The 2019 box office slump is no match for Marvel, as Captain Marvel arrives and singlehandedly saves the year so far.
By Tim Briody
March 10, 2019
Marvel’s latest film was once again an example of them taking a character some people may have been vaguely aware of (I remember being able to select Ms. Marvel in the Ultimate Alliance games!) and turning it into a box office superstar. They’re good at this, and they’ve more than earned audiences' trust when it comes to comes to presenting someone new to the masses. We knew Captain Marvel was going to be the slumpbuster 2019’s box office needed, but the main question going into the weekend was how big it was going to be.
While $100 million felt like the floor, with a maybe a little room to move, the Friday figure came in at $61.4 million as reported by Kim Hollis yesterday, with a massive $20.7 million of that coming on Thursday.
The Friday total turned into an awesome weekend of $153 million, the 18th best opening weekend of all-time. That’s way ahead of most weekend estimates, and also good enough to make it the year’s top film after just three days. The opening weekend, by the way, matches the movie’s production budget, and when you add in a fantastic weekend overseas, we’ve now set the bar for box office in 2019 (something that Avengers: Endgame and also something called Star Wars will likely have a say about later on this year).
Detractors argued out that the reviews came in on the “lower” end of the scale for Marvel (rating merely 80% Fresh), and if you’re extremely online, you may have seen mention that there were some crybabies upset with comments star Brie Larson made that made them clutch their fedoras and say they were boycotting the film and claimed it would be Marvel’s first flop. Plus something about her acting ability, even though they all forgot she has an Oscar. Well, so much for any of that. Haha. Nerds.
As 2019’s box office has shown so far, we’re in a sea change when it comes to moviegoing habits. It takes a true event film for people to really show up, when otherwise they can wait a couple of months and see a movie in the comfort of their own home in 4K. Despite attempts by some other films this year, Captain Marvel is the first true event film of the year, and it was rewarded so.
While it’s of course way too early to predict where Captain Marvel ends up from here, after the phenomenal start, even if it does suffer a big collapse next weekend (though it’s not likely as most everything else got out of the way), it’s still headed to at least $300 million, with of course the potential for a lot more.
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World crossed $100 million midweek but falls 51% in its third weekend to $14.7 million and has $119.6 million to date. The big drop here is likely due to Captain Marvel establishing itself as an acceptable entry for those who might have grown out of the adventures of Hiccup and Toothless. Despite having the best opening in the franchise, The Hidden World is now lagging behind the previous two films at this same point in release, with the 2010 original having $133.4 million after three weekends, while the 2014 sequel had earned $121.9 million. It’s still headed to $150 million or so, which is fine but disappointing after the promising start.
Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Reunion by Tyler Perry (A Tyler Perry Film) falls 55% from its opening weekend to $12.5 million, giving it $45.8 million after two weekends. Yes, I’m sad I may not be able to use that joke much longer since this is the supposed end of the Madea franchise. Anyway, Perry’s films have never been ones to show legs, but he keeps the budgets down (it only cost $20 million), so he gets to keep on making them.
It’s the long awaited return of the Lightning Round for most of the rest of the top ten! The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part continues to struggle with $3.8 million in its fifth weekend and will finally cross $100 million next weekend, as it’s at $97.1 million to date. Remember when it was a contender for a $100 million opening weekend? Alita: Battle Angel adds $3.2 million and has $78.3 million in four weekends. A few years from now, we’ll all be surprised at how much it made.
Best Picture Green Book adds $2.4 million (down 46%) to cross $80 million since its November release. Isn’t It Romantic slides 47% to $2.4 million and $44.1 million in four weekends. Fighting With My Family earns $2.1 million and has $18.6 million since its wide release three weeks ago, still fine for something that cost just $11 million to make; and Greta drops 52% from its opening weekend to $2.1 million and has $8.2 million in two weekends.
Finally, sneaking into tenth place is the first documentary of 2019 to crack the top ten, as Apollo 11 earns $1.3 million in 405 theaters. Apollo 11 is of course the first space flight that landed on the moon (which was 50 years ago this year), and the film’s gimmick here is it is made entirely of archival footage (some never before seen) and features no voiceover narration or interviews with the subjects. The film, which actually opened last weekend, is currently 100% Fresh at Rotten Tomatoes and has $3.7 million in two weekends.
Powered by Captain Marvel, your top 12 films this weekend earned $199.5 million, ahead of last year when Black Panther led the way for a fourth weekend with $40.8 million and A Wrinkle In Time opened with $33.1 million.
Next weekend, everyone was afraid of Captain Marvel, as your new releases are the Paramount/Nickelodeon animated entry Wonder Park, teen romance Five Feet Apart, and the Focus Features sci-fi flick Captive State.