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As usual, I'm delivering these things later than promised, but in another thread regarding Endgame's potential to pass Avatar, I said I'd make a thread detailing the MCU's box office returns for 2019. Well, here it is. I will not only chart the individual films, but I will put their numbers in greater context, comparing them to other movies, and even make extrapolations based on trajectories of similar films. The thread will focus mostly on the domestic box office, but I will touch on global box office returns at times.

Since Captain Marvel was the first MCU film of the year, I'm going to start with it. I've decided to compare it to three other MCU films with comparable openings and lifetime grosses: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Captain America: Civil War, and Iron Man 3.

Well, I think it's safe to say that Captain Marvel was quite successful for a non-Avengers MCU film, and as a film in general. It has just recently passed Civil War's lifetime adjusted gross, and it now sits at #7 among all MCU films domestically (though it's still slightly trailing Civil War globally). It is also currently ranks #21 for all movies of this decade domestically, and it should shortly enter in the Top 20. It currently sits at #23 in the global box office rankings.

It started off with a strong opening week, and managed to compare favorably to other MCU films with similar openings. What has given it the edge though are its legs. Most films these days make around 85-95% of their lifetime gross in the first four weeks (though there are some notable exceptions), and when two or more films have a close opening month, the difference in who comes out on top can be settled in that minority of ticket sales that happen after the fourth week. Captain Marvel was already declining at an overall slower rate than Civil War and Iron Man 3, and it was consistently performing a bit better than GotG2 (excepting the latter's fourth week, which got a boost from Memorial Day). But the buildup to Endgame helped give Captain Marvel a relatively smaller-than-normal decline in its sixth week and a boost for its seventh week, and even after Endgame's release, it hasn't cratered, managing better Weeks 8 & 9 than the other three films on the chart. Even though it's still in theaters and still making money, it has managed to gross relatively much more after its fourth week than the others. Put short, Captain Marvel has some strong, fabulous... *ahem* some good legs.

As to where Captain Marvel will end up, I doubt it will be able to pass Iron Man 3 to become the new #6 film of the MCU. As of this Thursday, it was still running a deficit of ~$14.6M, as the chart shows. Despite its good legs, it is still a movie that has entered its third month, and will almost certainly not be able to make up that shortfall that it netted in its first month. Comparing the other film's Week 9 against their total post-Week 9 grosses, a conservative estimate would be $8.8M for Week 10 and onward (60% higher than Week 9), putting its final lifetime gross at around $430.8, over $9 million short of Iron Man 3. Even a more generous estimate of Weeks 10+ being double Week 9, that would put it at about $433M lifetime. Still, $430M for a final lifetime gross would put Captain Marvel at #20 for all films this decade domestically. While Star Wars Ep. IX and (possibly) Toy Story 4 will outgross it, ending up at #22 for the decade as a whole would still be a remarkable accomplishment. Captain Marvel has definitely exceeded expectations.

Well, that's all for now. I have to leave shortly to go somewhere. As soon as I'm able to, I will start making the comparison charts for Avengers: Endgame's box office returns. I would have waited until I had everything up and ready to post, but my "plans" for the day were kind of a last minute thing, so I wanted to just finish up what I had so I wouldn't have to start a half-finished post all over again.

Last edited by Shadow1980 - on 17 May 2019


In accordance to the VGC forum rules, §8.5, I hereby exercise my right to demand to be left alone regarding the subject of the effects of the pandemic on video game sales (i.e., "COVID bump").