‘Captain Marvel’ Cheers Theaters After a Dismal Start to 2019
(Bloomberg) -- Oscar winner Brie Larson delivered a superhero-sized jolt to theaters with her portrayal of the comic-book character “Captain Marvel,” waking up fans of blockbuster movies from their long winter slumber.
- The film from Walt Disney Co.’s Marvel division opened with North American weekend sales of $153.4 million, researcher Comscore Inc. said Monday in an email. Forecasts ranged from a low of $125 million from Disney to $175 million, the mean projection from Box Office Pro. “Captain Marvel” also opened in international markets, and Disney estimated the global weekend take at $455 million, the sixth-biggest ever.
- The domestic tally makes “Captain America” the biggest opening of the year and could signal a rebound for theater owners, whose sales were down 26 percent year to date as of last weekend. Disney, the box-office leader in recent years, has several potential blockbusters lined up in coming weeks, including a “Dumbo” live-action remake later this month and “Avengers: Endgame” in late April.
- It’s been a longish dry spell for fans of big action films, which explains the drought in sales for theater owners. So far this year, the biggest weekend film was “How to Train Your Dragon” at $55 million in February. The last big hit was Warner Bros.’s “Aquaman” opened in late December to $68 million and went on to collect $1.14 billion worldwide.
- “Captain Marvel” breaks new ground for Disney. It’s the first female-led superhero movie from Marvel, the master of big-screen comic-book films. The studio also enlisted a woman to co-direct the picture, in another first for the company. Not surprisingly, no other major studio opened a new film in competition with “Captain Marvel.” Larson, 29, won the Oscar for best actress in 2016 for “Room,” about a woman and her young son held captive for seven years. The opening-weekend audience was about 45 percent male, a bit above the 40 percent average for the Marvel franchise.
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