Marvel’s latest release is the biggest box office worldwide launch for a female-led movie, beating out Wonder Woman’s 2017 release.
In Australia, Captain Marvel made $13.59 million over the weekend and $15.08 million since Wednesday previews. It’s the biggest local March opening weekend ever.
After four days, it’s already the third-highest grossing movie for the year in Australia, behind How to Train Your Dragon 3 and Mary Poppins Returns.
Significantly, Captain Marvel grossed $217 million ($US153 million) in North America, significantly ahead of Wonder Woman’s $US103 million. At the time, Wonder Woman boasted the highest opening for a female-led movie.
Outside of North America, Captain Marvel raked in $429 million ($US302 million) — it’s the fifth-highest overseas opening behind The Fate of the Furious, Avengers: Infinity War, Jurassic World and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.
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Captain Marvel is the 21st movie produced by Marvel Studios under its shared Marvel Cinematic Universe, which kicked off with Iron Man in 2008. It’s the first MCU movie to be led solely by a female superhero.
It’s also the first MCU movie to have a female co-director in Anna Boden who shared the helm with directing partner Ryan Fleck.
Oscar winner Brie Larson stars as Marvel’s strongest superhero to date on screen with the movie functioning as an origin story before the character is scheduled to reappear in the Avengers sequel out next month.
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Captain Marvel has been the target of a vicious online campaign by trolls hoping to dent its popular appeal. Like the Ghostbusters reboot and Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi before it, discontented internet trolls have been “downvoting” the movie on forums and websites such as Rotten Tomatoes.
The campaign actually led to Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregate site which also features user ratings, to change when non-professional reviewers and users could rate a movie, which previously allowed it before a movie opened to the public. It closed off its “want to see” rating for users.
A certain segment of the online community have been targeting movies with female leads, and it took special offence at Larson’s attempt to diversify Captain Marvel’s promotional campaign by ensuring the press pool at media junkets would have female, disabled and culturally diverse journalists represented.
An academic paper found that many of the trolls that targeted Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi were Russian bots.
The box office result is particularly important because it proves, again, that audiences will happily pay to watch diverse action stars and superheroes, instead of another white male lead.
For years, studio bosses were reticent to bankroll big budget blockbusters, especially superhero epics, with women or culturally diverse leads.
Wonder Woman finished its theatrical run at $US821 million while Black Panther, a Marvel movie with a black superhero and a predominantly black cast, grossed over $US2 billion in 2018.
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What to Watch on TV, streaming and in cinemas – March 4 – 101:34
Highlights this week include Captain Marvel, Les Miserables and Finding Neverland.