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“Captain America: Civil War” dominated the foreign box office, debuting to a massive $200.2 million in its first weekend of overseas release, and kicking off the summer movie season on a high note.
The Disney and Marvel superhero adventure is performing less like a sequel to the star-spangled hero’s films and more like another installment in the “Avengers” franchise. It opens domestically on May 6, when it is expected to make nearly $200 million.
Disney distribution chief Dave Hollis hailed the Marvel films as a model of commercial consistency in a business that is notoriously unpredictable.
“They have found a way to keep the films unbelievably fresh and the reception to this leading into its opening suggests that they’ve delivered arguably one of the best films to come out of the studio,” he said. “We expect a lot of repeat business.”
Beyond branding, there are several reasons “Captain America: Civil War” is off to such a hot start. The film promises the spectacle of watching Captain America (Chris Evans) square off against Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), in an intra-Avengers duel. It also introduces Tom Holland’s take on Spider-Man and marks the first appearance of Chadwick Boseman as the Black Panther, two characters that are fanboy and fangirl favorites.
Then there are the reviews. Critics have embraced the movie, handing it some of the best notices of the year. Joe and Anthony Russo, who previously oversaw “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” handled directing duties.
Its gargantuan foreign debut comes from 37 major territories representing approximately 63% of the international marketplace. The film played well in premium formats, with Imax responsible for $9.6 million of the foreign box office haul. The opening is only 5% behind “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” and is outpacing “Iron Man 3” and “The Avengers” by 26%.
Among the most significant contributors were Korea with $28.9 million, Mexico with $20.6 million, the United Kingdom with $20.5 million, Brazil with $12.3 million and Australia with $10.9 million. The Brazil and Mexico openings set a new industry high, as did the film’s $7.5 million kick-off in the Philippines.
In addition to North America, next weekend will also see “Captain America: Civil War” debuting in China, Russia, Italy and Argentina. Its success continues a torrid streak for Disney, which has minted money this year with “Zootopia” and “The Jungle Book,” both of which have a realistic shot of generating nearly $1 billion globally. The studio also seems likely to score with “Finding Dory,” the follow-up to Pixar’s “Finding Nemo,” and “Star Wars: Rogue One.”
“All the box office is about is Disney, Disney, Disney,” said Jeff Bock, an analyst with Exhibitor Relations.