Captain Marvel netted the sixth-largest worldwide opening weekend at the box office, and the second-largest global debut for a comic book film. It's no secret that in the first two months of the year, business was rather slow at the multiplex. A number of movies, including well-received sequels like The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, underperformed during their runs. Even titles that ended up turning a profit thanks to their micro budgets were ultimately considered disappointing; that's why a Happy Death Day 3 is unlikely to happen and Glass was seen as a letdown after Split.
All of this was expected to change with the arrival of Captain Marvel. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is unquestioningly one of the industry's strongest franchises, churning out hit after hit for the past decade. Unsurprisingly, the latest installment was expected to do very well commercially, and the only drama surrounding the debut was how high it would go. As it turns out, Carol Danvers scored one of the strongest openings ever.
According to Box Office Mojo, Captain Marvel earned a whopping $455 million worldwide in its first weekend. That's the sixth-largest figure in history, passing Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($450.8 million). It's also the second-biggest global opening for a superhero film, trailing only Avengers: Infinity War ($640.5 million). Based on its $152 million budget, Captain Marvel has already turned a healthy profit.
Captain Marvel was projected to make $350 million worldwide at the outset, so it clearly shattered those expectations. There are a few reasons to explain that, most notably lack of competition. Because the early going of 2019 has been so slow, the marketplace was quite barren by the time Captain Marvel premiered. It was the only new wide release of the weekend and none of the holdovers were meaningful rivals. To put things in perspective, in three days Captain Marvel outgrossed How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, a movie that's been out for three weeks. Additionally, it didn't hurt Captain Marvel scored positive reviews. At this point, Marvel movies are critic-proof, but the good word-of-mouth helped, especially since people were ready to check out a new tentpole.
In all likelihood, Captain Marvel will have strong legs at the box office, particularly since it won't face many challengers for the rest of the month. Jordan Peele's Us is generating rave reviews out of SXSW, but the R-rated horror/thriller is clearly going after a different target demographic. Even if Us wins the #1 spot during its opening weekend, it probably won't take too much business away from Captain Marvel. By the time Tim Burton's Dumbo rolls around, Captain Marvel will have already done a majority of its damage, and then Shazam debuts. There's a good chance Captain Marvel ends up grossing $1 billion globally, indicating the MCU brand is stronger than ever.
Source: Box Office Mojo
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019