“Captain America: Civil War” had a super-sized launch, soaring to $25 million in the U.S. on Thursday night.
The domestic debut is expected to take in around $200 million at 4,226 locations this weekend, marking a spectacular start to the summer box office.
If projections hold, “Captain America: Civil War” would be the fourth-highest opener of all time, behind “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” at $248 million, “Jurassic World” at $208.8 million and “Marvel’s The Avengers” at $207.4 million. “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is currently in fourth with $191.3 million.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” took in $57 million from Thursday shows in the U.S. on Dec. 17, setting its first box office record. “The Force Awakens” easily beat the previous Thursday-night preview record of $43.5 million set by Warner Bros.’ “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.”
“Avengers: Age of Ultron” generated $27.6 million in its Thursday night previews a year ago. “Captain America: Civil War” took in $3.1 million at Imax showings in Thursday previews, a Marvel record topping the $3 million for “Ultron.”
The Marvel/Disney superhero sequel generated $261.6 million overseas as of Wednesday after rolling out in foreign territories beginning on April 27, then added $29.6 million on Thursday. Korea has led the way with $41.7 million.
“Captain American: Civil War,” the 13th film in the Marvel Universe, opens in China on Friday.
The film is a hit with critics, earning a 92% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Advanced ticket sales have also been robust. The film set a new record this week on Fandango for a superhero movie, and currently comprises 90% of the online ticketer’s weekend sales.
The tentpole stars Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and Chris Evans’ title character, and introduces Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther and Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. The “Winter Soldier” directorial team of Joe and Anthony Russo returns to helm.
Rival studios have opted to avoid launching another title this weekend in wide release. Disney’s fourth frame of “The Jungle Book,” which won three straight races, should lead the rest of the pack with about $25 million.