Captain Marvel, First Female-Led Feature in MCU, Opened Over the Weekend With One of the Strongest Debuts of All Time

Captain Marvel Belatina
Image Credit Captain Marvel File

Captain Marvel, the first female-led and female-directed feature film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, surpassed its lofty projections at the box office on opening weekend, pulling in $455 million worldwide, making it the sixth-highest opening of all time. (Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War holds court in the number one spot.) North America saw $153 million in ticket sales; only Black Panther earned more ticket sales on opening weekend, as far as superhero origin stories go. The Captain Marvel box office numbers also broke into the top five IMAX debuts ever.

The massive opening weekend is a rebuke, of sorts, against the vocal Marvel fans who have been rankled by the prominent rise of inclusivity in the MCU and especially up in arms about comments that Brie Larson — who stars as Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel — had made on the topic of inclusivity last month while speaking to interviewer Keah Brown for Marie Claire. “About a year ago, I started paying attention to what my press days looked like and the critics reviewing movies, and noticed it appeared to be overwhelmingly white male,” she explained Brown. So, during her press tour, she specifically reached out to Brown, a black women with a disability. “Am I saying I hate white dudes?” Larson said. “No, I’m not … [but if] you make the movie that is a love letter to women of color, there is an insanely low chance a woman of color will have a chance to see your movie and review your movie.”

Many publications celebrated her commitment to using her privilege to lift up marginalized voices, but unsurprisingly, the anti-PC crowd took this to mean that Larson was “anti-white dude.” YouTube videos began to circulate, predicting a horrible film that would ruin the franchise. Headlines insisted that Larson didn’t want you to come see the film if you were a white male. There was even a small campaign to destroy the film’s Rotten Tomatoes rating leading up the its debut, which prompted the site to make changes that would discourage “non-constructive input” and trolling. Of course, even after the official box office numbers came out, anti-Larson trolls suggested that Disney was “lying” about how much money the film earned on opening weekend.

In general though, men weren’t swayed by the sexist trolls: they made up about 55% of the opening weekend audience.