‘Captain Marvel’ soars to new heights at box office: $760M worldwide

Lindsey Bahr, The Associated Press
Published 12:34 p.m. ET March 17, 2019 | Updated 2:11 p.m. ET March 17, 2019


Brie Larson gives insight to what it took to become Captain Marvel, including the toughest part about shooting the film.

LOS ANGELES – “Captain Marvel” has continued to dominate the global box office in its second weekend in theaters, leaving newcomers in the dust.

On Sunday, Walt Disney Studios estimates that the intergalactic superhero fell only 55 percent from its record-breaking opening. This weekend, “Captain Marvel” earned an additional $69.3 million from North American theaters and $120 million internationally, bringing its global grosses to $760 million.

With Brie Larson in the title role, “Captain Marvel” has already surpassed the lifetime grosses of a slew of superhero films including “Justice League,” ”Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “The Amazing Spider-Man.”

In a very distant second, the new animated family film “Wonder Park” struggled with $16 million against a reported $100 million budget.

Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore, says it’s hard to compete with “Captain Marvel,” which is playing to all ages and audiences. But the PG-rated pic about a girl who dreams up an amusement park did not score well with critics: Just 30 percent of reviewers liked it at Rotten Tomatoes.

But it wasn’t all bad news for the films in “Captain Marvel’s” shadow. The Cole Sprouse and Haley Lu Richardson film “Five Feet Apart” opened in third place with $13.2 million in ticket sales, which is nearly double its production budget. The film centers on two teens with cystic fibrosis.

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Audiences were overwhelmingly female (82 percent) and young (65 percent under age 25 and 45 percent under 18). That the stars involved – like Sprouse, who is in TV’s popular “Riverdale” – have a strong fan base and social following motivated young women to turn out to the theaters.

“You don’t always have to be No. 1 to have a success,” Dergarabedian says. “And ‘Five Feet Apart’ proves that.”

“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” dropped to fourth place with around $9.3 million, and Tyler Perry’s “A Madea Family Funeral” landed in fifth with $8.1 million.

The Spanish-language newcomer “No Manches Frida 2,” which opened on only 472 screens, grossed $3.9 million to take sixth place.

Less lucky was “Captive State,” an alien invasion thriller starring rapper Machine Gun Kelly (aka Colson Baker) that floundered in seventh place with $3.2 million against a $25 million budget.

Final numbers are expected Monday.

But overall, things are finally looking up for the industry-wide box office. The “Captain Marvel” effect has lowered the year-to-date deficit nearly 10 percent in a week.

“This early in the year, any change can make a significant difference to the bottom line,” says Dergarabedian. “But it’s going to take more than one big movie to start us toward another record-breaking year in North America.”

One film that might help: Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” follow-up “Us” hits theaters next weekend and is tracking for an opening north of $40 million.


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