3rd UPDATE, 9:28PM: Captain America: Civil Warbased off east coast estimates is looking at an estimated $73.5M opening day, for a $176.4M opening. This would rank as the fifth highest opening of all-time, a gross that any studio would envy. Disney always saw the opening for Civil War here at a $175M opening, while the industry saw Civil War as high as $200M. Nothing is broken here. Sequelitis just comes with the territory. Make no mistake, this is a healthy start to the summer. To say that Civil War is falling beneath projections is petty, particularly when grosses are this high. Tracking can never predict how these big openers can go based on a small statistical sampling, particularly when their first choice/unaided awareness is flying off the chart. Friday is buffed by $25M from Thursday, and this particularly projection sees a -20% drop into Saturday for $58.8M. That’s better than the -33% Friday-to-Saturday decline for Avengers: Age of Ultron which went from $84.4M to $56.5M.
Civil War would take Iron Man 3‘s fifth place notch on the all time domestic openers chart ($174.1M),lining directly behind Avengers ($207.4M) and Age of Ultron ($191.3M).
Civil War has plenty working in its favor: an A CinemaScore, a 74% definite recommend from ComScore, an 86% total positive score and a 91% Rotten Tomatoes score. Avengers received an A+, but Civil War has the same CinemaScore as Ultron, and Captain America: Winter Solider. In fact, looking under Civil War‘s hood and it looks like it almost scored an A+ since it hit that high grade with females (40%),under 18 (22%),18-24 (18%),25-34 (24%),under 25 (40%),and the blue hairs (50+ turned up at 11%). It was both males at 60% and the over 25 bunch (60%) who both gave Civil War As.
Ultron turned in a 2.4 multiple finaling at $459M, so that gives you an idea where Civil War is heading.
All theses are positive signs as Civil War marches forward this month.
One non-Disney distribution czar predicted that by the end of May “Civil War will have already made $400M”.
We’ll have more analysis and charts later tonight.
2nd UPDATE, 12 PM: Captain America: Civil War‘s matinees are tracking 10%-13% behind Avengers: Age Of Ultron, putting the Disney/Marvel title on track for a $75 million-$80 million Friday and a projected weekend at this point of $178M-$188M. While that’s under Ultron‘s $191.27M, man, it’s really not something to cry about. Should Civil War hook that opening, it will make it the fifth-best domestic opening of all time ahead of Iron Man 3‘s $174M. A big plus for Disney this weekend: 21% of all colleges are off, a number that moves up to 36% on Monday, and then 53% next Friday.
Rival distribution chiefs are rejecting the notion that Disney’s The Jungle Book is biting into Civil War‘s business by stealing families away. A lot of that has to do with the size of Civil War‘s opening. “When Force Awakens opened to $248M, did Alvin and the Chipmunks bite into its opening? I don’t think so,” beamed one non-Disney distribution czar. Currently in its fourth frame, Jungle Book is set to make $21M, down 52% for the weekend. Between Civil War and Jungle Book, Disney is looking at $209M, plus some lagniappe from Zootopia. Open Road’s Mother’s Day likely will benefit from the Sunday holiday with a 30% decline, the best of last weekend’s wide entries, for $5.85M and a 10-day total of $17.6M.
In regard to opening days, Civil War is poised to rank as the sixth or seventh highest ever and the third best in May behind Ultron ($84.4M) and The Avengers ($80.8M).
PREVIOUS, 8:39 AM: Disney/Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War fired up summer’s cylinders last night with $25 million, making it the second-highest Thursday night preview among Marvel titles behind last year’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron which minted $27.6M. Industry projections have the opening for the Russo brothers-directed movie between $180M-$200M at 4,226 locations. Civil War is the only film on this year’s summer schedule to open unopposed by any major studio competition.
There’s a divide among B.O. analysts over whether Disney has an embarrassment of riches at the box office right now. Some think that the fourth-frame success of The Jungle Book at an estimated $20M-plus weekend could cut into Civil War‘s business. But then there are others who believe the Captain America threequel is iron strong, and has the potential to hit the upper echelon of its industry projection. Through three weeks, Jungle Book is at $263.1M stateside.
Last year at this time, Ultron went on to post the highest opening day in May with $84.4M. Among the highest opening weekends of all-time, Disney Marvel’s Avengers ($207.4M) and Ultron ($191.27M) own the third and fourth ranks. Imax hubs generated $3.1M for Civil War, besting the $3M made by Ultron in its opening night.
Among superhero Thursday night previews, Warner Bros.’ The Dark Knight Rises owns the record with $30.6M from midnight shows.
Civil War‘s theater count is not a high for May; that figure belongs to Paramount’s Iron Man 2 which was released in 4,380 locations on May 7, 2010.
Through Thursday, Civil War has already stacked up $291.2M in Disney’s coffers from its first week abroad. As it debuts in Russia, China and Argentina in sync with stateside this weekend, it will cross $300M today.
In the wake of Warner Bros. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, which was met with bitter fanboy and critical reaction contributing to its slowdown at the domestic B.O., Civil War has reaped a tremendous amount of buzz following its industry and CinemaCon screenings last month. The pic’s Rotten Tomatoes score is fresh at 92%, equally matched with the first 2012 Avengers.