This weekend, Marvel’s first female-led superhero movie and the penultimate chapter in the MCU’s Phase 3 arrives in the form of Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson. Captain Marvel is a lesser-known character that has only been referenced, not seen, on the big screen until now, so how did she fare in her cinematic debut? Well, the weekend is just beginning, but Captain Marvel has already showed what she’s made of earning $20.7 million opening night.
Captain Marvel felt the need for speed, getting off to a fast start in its debut weekend with an impressive $20.7 million in preview screenings Thursday night, according to THR. That’s an incredible performance and one that trails only Black Panther’s $25.2 million in previews for solo superhero movies starring a new character. It’s also the fifth-biggest MCU preview haul behind only the aforementioned Black Panther and the team-up movies Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War.
Carol Danvers has also snagged the second-largest March preview screening gross behind only DC’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which earned $27.7 million in 2016. Speaking of DC, although that company beat Marvel to the box office with a female-led superhero film, the power of the Marvel brand (and perhaps the Infinity War tease) propelled Captain Marvel well past Wonder Woman’s $11 million in preview screenings.
Captain Marvel has just begun to take flight though and she is headed towards a massive opening weekend both domestically and around the globe. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Captain Marvel is projected to pull in over $60 million on Friday on the way towards a Marvel-ous opening weekend of $155 million to $160 million.
Even $150 million would still give Captain Marvel the second-best opening of all time for a comic book movie starring a new character, behind only Black Panther’s $200 million, and that character was already established thanks to his role in Captain America: Civil War.
A $155-$160 million opening weekend would be remarkable and especially impressive considering that the long-range tracking in January had Captain Marvel landing at around $140 million, and at the time that seemed somewhat ludicrous. Then the early tracking closer to release predicted a much more down to earth $100 million. So not only is Captain Marvel likely to beat that, it’s also looking like it will beat the number that seemed so outlandish and may do so by a wide margin.
Internationally things are looking good too. Captain Marvel opened in all major markets sans Japan this week, including a release in China at the post-Chinese New Year box office. Thus far Captain Marvel has made $44 million internationally, not including China. In the Middle Kingdom, the film had the second-biggest opening day of any MCU film there, making $34 million.
The Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck-directed film is doing better business than any MCU movie fronted by a new character in many markets and in Brazil, Captain Marvel had the biggest opening day ever behind only Avengers: Infinity War.
All told, Captain Marvel is looking like it will blast like a rocket past $300 million worldwide this weekend. It’s quite a feat for a lesser-known and cinematically unproven character. How it ever overcame the effective power of internet trolls and boycotts, we may never know.