With three days of receipts, Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel is already the biggest grossing film of 2019, and with $153 million, it’s not even close. The latest film in the Marvel Universe, an origins story for both the title character and Agent Nick Fury, has satisfied all the pent-up demand that has been building for a huge, four-quadrant blockbuster since the holiday release of Aquaman, offering up the best opening weekend at the box office since last June’s Incredibles 2 while also turning in the third best March opening of all time, behind only Beauty and the Beast ($174 million) and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($166 million). It’s also the 7th best opening ever for an MCU film, and all six above it went on to make $400 million or more at the U.S. box office.
The worldwide numbers are somehow even more impressive. Overseas, the film is poised to score $300 million in its first frame, including an estimated $90 million in China, and if the combined numbers hold, Captain Marvel could be looking at a global opening weekend of over $450 million, besting even the worldwide launch of Black Panther, which earned $430 million in its opening weekend on the way to over $1.3 billion in ticket sales.
Not bad for the MCU’s first female-led movie, which also happens to be based on a lesser known character played by an actress best known for her indie films, The Room and Short Term 12 and directed by a husband-wife team whose biggest box-office success in their 13-year directing career earned $6 million. The film obviously got some help by being part of the most popular franchise on the planet, but it was also buoyed by strong word of mouth (it has received an A Cinemascore) and solid reviews, scoring a 79 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, in spite of thousands of trolls bombing the Rotten Tomatoes audience score on Friday, pushing that score down as low as 33 percent before people who actually saw the movie helped lift the average.