The big debut of “Captain Marvel” is just a few days away, and while the film is on track for a superhero-sized opening, Disney has already set a pretty high bar for the month of March. Many of Marvel’s films have already set highest-grossing opening weekend records in their respective month, but March belongs to Disney‘s record-smashing “Beauty and the Beast” adaptation. This makes things a little tougher on “Captain Marvel,” who has to battle one of Disney’s best to take the crown. It will be a battle of Marvel and Disney, Watson and Larson, superheroes and fantasy. In the end, Disney is coming out the winner, but it will be interesting to see where the big “Captain Marvel” opening lands when compared to other Marvel character installments, regardless of the outcome.
“Captain Marvel” will be gunning for number-one when it hits theaters on May 8th, but it will have to clear the “Beauty and the Beast” opening weekend of $174.7M to be the new champion of the month. The live-action adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast” opened in 4,210 locations domestically and featured Emma Watson, Luke Evans, Emma Thompson, Kevin Kline, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Ian McKellen, and Josh Gad. “Captain Marvel” is scheduled to open in 4,100 locations domestically, and the film features Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Clark Gregg, Jude Law, and Gemma Chan.
A Disney or Marvel film currently sits in the number-one spot on the box office opening charts in five of the twelve months of the year. In December alone, Disney’s “Star Wars” franchise holds the top three spots for highest-grossing openings of all time.
Not including the recent FOX purchases, like “Avatar” and “Deadpool,” and without counting the movies that were released through Buena Vista Studios like “Signs” or “Sweet Home Alabama,” Disney has 24 films in the top 10 lists for highest-grossing opening weekends between January and December. That’s a staggering track record for success, and “Captain Marvel” is already trending to easily top the $100M mark. Still, $174.7M is an incredible record, and Captain Marvel may not have the power to topple it on opening weekend. Second-place currently belongs to “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” which had a $166M opening in 2016, and “The Hunger Games” is in third-place with its $152M debut back in 2012.
Even if “Captain Marvel” fails to outshine “Beauty and the Beast” on opening weekend, it’s still exciting to see where she lands on the charts within the MCU. When looking at individual Marvel hero debuts, not including the “Avengers” team installments, “Black Panther” is the current hero to beat with the film’s $202M opening weekend. Second-place belongs to Robert Downey’s “Iron Man” intro, which had a $98M debut at the time of its release. The “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which can be considered a collective intro installment, opened with $94M in 2014 and sits in third-place overall. “Doctor Strange” opened with $85M in 2016, and “Thor” opened with $65.7M over its opening weekend. “Captain America: The First Avenger” opened with $65M, and Marvel’s “Ant-Man’ opened with $57M during the film’s opening weekend. The 2008 version of “The Incredible Hulk,” had a $55M opening debut in theaters.
We won’t know where “Captain Marvel” will land until the film hits theaters next weekend, but it’s safe to say that she could be the new second-place record holder for the studio (sorry Tony).