The superhero adventure is on track to be one of the biggest openings of any Marvel Comics film in history, with pre-release tracking suggesting it will open between $175 million and $180 million. Rival studio executives and analysts believe that the film, which has Captain America in the title, but also includes Avengers staples such as Iron Man and Black Widow among its cadre of costumed protagonists, could debut to nearly $200 million.
“It’s tough to predict any movie getting above $200 million, but this one has a shot,” said Eric Handler, an analyst with MKM Partners. “They have two weeks of good buzz to build on and the marketing machine behind this is going to be huge.”
The issue with firming up a prediction for a film like “Captain America: Civil War” is that awareness of the picture is nearly universal and interest is high. That makes coming up with an accurate prediction more art than science. It should also be noted that no tracking service has the film hitting $200 million.
If it does reach that number, “Captain America: Civil War” will be only the fourth film in history, behind “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Jurassic World” and the first “Avengers” movie, to breach the $200 million barrier in the opening weekend. The previous two Captain America films opened to $65.1 million and $95 million, respectively. However, the ensemble cast and the promise of seeing Captain America face off against Iron Man is bolstering interest. The picture is taking on the air of a third Avengers movie instead of another Captain America one-off. It also features the first on-screen appearances of the new Spider-Man (English actor Tom Holland slipping into the spandex) and Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther.
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“Captain America: Civil War” will extend a strong box office run for Disney, Marvel’s parent company. The film unit had a major success with “Zootopia,” the animated film that has made $883.8 million globally, and scored with “The Jungle Book,” its live-action retelling of the animated classic that debuted to $103.6 million last weekend.
“Captain America: Civil War” opens on May 6 in the U.S. and rolls out that week in prime international markets such as China, Russia and Italy. The film will begin its foreign roll out on April 27, bowing in the likes of France and Korea. It should be in most major foreign territories by the first week of May.
That continent-spanning footprint means the film will likely rack up massive global box office results. Domestically, it has the multiplexes more or less to itself. There are no other studio wide releases opening against “Captain America: Civil War” and no major blockbuster film hits screens until two weeks later when a sequel to “Neighbors,” “The Angry Birds Movie” and “The Nice Guys” with Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe debut.
Reviews have been strong, with Variety‘s Justin Chang hailing the film as “the most mature and substantive picture to have yet emerged from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.” Joe Russo and Anthony Russo (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier”) direct the film with Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie heading up the cast.