“Captain Marvel” Overcomes Controversy and Trolling to Make Strong Opening Weekend

The road to premiere for Marvel Studios’ “Captain Marvel” had not been smooth. The attempts at meaningfully putting the titular character’s feminist spin from the comics in promotions have been ill-received. Online trolls retaliated by maliciously tanking the movie’s ratings on Rotten Tomatoes before it even released. But come March 8 and the following weekend, the box office positively vindicates.

Entertainment Weekly reports that “Captain Marvel” starring Brie Larson has established a solid beginning for its cinematic run in US and Canadian. From its Friday premiere across 4,310 theaters to Sunday, the movie has racked up $153 million, becoming the first big release of 2019.

With those numbers, the penultimate chapter of the MCU’s long-running Phase 3 is now the second-biggest debut of the franchise, trailing only behind last year’s epic “Black Panther” ($242.1 million). It’s a notable triumph for Ryan Fleck’s co-director Anna Boden, the first female in charge of an MCU film, and starring a woman to boot.

Outside North America, “Captain Marvel” made $302 million in the rest of the world for a total $455 million global first weekend. Part of that take is the first-day gross in China: $34 million, the third-biggest opening of any MCU film in the country. In a way, it proves the film can do what “Wonder Woman” did for Warner-DC in 2017, to confirm that female-led superhero films can earn big.

“Captain Marvel” sees Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, a half-human half-alien superhuman agent of the Kree Empire, who must protect Earth from becoming a battleground between Kree and Skrulls. It also stars Samuel L. Jackson, Jude Law, and Ben Mendelsohn.