The box office success of Captain Marvel is showing no signs of letting up as the film turns the corner from a blockbuster first week with an estimated $70 million take in its second, Variety reports. The movie has already exceeded $200 million in the United States and another $378 million overseas. The smash success comes even as domestic ticket sales have been down generally, with sales down about 27 percent across the industry.
The film’s performance puts it firmly in second place for highest grossing, surpassed only by 2017’s Beauty and the Beast reboot.
Captain Marvel has been widely hailed as a substantial win for female representation, especially in the traditionally male-dominated superhero genre. Teasers for the hotly-anticipated Avengers: Endgame have carried the hype forward further, with the latest official poster revealing the inclusion of the Captain Marvel character.
HuffPost recently weighed in on the phenomenon, with a point/counterpoint debate between contributors Bill Bradley and Marina Fang. The piece suggests that would-be viewers come for the feminism but stay for the space cat, a reference to a feline-oriented plot point that seems to have delighted the cat-loving internet, among others.
Fang, who admits that going into the film she was not, in particular, a comic book or superhero fan, indicated that she enjoyed the film on its own merits and sees it as a huge win for representation in film, likening its success to that of another recent standout, Black Panther.
“[Black Panther] is another example of a film that works for both Marvel fans and regular moviegoers. And both are obviously huge landmarks for representation, so hopefully Hollywood will finally, finally stop being surprised when movies led by women and/or people of color make a ton of money.”
— billboard (@billboard) March 16, 2019
Bradley likewise acknowledged the dynamics at play with the groundbreaking film and also shed light on the resistance that the film faced even prior to opening, driven largely by superhero fans who, for a number of reasons, found the female lead unpalatable.
“Before the movie was even released, it was already under attack by trolls who wanted to boycott it because Brie Larson said she didn’t just want reviews from white dudes….The trolls’ plan obviously didn’t work out too well.”
In an interview, Larson had indicated that she didn’t necessarily want to hear the opinion of a middle-aged white man when it comes to a film intended to speak to an entirely different audience.
Controversy aside, Larson’s Captain Marvel represents the first female-fronted film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and if box office success is anything to go by, she won’t be the last.