Captain Marvel is projected for a $145 million to $155 million opening weekend, the first nine-figure box office take for 2019 and the seventh-best premiere for a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie.
The estimates (for domestic box offices) that industry types were calculating on Saturday would put Captain Marvel ahead of 2017’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and behind the three Avengers films, Black Panther, Captain America: Civil War and Iron Man 3.
Overall, a $155 million weekend is in the company of 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and ahead of 2012’s premiere for The Hunger Games — still in the top 20 of opening weekends all-time, but in the bottom quarter.
Against DC Universe movies, Captain Marvel’s open trails two Dark Knights and 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Significantly, a $155 million weekend would outpace the $103 million taken in by Wonder Woman in June 2017. Wonder Woman’s opening day came in at $38 million, per Box Office Mojo; Captain Marvel collected $61 million, about $21 million of that coming from Thursday night early-bird tickets.
Wonder Woman went on to set a record — highest-grossing live-action film (worldwide receipts) directed by a woman. Captain Marvel is directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. Box Office Mojo said Captain Marvel’s $34.3 million box office haul in China is the second-highest for an MCU movie, behind last year’s Avengers: Infinity War.
Ten weeks into 2019, Captain Marvel’s debut easily will be stronger than Glass ($54 million) and Alita: Battle Angel ($37 million). It’s 2019’s first big release for an impatient Hollywood that has grown accustomed — thanks largely to superhero flicks like Black Panther and Deadpool — to seeing them earlier on the calendar than the traditional May kickoff to blockbuster season.
Our review called Captain Marvel “a propulsive, cosmic mystery that slowly but surely pieces together a new character — and then unleashes her in a most spectacular fashion.” Captain Marvel is tracking at 79 percent “fresh” (positive reviews out of all reviews) on Rotten Tomatoes and 65 on Metacritic (aggregated review scores).