Updated: 'Captain America: Civil War' Hauls in Estimated $75.2M On Friday
Saturday AM Update: Friday estimates are in and Captain America: Civil War's chances of becoming the fourth $200+ million opener have been dashed. With an estimated $75.2 million (including $25 million from Thursday night previews), the thirteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is looking at a weekend around $175 million with an outside chance of finishing around $190 million if it follows the same weekend performance as Jurassic World, the first Avengers or even Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The fact all three of those films brought in less money on Thursday night, however, means it's less likely it will follow their weekend path.

Disney will not be sending over an international update this morning so stay tuned for that tomorrow. As of last report, however, Captain America: Civil War's international total was $291.2 million heading into the weekend, which puts the global total at $366.4 million including Friday's domestic number.

For a complete look at Friday's estimates click here, we'll be back tomorrow with a complete look at the weekend.

Friday AM Update: Captain America: Civil War brought in $25 million from Thursday night previews, the tenth largest Thursday night number (including midnight-only screenings) of all-time. This Thursday number is just behind the $27.6 million posted by Avengers: Age of Ultron last year and $27.7 million brought in by Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice earlier this year. Both films went on to gross over $80 million on Friday, the question as to whether Civil War will be able to top $200 million for the weekend depends on audience response and how well it ultimately plays on Saturday and Sunday.

Additionally, updated international figures for Civil War bring the international total to $291.2 million and that's not including early reports from China where it's being reported the film brought in $30.6 million on its opening day. For a larger breakdown of its international performance so far click here and stay tuned as we'll have Friday estimates for you tomorrow morning.

Weekend Preview: After a $200.4 million international debut last weekend, Disney and Marvel's Captain America: Civil War is set to make its domestic debut, aiming to become only the fourth film to gross over $200 million in its opening weekend. Meanwhile, several of the other films in the top ten could be in for dramatic drops from last weekend. Last year, while Avengers: Age of Ultron was opening to $191.2 million, all but one film (Cinderella) dropped over 53%. How will the holdovers fair against the latest Marvel juggernaut?

When it comes to Captain America: Civil War the question as to whether it will hit $200 million or not seems to be of little dispute. Granted, many thought Age of Ultron would follow the path paved by its predecessor and open with $200+ million last year before coming up just shy. That said, strong reviews and swelling fan anticipation for Civil War (92% on RottenTomatoes as of press time) should go a long way to helping this one out this weekend. Additionally, Fandango is reporting Civil War has generated record-breaking advance ticket sales, ranking as the online ticket retailer's #1 pre-selling superhero movie of all time, surpassing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Avengers: Age of Ultron and The Avengers.

For the sake of comparison, and something to track as Thursday night preview numbers and Friday estimates are revealed, here's a breakdown of those films along with the other two $200+ million openers, Jurassic World and Star Wars: The Force Awakens:

  • Batman v Superman - Fri. $81.5m (inc. $27.7m Thurs. previews) / Sat $50.6m / Sun $33.7m / WE $166m
  • Age of Ultron - Fri. $84.4m (inc. $27.6m Thurs. previews) / Sat $56.5m / Sun $50.3m / WE $191.2m
  • The Avengers - Fri. $80.8m (inc. $18.7m midnight previews) / Sat $69.5m / Sun $57m / WE $207.4m
  • Jurassic World - Fri. $81.9m (inc. $18.5m Thurs. previews) / Sat $69.9m / Sun $57.2m / WE $208.8m
  • Star Wars: Force Awakens - Fri. $119.1m (inc. $57m Thurs. previews) / Sat $68.2m / Sun $60.5m / WE $247.9m

Civil War is opening in 4,226 theaters, a fraction below the 4,276 theaters Age of Ultron debuted in and 123 fewer than the first Avengers opened in back in 2012. Of those theaters, Civil War will play at 378 IMAX locations (14 more than Ultron), 480 PLF locations (80 more than Ultron) and more than 3,300 locations will show the film in 3D, up from 2,761 for Ultron, which saw 44% of its overall weekend come from 3D showings. Also last year, Jurassic World opened in 4,274 theaters of which 363 were IMAX locations, approximately 400 were PLF locations and the film saw 48% of its overall weekend haul come from the 3,303 theaters that debuted the film in 3D.

Therefore, while Civil War may be playing in slightly fewer overall theaters than the comparisons above, it does have more premium opportunities, which helps the argument toward higher box office returns. That said, a weekend over $200 million is easy to forecast and even as much as $215 million isn't at all unreasonable. What will be interesting is to see if a Marvel film can reach even higher than that.

When Star Wars: The Force Awakens reached $247.9 million it was clearly a result signifying an event, must-see film from a much-loved franchise. Does the thirteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe carry the same cachet? Probably not the "same", but a Marvel installment as well-reviewed as Civil War and one that positions itself as more of an Avengers film rather than a standalone Captain America title should bring out larger audiences.

The $250 million budgeted film ($80 million more than Captain America: The Winter Soldier) also offers more than just the returning cast of recognizable and loved characters. The film also offers audiences their first look at Tom Holland as Sony's new Spider-Man (a character that has brought in over $1.57 billion domestically and nearly $4 billion worldwide) as well as Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa (aka Black Panther), both of which will have their own standalone films in the near future.

Internationally, Civil War opened in Italy yesterday, grossing an estimated $1.2 million, just 5% behind the opening day for Avengers: Age of Ultron as its international cume now totals $261.6 million after eight days in release. The film opens in Russia and Argentina today and China tomorrow. We won't be able to draw direct comparisons to Ultron's opening in China as it debuted on a Monday, and brought in over $155 million for its first week in release before bringing in over $240 million for its complete run.

This makes any kind of international forecasting difficult, but one thing is for certain, come end of day Saturday (if not Friday), Disney will become the fastest studio to gross over $1 billion domestically, decimating the record set by Universal last year. Both Disney and Universal went on to gross over $2 billion at the domestic box office last year and with the slate of films Disney has on the horizon this year, Universal's astonishing $2.4 billion last year may very well be in jeopardy.

Speaking of Disney's slate of films, the studio will occupy the top two slots at this weekend's box office as The Jungle Book's already impressive run must now compete with a film from its own studio. Last weekend the family hit only dropped 29% and this weekend it's actually adding 103 theaters. Of course, with Civil War hitting theaters a lot of attention will be drawn away from the rest of the films hitting theaters, but just how much will each film be affected?

Holdover films in the top ten dropped, on average, 55.3% during the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens; 45.5% during the release of Jurassic World; 55.86% during the release of 2012's The Avengers; and 51.8% during the release of Age of Ultron. Of note, however, is Disney's live action Cinderella dropped only 0.7% in its eighth weekend up against Age of Ultron. Granted, Cinderella's demographic isn't exactly the same as Civil War, but it does prove there is room for a family alternative against a superhero behemoth.

Looking even closer at the numbers, no holdover film has grossed more than $15.6 million in a weekend where the #1 film opened over $200 million and that was Spy last year, which was in its second weekend up against Jurassic World. In that regard, predicting a $22-26 million weekend for The Jungle Book goes against recent history, but the success of this film, and audience adulation for it, is impossible to ignore.

To the point of the overall average drop for holdover films in the top ten, the BoxOfficeMojo forecast predicts an average drop around 49.4%. Captain America: Civil War serves as the only major new release this weekend while Fox Searchlight released A Bigger Splash in four theaters on Wednesday and will add one more this weekend. Limited releases this weekend also include IFC's Dheepan, FilmRise's Elstree 1976 and Well Go's Phantom of the Theatre.

This weekend's forecast is directly below. This post will be updated on Friday morning with Thursday night preview results followed by Friday estimates on Saturday morning, and a complete weekend recap on Sunday morning.

  • Captain America: Civil War (4,226 theaters) - $210 M
  • The Jungle Book (2016) (4,144 theaters) - $24.48 M
  • Mother's Day (3,141 theaters) - $4.98 M
  • The Huntsman: Winter's War (2,896 theaters) - $4.43 M
  • Keanu (2,681 theaters) - $4.16 M
  • Zootopia (2,077 theaters) - $3.3 M
  • Barbershop: The Next Cut (1,734 theaters) - $2.98 M
  • Ratchet & Clank (2,895 theaters) - $2.14 M
  • The Boss (1,907 theaters) - $2.02 M
  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (1,593 theaters) - $1.86 M

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