Captain America rules the box office

NEW YORK • It is Disney's multiplex. The rest of Hollywood just visits once in a while.

Following the blockbuster successes of Zootopia (2016), The Jungle Book (2016) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), Disney released Captain America: Civil War over the weekend and the results were predictably huge: The film sold an estimated US$181.8 million (S$248.2 million) in tickets in North America, after taking in US$496.6 million overseas.

It was the fifth-best domestic opening weekend ever, behind The Force Awakens, Jurassic World (2015), Marvel's The Avengers (2012) and Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015).

Disney now had the No. 1 movie in the United States and Canada in 11 of the last 21 weekends and analysts predict Civil War will remain the top draw for the next two weekends. After that, another Disney movie may well take over the top slot: Alice Through The Looking Glass. Not long after, Disney will release the highly anticipated Finding Dory, a sequel to Pixar's Finding Nemo (2003).

Civil War cost about US$250 million to make, excluding marketing costs. It introduces movie audiences to a new Marvel superhero, Black Panther, played by Chadwick Boseman.

"Great reviews, great social media buzz and long-term global playability will add up to major box-office returns over the long haul," Mr Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst at comScore, said on Sunday.

Civil War kicked off moviedom's all-important summer season. Studios will introduce at least 16 films with production costs of US$100 million or more, compared with 10 last year.

NEW YORK TIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 10, 2016, with the headline 'Captain America rules the box office'. Print Edition | Subscribe