At this point, the notion of a new Marvel Cinematic Universe movie opening with a boffo Friday-Sunday debut is barely news anymore; it's now akin to a new Tyler Perry-as-Madea movie opening with $25 million. Still, even by Marvel's standards, Captain Marvel flew higher, further and faster than its relative competition.
The Brie Larson/Samuel L. Jackson/Reggie the Cat sci-fi adventure opened with $153m in North America this weekend, which is the second-biggest solo superhero non-sequel launch behind Black Panther ($202m in 2018). It's the third-biggest March opening of all time, sans inflation, behind Batman v Superman ($166m in 2016) and Beauty and the Beast ($174m in 2017).
It's the fourth-biggest non-sequel launch behind Beauty and the Beast, Black Panther and (if it counts as a non-sequel) The Avengers ($207 million in 2012). The Anna Boden/Ryan Fleck-directed sci-fi adventure just scored the MCU’s seventh-biggest opening behind Iron Man 3 ($174m in 2013), Captain America: Civil War ($179m in 2016), Avengers: Age of Ultron ($191m in 2015), Black Panther ($202m in 2018), The Avengers ($207m in 2012) and Avengers: Infinity War ($258m in 2018). It earned a solid 2.55x weekend multiplier (it earned $53m in Saturday and around $42.6m on Sunday) and an A from Cinemascore.
So, no, the opening night bombardment of aggressively negative user reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and IMDB were not indicative of the general moviegoing populace. I know, I'm just as shocked—shocked—as you are. For what it's worth, this is the fifth-biggest female-led debut weekend of all time, behind only (again, sans inflation and 3-D bumps) The Hunger Games: Catching Fire ($158 million in 2013 sans 3-D), Beauty and the Beast ($174m in 2017), Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($220m in 2017) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($248m in 2015). Oh, and Captain Marvel is Samuel L. Jackson’s fourth-biggest opener behind the first two Avengers movies and Incredibles 2 ($184m in 2018).
Sadly, I cannot count Infinity War toward Jackson’s total since he is only in the post-credit cookie. Here’s hoping Fury is in Endgame enough for it to “count.” Ditto for Reggie the Cat, who is hoping to eclipse this personal-best milestone when she stars in Avengers: Endgame this April. So, when Goose the Cat kills Thanos, which superhero gets to say "Looks like his goose... is cooked"? I say give it to T'Challa, as Chadwick Boseman deserves a funny or two after playing it straight for two MCU movies. So, after months of speculation, rumors, manufactured controversies and the usual online huffing-and-puffing, Captain Marvel did as well as could be expected, at least for the moment.
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