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411 Box Office Report: Captain Marvel Takes Off With $153 Million Start

March 10, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel was another major launch for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, soaring to a $153 million domestic start. The Brie Larson-starring film scored the second-best solo franchise opener for a film in the MCU to date, ahead of all of the Phase One and Phase Two films and below only the $202 million opening weekend of Black Panther. It is the seventh-best MCU opening of all time period, behind only Panther, the three Avengers films, Captain America: Civil War and Iron Man 3. Captain Marvel reps another huge hit for the studio and proved the doubters wrong, beating out expectations that expected it to do between $110 million to $140 million in its first three days.

It’s good that Captain Marvel performed well, because the pressure was on it. Marvel hyped this one big, selling the fact that it was the first female-led Marvel solo film and launching it on International Women’s Day to coincide with that status. The film was not without its controversy, as trolls tried to bomb Rotten Tomatoes with negative comments before it was even out due in part to comments Larson had made about wanting more diversity among reporters on her press tours. There were also attempts to shift audiences over to other films, particularly Alita: Battle Angel with an “AlitaChallenge” hashtag.

Obviously, the film wasn’t affected by those efforts, neither here nor overseas where the film launched to $302 million in in forty-two markets for a $455 million worldwide start. It’s the top worldwide March film launch ever and the sixth-best global debut ever. The film’s launch was boosted by good (though not top-level) critical regard with a 80% Rotten Tomatoes rating, and a strong positive audience reaction with an A CinemaScore. This all adds up to a great start for a film that should be able to find decent legs. The MCU average for a film’s final gross multiple is 2.74 and if Captain Marvel can reach that multiple, it will hit $410 million-plus domestically. There is some fandom-heavy competition coming up in Us and Pet Sematary, and Dumbo for the family crowd. But those won’t open on this one’s level and the first direct competition will be Shazam! on April 5th. $400 million domestically is pretty well assured, and a higher total could easily be in the cards. To put it lightly, this is a major hit on a $152 million budget.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World was predictably down a spot in its third weekend, ceding #1 to Carol Danvers and settling for $14.7 million. That’s off 51% from last weekend, which was largely expected. The final film in the trilogy $119.7 million domestically and $435.2 million worldwide, which is tracking just slightly behind the second film at this point. The Hidden World is still in fine shape and should still finish off with a good $160 million domestically or more by the end of its run. The budget was $129 million.

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral was down an expected 56% in its second weekend to bring in $12.1 million. The latest Madea comedy is now at $45.9 million domestically and $46.1 million worldwide. Like most of Perry’s films, it should level off quickly from here and a $65 million final domestic gross seems likely, enough for profit against a $20 million budget.

The Lego Movie 2 was steady at #4 in its fifth weekend, down 42% to $3.8 million. The animated sequel is now up to $97.1 million domestically and $164.4 million domestically, not a great run for a sequel to a beloved hit. The film should finish off at around $110 million, not enough for profit but also not a big money loser on its $99 million budget plus marketing.

Alita: Battle Angel slid to #5 in its fourth weekend with $3.2 million, down 56%. The sci-fi action film is now sitting at $78.3 million domestically and $382.7 million worldwide. There isn’t a great chance for this one to see a sequel at this point, but the foreign numbers will be enough that Fox doesn’t take a big loss here. The budget was $170 million, with a final domestic gross of $90 million likely.

Green Book is starting to fade at last, down 46% in its seventeenth week with $2.5 million. The Oscar winner was bound to give up the ghost at some point, and that time appears to be now. Still, the film is ending its run with a nice profit margin thanks to $80.1 million domestically and $242.2 million worldwide against a mere $23 million budget. Never discount the importance of Oscars to box office.

Rebel Wilson’s Isn’t It Romantic continues its decent run, slipping 47% to $2.4 million in its fourth weekend. The satirical rom-com now stands at $44.2 million and is zeroing in on a $55 million final domestic gross. Its budget was $31 million.

Fighting With My Family is drifting off, down 53% in its third weekend with $2.2 million. The Paige biopic now has $18.7 million domestically and $21.3 million worldwide thus far. On a reported $11 million budget, it will be in good shape and should end its domestic run at $22 million.

Greta didn’t start well last weekend, and it did worse in weekend two with a 52% drop to $2.2 million. That would be a sketchy second-weekend fall for an adult-skewing thriller with a hefty gross; for a film that started this low, it’s terrible. The movie is now up to $8.3 million domestically and $9.1 million worldwide on a reported $6 million cost by Focus Features. It probably won’t make a profit and should finish at around $12 million in the US.

Coming in at #10 was Neon’s documentary Apollo 11. The film rode a wave of critical acclaim (100% on RT) to jump five spots as it expanded into 285 theaters to $1.3 million. The film now has $3.8 million off an unknown budget. Like with most documentaries and platform releases, the final gross depends entirely on where the studio takes it from here.

Captain Marvel will rule a second weekend next frame, with the highest new release likely to come from teen drama Five Feet Apart. The romance film should hit the mid-teens range, with animated film Wonder Park targeting $8 million to $10 million.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. Captain Marvel – $153 million ($153 million total)
2. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World – $14.7 million ($119.7 million total)
3. A Madea Family Funeral – $12.1 million ($45.9 million total)
4. The Lego Movie 2 – $3.8 million ($97.1 million total)
5. Alita: Battle Angel – $3.2 million ($78.3 million total)
6. Green Book – $2.5 million ($80.1 million total)
7. Isn’t It Romantic – $2.4 million ($44.2 million total)
8. Fighting With My Family – $2.2 million ($18.7 million total)
9. Greta – $2.2 million ($8.3 million total)
10. Apollo 11 – $1.3 million ($3.8 million total)