Here’s why Captain Marvel’s trolls will never win


While sexist trolls are trying to impede Captain Marvel’s success, they won’t stop the film from performing well at the box office and beyond.

It is and isn’t surprising that online trolls, predominantly men, are trying to ruin Captain Marvel’s chances to succeed before the film is even released. Instead of celebrating diversity with Marvel’s first movie with a female lead, trolls have been doing everything they can to tear down the movie since its inception.

Since Captain Marvel debuts its first trailer, haters were quick to complain that Captain Marvel didn’t smile enough in posters and trailers. Then when Brie Larson said she wanted to have more diversity during press tours, trolls began writing negative reviews for the film on Rotten Tomatoes.

This review trolling has gotten so bad that Rotten Tomatoes announced it’ll be changing the way it allows reviews. Instead of allowing reviews to come out before a movie’s release for the “Want to See” ratings, reviews will only be able to be submitted once the film is out in theaters. Rotten Tomatoes had this to say about the decision:

"What else are we doing? We are disabling the comment function prior to a movie’s release date. Unfortunately, we have seen an uptick in non-constructive input, sometimes bordering on trolling, which we believe is a disservice to our general readership. We have decided that turning off this feature for now is the best course of action. Don’t worry though, fans will still get to have their say: Once a movie is released, audiences can leave a user rating and comments as they always have."

This is probably a smart move. Before this decision was made, Captain Marvel had the lowest pre-release rating on Rotten Tomatoes of any Marvel movie. This seems motivated by trolls who can’t stand the idea that Brie Larson and others involved are calling it a feminist superhero film.

Trolls have even been making a stir online by pitting the DC film, Shazam!, against Captain Marvel. Since the hero Shazam was originally called Captain Marvel back in the ’50s, haters have been claiming that Captain Marvel isn’t the real Captain Marvel and are channeling their misguided feelings into support for Shazam! while attacking Captain Marvel. 

These sexist attacks and comparisons have gotten so bad that the star of Shazam!, Zachary Levi, has spoken out. In an Instagram video, Levi had this to say to these “fans.”

"For anyone out there who thinks you’re doing me a favor or Shazam! a favor, or you’re doing Warner Bros. [a favor], you’re not. This is not helping anyone or anything… Anyone out there who’s holding onto some bone like they need to pick a side and pick a fight is sorely mistaken. Don’t go and engage in that type of behavior anymore."

Levi also noted that there is no conspiracy or comparison between Captain Marvel and Shazam!  just because the two at one point had the same name.

Sadly, this kind of bigoted trolling is not a new phenomenon. Similar issues happened with Star Wars: The Last Jedi reviews. Harassment of Kelly Marie Tran on social media got so bad that she had to leave for her own sake.

While internet trolls are the worst, it’s good to see that people are speaking out and to also see that companies like Rotten Tomatoes are taken steps so that trolls can’t impact a movie’s perception in such a biased way.

In the end, these trolls will likely have very little impact on the Captain Marvel release. The film is still expected to do really well at the box office (and Marvel is likely being modest about how much it’ll make). The average moviegoer and superhero fan isn’t going to not see the movie because of these attacks, and there are many, many more people who are thrilled about this film.

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Captain Marvel will also be playing an important role in Avengers: Endgame. This character is being set up to be an important part of the MCU going into Phase 4, and she’s not going anywhere any time soon. The MCU is creating a more diverse cast of heroes with the likes of Carol Danvers and characters from Black Panther, and campaigns set up by a small-but-vocal group aren’t going to stop that moment any time soon.