After firing out of the gates in its international release, Captain America: Civil War finally premiered in North America last week and the results were highly impressive. Scoring $179.1 million in its first three days, the film posted the fifth largest opening weekend at the box office and set a new high for the solo Captain America series. Thanks to a wave of positive buzz bolstered by strong reviews and an enthusiastic response from fans, Civil War kicked off the summer with a bang, adding on to what's already been a record-breaking year for Walt Disney Pictures.
The film is expected to dominate the marketplace for the next few weeks, until X-Men: Apocalypse arrives and steals some of the target audience away. It's clear that the rest of Hollywood is keen to stay out of Civil War's way for the time being, seeing that the only wide releases this week are the small horror film The Darkness and drama Money Monster, neither of which poses a challenge to Civil War's place as box office king. While Marvel has an easy path to the top spot again, it doesn't mean that Civil War can't face a sharp decline after a massive debut. That's what tends to happen with tentpoles such as this, once the hype has passed and the smoke clears. In a special edition of the Box Office Prediction, we're trying to determine how much of a hit Civil War will take.
As the thirteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there's fortunately a substantial sample size in which to compare Civil War to. Given how much it made in its opening weekend, many will most likely judge its performance against the first two Avengers movies. The first film in 2012 saw a decrease of 50.3 percent in its second weekend, while Avengers: Age of Ultron fell 59.4 percent. Since Civil War is closer to The Avengers in terms of word-of-mouth, there's a greater chance it falls closer to that end of the spectrum this week. An incredible hold like 50 percent may not happen again, but it probably won't see too steep of a decline.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice showed that a perceived lack of competition isn't enough to bring in big box office dollars. Despite going against the likes of God's Not Dead 2 and Meet the Blacks in its second weekend, the DC Extended Universe launch pad took a 69.1 percent nosedive, with the mixed reviews and audience reactions to blame. That's a roadblock Civil War does not have to overcome, since it received near universal praise and has many elements people are raving about. So not only is it the only blockbuster in town, it's widely seen as a good movie and worth watching on the big screen. Casual audiences are more inclined to spend their hard earned money on a trip to the theater if they know they're in for an entertaining time.
Civil War has been going strong since it first opened. Grossing $75.5 million on May 6, it is now up to $215.1 million (as of this writing), surpassing the amount that Iron Man 3 had made at the same point in its run by more than $10 million. It clearly has the support of the moviegoing public, continuing the stories of several established fan-favorite characters while also introducing exciting new additions such as Spider-Man and Black Panther. Even though it didn't open as high as the Avengers films, it's still one of the most commercially successful films in the studio's history, already ranking as the eighth biggest installment in the MCU after just six days. It isn't showing any signs of slowing down and will be the go-to option for those looking to see a movie this week.
With all that's working in Civil War's favor, it should demonstrate strong legs at the box office and have a fairly sizable second weekend. Looking at the numbers, our prediction would be that the film will see a decline of around 55 percent for a haul of approximately $80.6 million, which would be a higher number than Age of Ultron and Iron Man 3, a plausible scenario given the receptions for those films.
The Box Office Prediction will return next week.
Captain America: Civil War is in theaters now. Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017;Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Avengers: Infinity War Part 2– May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.
Source: Box Office Mojo