Since 2008, Marvel Studios has built a reputation as one of the premiere entertainment producers in the film industry. Beginning with the original Iron Man, the company has grown over time thanks to a string of well-received genre pictures that ushered in the shared universe phenomenon. The studio can clearly make a franchise out of anything from Captain America to Guardians of the Galaxy, and their crowd-pleasing movies have combined to gross $10 billion at the box office so far. Thirteen films in, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has never been in better shape, setting the stage for a massive Phase 3.
Their seemingly lifelong hot streak continued with the premiere of Captain America: Civil War, in which two teams of Avengers do battle with each other. The latest from directors Joe and Anthony Russo got off to a blazing start in international markets before posting one of the highest domestic opening weekends of all-time. Due to enthusiastic reception from both critics and audiences (and a lack of competition since it debuted), Civil War has dominated the marketplace for the past handful of weeks. And in a relatively short period of time, it's become the biggest film of 2016.
As the most recent figures roll in (via Box Office Mojo), the third Captain America movie has now passed Disney's Zootopia for the #1 spot on the global charts. Civil War currently stands at $971.9 million, while Zootopia has made $971.3 million. It's all but a guarantee that Captain America 3 will become the first release of the year to cross the $1 billion plateau, becoming just the fourth installment in the MCU to accomplish that feat (the others being the first two Avengers movies and Iron Man 3).
What this proves is that "superhero fatigue" is mainly a myth that hasn't truly come to pass yet. So far, 2016 has seen three major comic book films, and they've all proven to be successful. In February, Deadpool became the largest R-rated film of all-time, posting $762.4 million (with no 3D and a ban in China, no less). Zack Snyder's Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice may have come up short of Warner Bros.' goals, but it still broke records, and its $870.1 million total was more than enough to turn a nice profit. Since the various studios all have slates of superhero movies scheduled through 2020, this is great news. Barring any catastrophes, mainstream audiences remain highly interested in these projects.
As of this writing, Civil War sits at $306.6 million Stateside, ranking as the fifth-highest grossing film of the year. It's made that much in a little under two full weeks, meaning it still has a long way to go before its run is complete. Though the multiplex is about to get a little more crowded with the arrivals of X-Men: Apocalypse and Alice Through the Looking Glass on May 27, 2016, Civil War should be able to continue its rise up the charts. It only has to bring in around $55.9 million to pass Deadpool as the top earner in North America, and another strong weekend will essentially clinch that title.
The real winner here, of course, is Walt Disney Pictures. The Mouse Hose has already distributed three of the top five movies of the year (Civil War, Zootopia, and The Jungle Book) with many more blockbusters on the way. Still to come this year are the likes of Finding Dory, Doctor Strange, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (among others), all of which are expected to rake in copious amounts of cash. In 2015, Universal was the talk of the town in terms of box office dollars, but there's a new undisputed king in 2016. Mickey Mouse has taken over Hollywood.
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