2019 has been a poor year at the domestic box office. The box office as a whole is 26% lower than last year (which did have the massive success of Black Panther to ride on). As of writing this article, only 3 movies have crossed $100 million total. But all of that is about to change.
Captain Marvel is set to take the box office by storm this week as the first tentpole film released since Aquaman at the end of December. The market has been starved for a major film release, and Captain Marvel is more than ready to deliver. This week, I took a look at some similar films to try and find out exactly how much Captain Marvel is going to make this weekend domestically.
Currently, the industry expectation is between $120 million to $150 million, with the trend being higher and $150 million being the most common value. However, I think that Captain Marvel can go higher than that, similar to the way that Black Panther dominated the box office last winter. While there is almost no way that Captain Marvel reaches the $200 million plateau that Black Panther hit, I do think that having a female superhero will lead to a similar effect that having a largely African-American cast did. It’s a part of Disney’s quest to include more diversity in its films, and I think that this sense of inclusion will lead to box office success.
It’s also important to remember that there hasn’t been a major release in so long. People have been waiting to go to the movies, and I firmly believe that this film is what people have been waiting for. There is a tangible element to this excitement as can be seen by Captain Marvel having the second most advanced ticket sales for any Marvel Cinematic Universe film ever behind only Avengers: Infinity War.
With all of that in mind, I’m predicting a total weekend box office of $151.3 million for Captain Marvel.
Now that you know the total value that I think the film will make this weekend, let’s take a closer look at how Captain Marvel will do on each day of this weekend. I based my predictions off of the opening weekends for Wonder Woman, Black Panther, Doctor Strange and Thor: Ragnarok.
Wonder Woman is an obvious choice because it is the only other major superhero film to star a woman. For Black Panther, I’ve already detailed the reasons they compare because of the release date and diversity. Doctor Strange makes the cut because it is Marvel’s most recent pure origin story, and Doctor Strange’s importance is very similar to Captain Marvel’s. Finally, I included Thor: Ragnarok because it made a hefty amount of money and also served as a resurgence for Thor and felt as if the character was starting over. Using these comparisons, I looked at each film’s changes from day to day as well as each day of the weekend as a percent of the total weekend gross.
|Day||Wonder Woman||Black Panther||Doctor Strange||Thor: Ragnarok||Average|
As you can see, there is a wide variety of data to sort through, with the most interesting being the change in gross on Sunday. Black Panther had a better hold from Saturday to Sunday than Friday to Saturday, which is rare, but considering it was released on President’s Day weekend, it makes sense that it would hold better with people having the next day off. On the other side of the spectrum, Doctor Strange and Thor: Ragnarok both dropped quite a large amount on Sunday, especially compared to their remarkable holds from Friday to Saturday. With all this being said, I decided to use Wonder Woman as my primary comparison because it is relatively close to the average values of the other comparisons and is the most similar of the films to Captain Marvel.
With this in mind, I’m predicting an opening day for Captain Marvel of $56.4 million, which includes the Thursday previews and represents 37.3% of the weekend box office, which is pretty in line with all of the comparisons. On Saturday, I’m expecting a drop of 8%, to $51.9 million, 34.3% of the total weekend box office. This drop is a bit below the average, but it is pretty in line with Wonder Woman and would still be a really successful second day for the film. Finally, I see Sunday dropping 17.3% to $42.9 million, 28.4% of the weekend box office and matching up well with expectations. If Captain Marvel hits that Sunday number, then its Sunday gross alone would be greater than the second highest grossing opening weekend of the year domestically.
All in all, I would not be shocked to see Captain Marvel finish this weekend as the number 1 film of the year domestically to this point. Even if it finishes on the low end of expectations, it would probably take over as top dog because there has been so little of note this year.
Just to wrap things up, I’m expecting Captain Marvel to hit $151.3 million at the domestic box office this weekend, and you’ll have to check back in on Monday when the official results are released for how well (or poorly) I predicted.
Cole Geryak is a college Disney fan making his way through the world. He has ridden every single ride in Disneyland in one day, all while wearing a shirt and tie. Imagination is his middle name, and his heart truly lies in the parks.