When it comes to releasing blockbusters studios have differing approaches. Sometimes they opt to do gradual rollouts, and sometimes they release it everywhere on the same day. Marvel Studios tends to do the former, and it seems to work for the Disney-owned entity. CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR opens stateside this Friday, but has already premiered in foreign markets like Mexico, Brazil, and the Philippines.
The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR has already raked in a fantastic $200.2 million overseas, and that doesn’t even include Russia and- the biggest foreign market of all- China, whom will get to see the film the same time as those of us in the States. The last major “event” film that Marvel brought to China (AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON) brought in just short of $160 million in its opening weekend there.
There are pros and cons to this approach for Marvel. A pro is that it allows a film to gain buzz around the world, as it sweeps across several markets, gaining momentum, over the course of a few weeks- giving it that “global phenomenon” feeling. You generally have to feel very confident that the film will be received well for this to work, and Marvel seems to have made a wise bet here since the film’s reviews are stellar so far. A con is, if you’re looking to break records, spreading out the opening weekends like this means you won’t be breaking any of those “Biggest of All Time” benchmarks.
Though the record books don’t seem to matter much to Marvel. If they did, they could’ve done a simultaneous launch for CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR and it would’ve likely obliterated its studio sibling, and #1 global opener of all time, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS. That film pulled in $529 million worldwide in its first frame. Since CIVIL WAR is doing numbers that are almost on-par with the AVENGERS movies, let’s have some fun with numbers:
Let’s say CIVIL WAR pulls in $195 domestic- which is short of what THE AVENGERS did ($207M), and in-line with its $175-$200 projection, falls short of ULTRON in China with $140 million, makes the $200.2 million in those other foreign markets we know about already, then sprinkle on top half of what AVENGERS did in Russia (which was $15M), the film would’ve opened to a worldwide cume of north of $540 million.
Alas, Marvel doesn’t seem to worry about such records. But it says something about the strength of the brand, and the confidence of its executives, that they could leave those kinds of things on the table and not bat an eyelash.
There’s also the potential that this film could far exceed expectations, considering how little they’ve played the SPIDER-MAN card in its marketing. That character is, hands down, one of the biggest in the world. His merchandise sales topple practically any property you can think of, and once mainstream audiences catch wind that he plays a sizable role in CIVIL WAR, that could push this thing into the stratosphere.
Marvel’s got a perfect storm on its hands here, and it’s going to be interesting to see how it all plays out. Will it fall short? Will it match expectations? Will it crush them? We shall see.
As for yours truly, I’ve opted not to try and get a press screening. I’ve cleared my schedule, and will be seeing CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR this Friday night with my wife and two of my best friends, sitting alongside fans.
When are you seeing CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR?
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