the claims found in the videos.
The clips surfaced after the November release of "The Marvels," the latest addition to the expansive Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, the film only made $46 million at the U.S. and Canadian box office during opening weekend according to IMDB, the lowest opening weekend for any Marvel film.
Larson has spoken openly about the challenges that come with playing a female superhero in the past, but the claims these videos have made following the release of "The Marvels" are unfounded.
The unfounded rumor was promoted in a video by the purported celebrity gossip YouTube channel Mike Zeroh with the caption, “Brie Larson FURIOUS REACTION TO THE MARVELS BOX OFFICE DISASTER! Disney Gets Desperate,” and a thumbnail describing her response as "insane." Without naming a source for its information, the video’s narrator said:
"We know that Brie Larson is one that had a lot of problems on the set of this film, and seemingly really tries to cover that. Now, given that Brie Larson is currently in a very delicate position in her acting career, after multiple studios already dropped her after all the Disney drama over the past few months related to "The Marvels." One major development has to do with Brie Larson's take on the backlash and criticism to the actual film. Now, Larson delivered the following: 'As a woman, I think it's worth noting that this is our best Marvel film that really binds different sides of the universe together and this really is a story and a film catered to women.'"
(Snopes also fact-checked whether any studios had severed ties with Larson. That claim was also false).
That YouTube video had been viewed more than 70,000 times, as of this writing, since its upload on Nov. 12, 2023. Meanwhile, a TikTok video sharing the same unfounded claim gained more than 200,000 views.
But there was no evidence to support the claim that Larson had made the comments. If, hypothetically speaking, there was even a sliver of authenticity to Larson's supposed response — for instance, if she had called "The Marvels" the "Charlie's Angels of the Marvel Universe," a rather unique phrase the videos attribute to Larson — reputable entertainment media outlets likely would have reported that she used the phrase. While there were articles online that drew a comparison between the two movies, these articles did not attribute that comparison to Larson. In short, the claims appear to have been made up from whole cloth for the purpose of gaining clicks, or views, online.
Despite the fact that the video’s underlying claim was unfounded, the supposed quotes from Larson could seem believable to some readers because Larson openly said in a 2022 interview with Variety that she wasn't sure that anyone wanted her to play Captain Marvel again. That idea originated in 2019 when "anti-woke" Marvel fans intensely criticized and harassed her during the release and promotion of "Captain Marvel," something that also happened with the release of "The Marvels." With their mixture of true and misleading information, as well as emotionally charged language, such videos with baseless celebrity rumors often generate hundreds, or thousands, of comments from YouTube users. Some of those messages indicate that people interpret the videos to be real news.
This was not the first misleading rumor related to the Marvel Cinematic Universe that captured social media users’ attention. For example, we previously debunked the unfounded claim that Robert Downey Jr. would return to the franchise as Iron Man, an assertion that originated with a TikTok video blowing a rumor out of proportion.