Early tracking for Marvel Studios’ “Captain Marvel” is projecting that will film will have an opening weekend of over $100 million when it hits theaters on March 8, which would make it the first big box office hit of 2019.
Aside from “Black Panther”‘s mammoth $201 million opening last year, this film is on pace to be the highest opening for a debut superhero installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. By comparison, 2016’s “Doctor Strange” opened to $85 million, while 2014’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” opened to $94 million. This tracking also means that “Captain Marvel” could rival or even top the last film to feature a female superhero, “Wonder Woman,” which opened to $103 million in 2017 and went on to gross $412.5 million domestic and $821 million worldwide.
“Captain Marvel” stars Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, an Air Force pilot who was recovered by the Kree after mysterious circumstances and was transformed into the titular superhero at the cost of her memories. After crash landing back on Earth during the 1990s, Carol must recover her past self and save the planet from getting caught in an intergalactic conflict with the help of future SHIELD director Nick Fury.
Though Captain Marvel doesn’t have the advantage of an introductory appearance like Black Panther did in “Captain America: Civil War” or Wonder Woman in “Batman v Superman,” her debut film will be seen as requisite viewing for hardcore Marvel fans as the heroine will play a critical role in “Avengers: Endgame.” Following the cliffhanger ending of “Avengers: Infinity War,” the forthcoming debut of the Captain and her connection to Nick Fury was teased in a post-credits segment, and fans will surely be interested to see why that relationship is so important.
And a big opening from Marvel can’t come soon enough. After the disappointing opening of “Lego Movie 2,” the 2019 box office is falling further behind the first quarter pace set by the past several years. So far, the box office has not seen a No. 1 movie earn a weekend total above $50 million, and may very well not see one until “Captain Marvel” comes out. After the superhero movie is released, other heavily anticipated releases like “Us,” “Shazam” and the aforementioned “Avengers” will be called on to pick up the numbers.
“Captain Marvel” is directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck from a screenplay they co-wrote with Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Jac Schaeffer. Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Annette Bening, Clark Gregg, and Jude Law star alongside Larson.