SUNDAY UPDATE, Refresh for latest…: Disney/Marvel’s Captain Marvel has soared to an estimated $302M at the international box office for her debut weekend. Combined with domestic, the worldwide launch cume for the flying ace with the supercharged fists is $455M. Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers reached the scores higher, further and faster than pre-opening projections suggested, ultimately landing in the zone we closed in on yesterday as the four-quad pic demonstrably energized multiplexes.
The Anna Boden/Ryan Fleck-helmed Captain Marvel, which began rollout seven weeks before Avengers: Endgame, is the 6th highest global debut of all time, the 2nd best for a superhero film and the biggest ever for March. Worldwide, CM’s numbers push the Marvel Cinematic Universe to a combined box office of $17.98B across 21 films.
Overseas, Captain Marvel is the 5th highest international opening weekend of all time, the 2nd best superhero start and also the biggest for March. The largest chunk of offshore came from China where the film posted an estimated $89.3M, the 3rd best MCU opening weekend ever behind Avengers: Infinity War and Captain America: Civil War. This is also the highest first standalone character MCU opening weekend and the top March launch ever.
One notable aspect of the China debut is that the Saturday-Sunday drop was about 36%. That’s a steeper slide than what we usually see, but it’s worth recalling that women in the market had a half-day on Friday in honor of International Women’s Day which inflated business, making the Sunday softer by comparison. This is nevertheless an opening on par with the lifetime of Wonder Woman (at historic rates).
Outside Infinity War, Marvel titles in China do tend to be frontloaded, so we’ll see what Monday has to say about playability. There are no major releases in the coming frames, giving Carol Danvers a fair bit of runway. The film has an 8.8 on Maoyan where folks who provide user reviews are also ticket buyers. We’re hearing CM is looking at a finish in the $150M+ range in the market.
In our global preview, we had rival sources seeing the overseas opening as high as $210M+, but nobody was reaching into the $300M range. Disney certainly wasn’t going there. Cathleen Taff, Disney President of Theatrical Distribution, Franchise Management and Business & Audience Insights, tells me today that this one just felt “a little harder to read.” The studio knew it had something people were excited about, but the combination of factors like Captain Marvel being the first female superhero movie from the MCU and how she ties into Avengers: Endgame made it a difficult one to call. Still, “the stars aligned,” says Taff. “Every market is higher than we anticipated. It’s a culmination of all the territories overperforming versus some of the comps.”
Asia has a massive Marvel fanbase — Korea is the No. 2 market behind China this weekend with $24.1M (and a 16% drop from Saturday-Sunday) while seven of the Top 15 markets are based in the region — and many are growth areas which helps build on each MCU outing. The UK, Brazil and Mexico are also standouts, and each benefited from the savvy move to open the heroine timed to International Women’s Day.
As for what’s to come, Marvel movies do see some frontloading, but it’s the midweeks and the runway ahead that will paint a fuller picture. Of Carol Danvers, Taff says, “She’s pushed us to a great place.”
In IMAX, Captain Marvel delivered $36.1M to become the first non-sequel to crack the top five IMAX films of all time. With this weekend’s results, the MCU has crossed $1B globally for the format. This is also the best worldwide opening for March in IMAX. The offshore portion was $22M from 964 screens. That’s the top international Marvel IMAX opening and 2nd best ever behind only Jurassic World. In China, the IMAX haul was $10.4M from 603 screens for the No. 1 March start ever and 2nd best superhero launch. Also in the Middle Kingdom, nine of the Top 10 grossing theaters were IMAX locations. Elsewhere, CM ignited the all-time best IMAX debut in 12 markets.
While we won’t have a full analysis of overall exits from overseas until after the weekend, an offshore start at these heights suggests wide play. Craig Dehmel, Head of Global Distribution at IMAX, tells me, “The international number is absolutely massive. Clearly, it’s playing to an incredibly broad audience. It has tapped into the Avengers zeitgeist, elevating this original Marvel IP beyond what any single character (or non-Avengers) Marvel title has ever achieved in the international marketplace.”
In non-MCU world, there are some other performances to note this weekend. Universal/DreamWorks’ How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World isn’t keeping its light under a bushel, crossing $300M internationally and raising its global cume to $435M. Oscar winner Green Book showed continued strength in China where it was No. 2 behind CM in a great run that’s amassed over $44M locally. And Alita: Battle Angel is now over $300M overseas.
Breakdowns on the films above and more are being updated below.
PREVIOUS, 2ND SATURDAY UPDATE, writethru: Carol Danvers has shot to $127M at the international box office. The figure reps all play through Friday, including the big China debut we saw yesterday which gave Captain Marvel the 2nd highest MCU opening day ever in the market. The Disney/Marvel title has now bowed as the No. 1 western film in all openings and is playing well above pre-weekend projections — looking at a heroic launch frame that could top $300M overseas.
If domestic’s $160M three-day estimate holds, CM could land a stratospheric $460M+ global start. This would top Black Panther‘s $430M worldwide launch which was weighted to North America with $202M during the FSS over President’s Day 2018 (so not apples-to-apples given the holiday), and included $228M from overseas in like-for-likes and at today’s rates. As we noted in our preview, after the holiday heft of DC’s Aquaman, nothing has energized fanboys and girls since. And Captain Marvel appears to be playing to both; we’ll have more detail when the exits are analyzed after the weekend. (Anecdotally, a Saturday matinee in Aix-en-Provence, France, was equally well-attended by young, and older, men and women.)
The China three-day will likely land at $90M+ (on par with the lifetime of Wonder Woman at historic rates). Saturday’s estimates out of the Middle Kingdom have the day at $33.5M for a roughly 5% increase from Friday (not including Thursday midnights). That’s on the low side, but as we noted yesterday, the Friday-Saturday bump was not expected to be as high as is typical given that many women in China had a half-day on Friday in honor of International Women’s Day.
The film is working well in Asia, which leans heavily into Marvel. Four markets there are in the Top 10 through Friday. Per local estimates, Korea saw a 135% hike from Friday to Saturday.
In other markets, Friday saw the UK post the 4th highest ever MCU opening day, Mexico post the 7th highest opening day in industry history and Spain post the 2nd biggest MCU bow behind only Avengers: Infinity War.
Through Friday, the Top 5 markets are China ($34.3M/$67.8M est through Saturday), Korea ($9.3M/$17.2M est through Saturday), Indonesia ($6.4M), Brazil ($5.4M) and Russia $5.4M).
We will have a full international update tomorrow.
PREVIOUS, FRIDAY UPDATE: Disney/Marvel’s Captain Marvel amassed $44M in its first two days of overseas release. That Wednesday/Thursday international box office on the Brie Larson-starrer does not include China where the film opened today. In the Middle Kingdom, it is coming in at $34M (including Thursday midnights). That gives Carol Danvers bragging rights to the 2nd best MCU launch day ever in the market, behind only Avengers: Infinity War. Across all superhero movies, she’s 3rd behind Venom which bowed to $34.9M (including midnights) last November.
Overall, Captain Marvel is opening as the top western release in all markets as well as seeing the highest March debut in many, and is the biggest first day for a stand-alone MCU character in most. In the same suite of markets and at today’s exchange rates, Captain Marvel is currently pacing ahead of other MCU origins stories Black Panther, Doctor Strange and Ant-Man in most markets. Heading into the weekend, estimates on the international debut were ranging from $180M-$210M+. It will go well higher than the latter figure.
Captain Marvel is currently playing in 42 markets — notably it hit the 2nd highest opening day in industry history in Brazil. Today adds the UK, Mexico — and China, officially. Through today, it will be out everywhere save Japan which goes March 15.
In China, it is eyeing a $100M+ weekend. The caveat here is that a Friday-Saturday bump may not be quite as high as normal given that many women had a half-day today in honor of International Women’s Day. The film has a 7.1 on reviews aggregator Douban and an 8.8 on ticketing platform Maoyan.
Elsewhere, Korea is showing $9.1M through today, after a roughly 38% increase from Thursday. The cume in Korea is not included in the above total for Wednesday/Thursday.
Through Thursday, the Top 5 markets (not including the Friday figures we’ve noted above) are Korea ($5.9M), Indonesia ($4.8M), Brazil ($3M), France ($2.9M) and Australia ($2.5M).
PREVIOUS, THURSDAY: Disney/Marvel’s Captain Marvel has begun winging its way around the international box office. While Dis is not providing a full number for Wednesday’s Day One rollout, we have some local results to report.
The Brie Larson-starrer is seeing strong early play in markets like Korea, France and China. Although the Middle Kingdom doesn’t open officially until Friday, midnights tonight are understood to have come in at RMB 16.5M ($2.51M), the 4th best start for a superhero film behind Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Age Of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War. Notable that this is a standalone/origins story whereas the movies above it are all ensembles.
Pre tonight’s local midnights, the Anna Boden/Ryan Fleck-helmed Captain Marvel had logged the biggest China presales for any superhero film save Infinity War. It has a 7.2 on Douban which is not stellar, but lands above Black Panther’s 6.5 and Wonder Woman’s 7.1. A score from ticketing platform Maoyan is still to come. As we’ve noted, China will be a swing on the full opening weekend. Coming into the frame, some had it at a $60M launch while other sources were more bullish in the $90M+ range. We’ll know more tomorrow when the first estimates arrive for the official opening day.
Elsewhere, Carol Danvers is seeing early combined Wednesday/Thursday estimates at about $5.9M in Korea. In France, we’re hearing there were over 212K tickets sold on Wednesday. That would constitute about $1.7M for the 4th best start of the year behind local sequel Qu’Est-Ce Qu’On A Encore Fait Au Bon Dieu?!, How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and Disney’s own Ralph Breaks The Internet (the latter two playing into school holidays).
Domestic previews on Captain Marvel begin tonight and there will be lots more news to come as she spreads wings over the next few days, including in Germany, Russia, Brazil and Australia today, and the UK, Spain, Mexico and China on Friday.