Weekend Box Office: “War” Launches Summer With a Bang

Captain America: Civil War Review

To no one’s surprise, Disney’s Captain America: Civil War dominated the box office scene all around the world this weekend. The much-anticipated sequel made its North America debut Thursday night at 7pm and proceeded to dominate the multiplex, earning nearly nine times as much as its closest competition, fellow Disney flick The Jungle Book. I’m sure the Mouse House is just fine with that.

Playing more like The Avengers 2.5 than a direct sequel to 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Civil War fought its way to an estimated $181.8 million from 4,226 screens. That massive haul was good enough to earn the $250 million production the honor of becoming the fifth highest-grossing opener of all time, just behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Jurassic World, The Avengers and its follow up, The Age of Ultron.

The daily box office breakdown on Civil War was $75.3 million on Friday – of which $25 million came from Thursday night showings-, $61.1 million Saturday and Sunday is estimated at $45.4 million, a drop of only 25%. 380 IMAX screens contributed $16 million of the weekend gross.

In comparison to the previous entries in the Captain America series, Civil War earned more in its first three days than Captain America: The First Avenger did during its entire theatrical run. Joe Johnston’s origin tale concluded with $176 million five summers ago. Steve Rogers’ latest round of heroics should also eclipse the $256 million earned by The Winter Soldier by this upcoming Friday.

Overseas, where the film got a head start last weekend, Civil War has bagged a Hulk-sized $497 million. Market standouts so far include China ($95.8 million), Korea ($54 million), the UK ($40.4 million) and Mexico ($34 million).

While marketing got the asses into the seats in a big way, positive word of mouth should help keep them coming for at least the next few weeks until the next Marvel superheroes arrive in X-Men: Apocalypse May 27th. Civil War scored a solid 91% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes (check out Jon’s review here), the same score earned by Guardians of the Galaxy and just below The Avengers, while ticket buyers polled by CinemaScore gave the film an “A” rating.

With this much goodwill –and the Disney marketing monster as well- riding behind this film, Civil War should have little to no trouble approaching the $375-400 million mark, possibly more, by the end of its run domestically and an additional billion dollars overseas.

While Captain America and Iron Man took a majority of its attention away, The Jungle Book had another sizeable weekend in second place. The Jon Favreau family hit added an estimated $21.8 million to the Disney bank account in its fourth weekend on 4,144 screens. Its domestic total now stands at a great $285 million, with another $491 million earned from overseas. Although the film dipped 50% this weekend, it should level off and continue to be a decent earner throughout the month of May. The $340 million milestone is still a possibility.

Taking advantage of the Mother’s Day holiday in third place was, well, Mother’s Day with an estimated $9 million from 3,141 theaters. The film actually increased eight percent over last weekend’s total, which brought its overall gross to $20.7 million. With the holiday now coming to a close, so should the good fortunes associated wit the film. The critically lambasted Garry Marshall comedy should peter out with roughly $35 million in the bank.

The rest of the top ten were leftovers fighting for moviegoer crumbs.

Universal’s dud The Huntsman: Winter’s War landed in fourth with an estimated $3.5 million. Off 63%, the three-week total stands at $40.3 million. Warner’s well liked but poorly attended Keanu slipped 67% to land in fifth with an estimated $3 million. After two weeks, the comedy has earned a meek $15.1 million.

Outside the top five:

  1. Barbershop: The Next Cut (Warner) $2.7 million (-56%); $48.7 million
  1. Zootopia (Disney) $2.6 million (-50%); $327.6 million
  1. The Boss (Universal) $1.75 million (-59%) $59.1 million
  1. Ratchet & Clank (Focus) $1.4 million (-70%); $7 million
  1. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (Warner) $1 million (-73%); $327.2 million

Civil War will remain in the top spot next weekend without breaking a sweat. The question now is just how big of a drop will it endures in its sophomore session. The norm for Marvel flicks tends to be in the ballpark of 55-60%. That would put the second week gross for the new Cap flick somewhere between $72-80 million. Of course, if word of mouth is really strong and the fanboys and gals want more, the drop could be smaller and the second week gross higher. Time will tell.

One thing is for certain: neither of next week’s new wide releases, Money Monster and The Darkness, will come close to challenging the Marvel Money Express ™.


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