March 9, 2019

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Captain Marvel” Super-Heroic, Holdovers Fade


CAPTAIN MARVEL (Marvel/Disney) is delivering the jolt the 2019 box office desperately needed.  Preliminary numbers at Deadline put opening day at $62M ($20.7M from Thursday night).  That’s far higher than the $38.2M for Wonder Woman, the $50.8M for Spider-Man: Homecoming, the $32.6M for Doctor Strange, and the $27.7M for Aquaman among recent superhero intro movies, although not quite at the $75.9M start for Black Panther.  The question with mega-busters is how frontloaded they’ll turn out to be, and Captain Marvel‘s 3x multiple between Thursday night and Friday is almost exactly the same as Black Panther‘s, but lower than Wonder Woman‘s 3.5x.  If Captain Marvel delivers the same 2.7x weekend multiple as those two, the total by Sunday would be $167M, although a more conservative estimate would be a 2.5x multiple and $155M.  (The worst case scenario would be the 2x multiple of Batman v. Superman, which would yield just $124M for the weekend, but that would require disastrous word of mouth, which was indicated by BvS‘s 27% Rotten Tomatoes score, while Captain Marvel‘s current score is 79%.)  Captain Marvel should be on its way to $400M+ in the US, which would put it in the top one-third of Marvel movies, and its early international numbers have been strong, although we’ll know much more about that on Sunday.

Audiences didn’t have much interest in anything else on Friday.  HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD (DreamWorks Animation/Universal) fell 48% from last Friday to $3.3M, which should mean a $15M weekend.  It’s still on track for $175M in the US, although it may be hurt by next week’s arrival of the animated Wonder Park.

MADEA’S FAMILY FUNERAL (Lionsgate) dropped 66% from last Friday to $3.1M, for an $11M weekend and $65M US total.  That would put it in the top half of the Madea franchise.

THE LEGO MOVIE 2:  THE SECOND PART (Warners Animation) lost 36% Friday-to-Friday to $800K, for a $4M weekend and a likely $105M US total.

ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL (20th) dropped 53% on its 4th Friday to $800K, and might reach $3.5M for the weekend as it heads to $85M in the US.

GREEN BOOK (Participant/DreamWorks/Reliance/Universal) will be available for home viewing on Tuesday, so this is probably its last meaningful weekend in theatres.  It dropped 44% to $700K compared to its post-Oscar Friday last week, and a $2.5M weekend should put it on the road to a $85M US total.

ISN’T IT ROMANTIC (BRON/New Line/Warners) fell 48% on its 4th Friday to $700K, for a weekend that might hit $2.5M, and a US total that could stretch to $50M.

FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY (Annapurna/MGM) didn’t get the word of mouth it hoped for, down 52% from last Friday to $600K, on its way to a $2M weekend and a US total that probably won’t reach $25M.

GRETA (Focus/Universal) collapsed by 63% from last Friday to $600K, for a $2M weekend and a US total that won’t see $15M.

APOLLO 11 (Neon) lost its IMAX screens to Captain Marvel, but almost quadrupled its theatre count to 405.  Nevertheless, it dropped 30% from last Friday, and its weekend per-theatre average will be around $2500, far below last week’s $13K average.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."