Finally, it’s the big one.
After Nick Fury’s pager at the end of ‘Infinity War’ hinted at the then-unintroduced Carol Danvers as a potential solution to the ‘Thanos problem’, the anticipation for Friday’s ‘Captain Marvel’ has continued to grow to near-record lengths. U.S. ticket-seller Fandango report pre-sales outpacing the likes of ‘Black Panther’ at the same point before release, meaning the newest film from the MCU assembly-line may come ready-made with a $200m+ opening.
Of course, it’s lazy to solely give Thanos all the credit. Apart from having the honour of being the MCU’s 1st female-led release, ‘Captain Marvel’ also opens on an International Women’s Day that’s completely bereft of competition, with no other wide release entering play this weekend. The bubbling resentment of online trolls at star Brie Larson’s apparent gender-hatred has only put the film further into the spotlight, and mixed with decent reviews and an A-list cast, the $150m release proves an interesting cocktail of factors.
Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (‘Half Nelson’) and also starring Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Lashana Lynch, and Gemma Chan, the film follows Carol Danvers (Larson) in 1995 as she becomes Captain Marvel during an inter-galactic war.
The fighting won’t remain in the cinemas however, with ‘Captain Marvel’ looking to battle 2017’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ to the opening weekend record for March. Beating the $174.8m score is do-able, and with ‘Captain Marvel’ forecasted to hit around $185m in its first 3 days, a $200m gross isn’t off the table either. Who would’ve seen this becoming the 4th biggest MCU opener of all time?
The franchise itself continues to grow from strength to strength it seems. Last year saw ‘Black Panther’, another character introduction, open to a February-record $202m, which preceeded ‘Infinity War’s all-time record $257.7m. Even ‘Ant-Man 2’s $75.8m was the 9th biggest opening of the year.
Fears of a superhero fatigue contrast the raw numbers: the people want more, and not just in the U.S. either. If tracking’s to be believed, ‘Captain Marvel’s near-$400m international opening from all markets but Japan will surpass ‘Black Panther’s $371.4m, not only virtually guaranteeing a profit from the film’s stream-lined budget, but cementing the MCU’s stronghold for years to come.
Following far, far behind is ‘How to Train Your Dragon: Hidden World’ in its 3rd weekend at the Box Office. Its $16m gross will represent a 45% drop in the aftermath of ‘Captain Marvel’s introduction, yet this will still leave the DreamWorks production on a running domestic total close to $120m. Its continued success in the face of heavy competition is a testament to its popularity, although its dreams of reaching the $200m domestic mark are quickly fading.
If ‘Hidden World’s hold in the face of ‘Captain Marvel’ was strong, then ‘A Madea Family Funeral’s most definitely isn’t. Tyler Perry movies – especially those in the ‘Madea’ franchise – aren’t usually characterized by long leggy Box Office runs, as the intended audience are in and out by the first Sunday night. This weekend will see it gross just under $11m, a 60% fall from last weekend, putting it on equal footing with ‘Madea’s Witness Protection’ at the same point in its run, which ended on a reasonable $65.7m total back in 2012.