By Nancy Tartaglione (Deadline)
MONDAY UPDATE, writethru with actuals: Disney/Marvel’s Captain Marvel soared to $302.3M at the international box office for her debut weekend, slightly higher than the Sunday estimate of $302M. Combined with domestic, the worldwide launch cume for the flying ace with the supercharged fists is $455.7M. 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 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 through Monday will push the Marvel Cinematic Universe to a combined box office above $18B across 21 films.
I hear that this weekend the Marvel brand was the major Cap’M draw internationally along with the wannasee factor of her origins story and how she connects to the MCU. Goose the cat was also very popular. Despite some voicing pre-weekend concerns about a female-led story turning off the guys, male fans showed up.
Within all of this, does Captain Marvel become the next MCU title to cross $1B? The jury is split. Some sources are quite bullish, and others caution that next weekend will provide a better outlook. That’s fair.
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). According to local estimates, Monday was worth $6.4M to push CM above $95M thus eclipsing WW’s full run.
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 – through Monday, the local estimates put CM at $25.3M) 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.
An overall 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 $437M. 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; that tops the original release of Titanic in unadjusted figures. And Alita: Battle Angel is now over $300M overseas.
Breakdowns on the films above and more have been updated below, including actuals for Disney, Universal, Fox and Warner Bros.
To recap from above, Captain Marvel grossed $302.3M from 53 material offshore markets this weekend with Japan still to come next frame. Globally, the total is $455.7M. The Brie Larson-starrer was the top western opener in all offshore hubs, and Kree-ated her own milestones as noted above. Overall in the same bucket of markets and at today’s rates, CM is about double the international start of Doctor Strange and 32% above Black Panther.
Looking at individual markets, China’s $89.3M is 43% ahead of Black Panther which itself did not light the Middle Kingdom on fire last year. There was what looks like a significant bump from International Women’s Day on Friday for Carol Danvers, and the midweeks will help clarify the strength of her core. She’ll certainly top the other standalone origins movies and get close to Captain America: Civil War.
Korea, with $24.1M, had the 6th biggest highest western industry opening weekend of all time, the biggest first standalone MCU opening weekend and the best March debut ever. The launch session is 22% ahead of Black Pantherwhich went on to about $43M at unadjusted rates in that market.
The UK debuted to $16.8M for the best first standalone MCU pic and the 3rd best March start ever. Black Panther in Britain opened on a Tuesday, but comping to the FSS, CM is 25% above. Brazil grossed $13.4M for the 2nd biggest industry start ever and best for March of all time as well as 66% bigger than Black Panther. Mexico, rounding out the Top 5, set a record for March with $12.8M and is the 5th highest industry launch ever while also coming in 45% over BP.
Other notable debuts include Indonesia ($10.1M) where CM is the 2nd biggest industry debut and 2nd best for MCU. Australia ($10.7M), Russia ($9.8M) and Taiwan ($6.4M) logged the biggest March debuts ever.
The Top 10 is as follows: China ($89.3M), Korea ($24.1M), UK ($16.8M), Brazil ($13.4M), Mexico ($12.8M), Australia ($10.7M), Indonesia ($10.1M), Russia ($9.8M), France ($9.2M) and Germany ($9.2M).
Two weeks after it was crowned Oscar’s Best Picture winner, Participant Media/DreamWorks’ Green Book continues to see a bump, particularly in China where the film has grossed $44.2M so far. In total this frame, the Peter Farrelly-directed movie took a combined $28.3M in 66 Lionsgate and Amblin markets. The international cume is now $162.1M. The Viggo Mortensen/Mahershala Ali-starrer crossed $200M worldwide earlier this week.
In 54 Lionsgate hubs this session, Green Book rode to $8.3M. Japan continued its strong run and was No. 3 for the weekend while France crossed the 1.5M admissions mark. Italy expanded to 250 screens and remained No. 2 in the marketplace. Russia has now cumed $7M. In Israel, Green Book’s $2.3M makes it the highest-grossing title of the year.
For Amblin, a $19.95M weekend in 12 markets reps a drop of 12% from last session. China earned an estimated $15.4M in its 2nd frame for a 10% dip. The $44.2M there drives Green Book past La La Land’s local gross (RMB 295.8M vs RMB 247M) and tops Titanic‘s historical cume of $43.9M for the original relese. In Germany, the drop was 15% for a total $10.26M to date. Spain also held well (-26%) for $8.2M thus far. The UK’s slight 30% slide lifts the local cume to $11M.
The Top 5 markets are China ($44.2M), France ($11.7M), the UK ($11M), Germany ($10.3M) and Italy ($9.5M).
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Hiccup and Toothless are still a star duo at the international box office with another $22.6M this weekend in 64 markets. The offshore cume on the Universal/DreamWorks Animation threequel topped $300M in the frame to hit $317.2M for $437M worldwide.
There were four smaller markets that winged in this session, including Estonia and Lithuania where we understand the movie came in ahead of Captain Marvel, with previews included. In holds, China’s second weekend saw a significant drop due to the arrival of Carol Danvers, and as Green Book — which Universal handles domestically — continues to overperform. The China cume is $48M to date.
Russia, conversely, had a great hold of -27% for a $23M cume. A national holiday on Friday helped, and this will become the 8th biggest animation title of all time this week. France ($22.3M), the UK ($23.2M) and Germany ($18.4M) were among the charmer’s best holds of the frame. Still up for the Dean DeBlois-helmed pic are Israel on March 14 and Japan on August 23.
ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL
Fox’s Alita: Battle Angel picked up another $11.37M from 74 markets in the session to lift the international cume to $304.1M. That puts the worldwide gross at $382.6M. After losing screens to Cap Marvel in China, she nevertheless added $5.6M in the frame to cume $126M there. The rest of the best current cumes include France at $16.4M and the UK at $11.6M. To date, Alita has earned about 61% in 3D and 11% in IMAX.
MISC UPDATED CUMES/NOTABLE
Escape Room (SNY): $4.3M intl weekend (37 markets); $76.6M intl cume
The Mule (WB): $4.4M intl weekend (34 markets); $53.1M intl cume
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (WB): $4M intl weekend (72 markets); $67.5M intl cume
Bohemian Rhapsody (FOX): $ $2.7M intl weekend (33 markets); $660.5M intl cume
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (SNY): $2.5M intl weekend (42 markets, incl $2.3M in Japan); $178M intl cume
Happy Death Day 2U (UNI): $2.3M intl weekend (55 markets); $34.1M intl cume
Instant Family (PAR): $1.7M intl weekend (23 markets); $50M intl cume
A Dog’s Way Home (SNY): $1.7M intl weekend (32 markets); $28.7M intl cume
The Favourite (FOX): $1.46M intl weekend (35 markets); $58.2M intl cume
What Men Want (PAR): $650K intl weekend (10 markets); $7.5M intl cume
Mary Queen Of Scots (UNI): $500K intl weekend (21 markets); $26.7M intl cume
Todos Los Saben (UNI): $400K intl weekend ($3 markets); $4.1M intl cume
Greta (UNI): $200K intl weekend (2 markets); $700K intl cume
Finally, for those keeping score at home, the current top-grosser of 2019 worldwide is China’s The Wandering Earth at almost $684M, Captain Marvel is now No. 2.
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 Chinapresales 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.