Captain Marvel Is the First Female Superhero Movie From the MCU, and Its Success or Failure Important for the Future of Female Superhero Movies
If you want to see more female superhero movies, you better open your wallet and bring your friends to Captain Marvel.
As the theatrical release of Captain Marvel rapidly approaches, all eyes are on the first Marvel Cinematic Universe female superhero movie and whether it will hit big at the box office. To be more precise, whether a Marvel female superhero movie can draw fans in as well as all of the male superhero movies that have dominated Marvel movies for 10 years.
There are of course female superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, such as Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Gamora, and Nakia, but they don’t carry movies. Captain Marvel will change that.
Captain Marvel, the First Marvel Female Superhero Movie
Brie Larson, well-known for her roles in Room and Kong: Skull Island, must have known she would be making history when she signed up for Captain Marvel. As the star of the film, Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel has to resonate with audiences, or else the film may suffer the fate of Elektra (we all remember that trainwreck, right?). We can compare Captain Marvel to Iron Man because, like Iron Man which began the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain Marvel may begin the Marvel female superhero movie universe.
If Captain Marvel is a hit, the likelihood that more female-led Marvel superhero movies will be made grows. If it bombs, Captain Marvel may be regulated as a sidekick in future Marvel movie mashups and, even worse, make it so other female superheroes suffer the same fate forever. When you consider the success of DC’s Wonder Woman, there is great hope that Captain Marvel will do just fine at the box office. But will it break records or score as big as its male superhero predecessors? It’s going to be tough.
Captain Marvel Box Office Projections
In total, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has made over $17 billion dollars worldwide at the box office – that number does not include merchandise, rentals, DVDs, and every other revenue source for the franchise. The biggest Marvel Cinematic Universe movie is Avengers: Infinity War at over $2 billion worldwide, and the previous Avengers installments take second and third place. The smallest Marvel Cinematic Universe movie at the worldwide box office is The Incredible Hulk, but no one seems to consider that truly part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Ignoring Hulk, the honor goes to Captain America: The First Avenger with over $370 million worldwide.
Captain Marvel has to make at least $370 million worldwide to not be considered a flop, in my humble opinion. Will it succeed? Projections put its opening weekend box office at up to $120 million domestically. That’s on-par with Wonder Woman’s $103 million domestic opening. It will also make Captain Marvel beat Captain America: The First Avenger and avoid the dreaded “least successful Marvel Cinematic Universe movie” title.
It’s the staying power of Captain Marvel at the box office that may be an issue.
Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame
The rumor mill is swirling that Captain Marvel is in Avengers: Endgame. And that theory makes sense considering Captain Marvel’s release date, March 8, is a mere eight weeks before Avengers: Endgame hits theaters on April 26. It would appear that it’s plenty of time for Captain Marvel to rake in the cash before Avengers: Endgame takes over everyone’s movie cash, but there is some major competition between the release of Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame that could cause trouble for the first Marvel female superhero movie, such as:
- Captive State
- Wonder Park
- Pet Sematary
- Missing Link
In theory, Captain Marvel really only has two weekends to own the box office before its numbers could drop dramatically. I’m holding out hope that Captain Marvel will be a huge success, and break records like Black Panther, of which no one saw coming. But the reality is that it may not unless it’s so good that word of mouth brings out superhero fatigued movie patrons and repeat visitors.
The success, mediocrity, or failure of Captain Marvel will be revealed in a few weeks, and whether it ushers in an era of female superhero movies that is much needed and deserved. I’ll be watching to see if the first Marvel female superhero movie starts a trend, will you?