Could Internet traffic in conservative markets reflect anger rather than interest? Probably not. Conservative rage on that scale would have shown up in mainstream conservative media. According to the TV News Archive, last week Fox News had minimal but positive coverage of “Captain Marvel.” Fox viewers skew older than the superhero movie demographic. Even so, Fox commentators regularly decry liberalism in other parts of young adult life, such as higher education. The alt-right’s concern with diversity at the movies has not won similar coverage.
In fact, none of the superheroes protested by the alt-right underperformed in conservative markets. I gathered opening weekend Google traffic for “Captain Marvel,” “Black Panther,” “Aquaman,” and “Wonder Woman.” I benchmarked the first two films against “Age of Ultron.” The other two are compared with “Batman v Superman,” the earlier ensemble film in their cinematic universe.
In general, conservative audiences have not penalized female and minority superhero movies. Conservative audiences were no less interested in these movies than in ensemble superhero films.