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Captain Marvel scoops US$455m for 6th biggest global debut

A feminist fable with a female superhero, Captain Marvel has provided a much-needed boost to the 2019 box office

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Brie Larson portrays Carol Danvers, the pilot who becomes the vastly powerful Captain Marvel when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races. On her left is Gemma Chan; Algenis Perez Soto is on her right.

Los Angeles

BRIE LARSON's Captain Marvel soared to a heroic opening weekend of US$153 million in ticket sales in North America at 4,310 locations, reviving what had been a slumbering 2019 box office.

The superhero flick also took in US$302 million internationally, giving it an estimated global opening weekend of US$455 million - the sixth highest global debut of all time.

The 21st instalment of Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe propelled total domestic moviegoing to US$210 million - nearly US$70 million above the same frame last year. It was the first weekend of 2019 to outperform the same frame of 2018.

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Captain Marvel ended up with the 18th biggest domestic opening weekend of all time in the US.

Disney's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has the 17th-highest launch frame with US$155.1 million in 2016. It will be the biggest opening title since Incredibles 2 launched with US$182 million last June and should post the best start for a standalone superhero film since Marvel's Black Panther launched with US$202 million in 2018.

Larson stars as Carol Danvers, the pilot who becomes the vastly powerful Captain Marvel after the Earth is caught at the centre of a galactic conflict in 1995.

The cast includes Samuel L Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Annette Bening, Clark Gregg and Jude Law. The movie is written and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck.

Captain Marvel performed well above studio projections, which had pegged the film at US$125 million. It took in nearly triple what had been the biggest opener of the year with How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World at US$55 million on Feb 22-24.

Total domestic box office for 2019, which had plunged by 27 per cent before the weekend, is now down 21 per cent at US$1.79 billion, according to Comscore's Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst.

"Thankfully, Captain Marvel's superpowers extend to the box office realm and, as expected, provided a much-needed box office boost that the 2019 box office has been waiting for with a positively out of this world debut," he said.

"The allure and power of the superhero genre is as powerful as ever and just what blockbuster starved audiences have been waiting for in the form of a perfectly cast Brie Larson in this most powerful role."

Captain Marvel landed an A CinemaScore. Comscore/Screen Engine's PostTrak survey of audiences resulted in an 81 per cent total positive score with a strong 66 per cent of audiences saying they would "definitely recommend" the film.

Universal's third weekend of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World led the rest of the pack with US$14.7 million at 4,402 locations for a 17-day domestic total of US$119.7 million.

The second weekend of Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral followed with US$12.1 million at 2,442 venues. REUTERS