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Thinking outside the box office: America turning out for 'Captain'

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Thinking outside the box office: America turning out for 'Captain'

And then there was one.

Judging from the enthusiasm that has spread across thecinema press, 2016 to date has been leading up to one film, one major release,and it is upon us: Walt DisneyCo.'s "Captain America: Civil War." Perhaps most notable,the flick seems to be living up to the hype.

The only major wide release for the weekend of May 6,"Civil War" has taxed Fandango. The ticketing site reported thatadvance sales for "Civil War" have set a record for superhero movies,comprising 90% of weekend ticket sales and surpassing "Batman v Superman:Dawn of Justice," "Avengers: Age of Ultron" and "Marvel'sThe Avengers."

"The widespread anticipation for Thursday night's debutof 'Captain America: Civil War' is massive," a Fandango representativetold Variety.


"Captain America: Civil War"

Source: Walt Disney Co.

Already, the movie has topped $260 million in foreign boxoffices, about equal to "The Jungle Book's" domestic total going intoits fourth weekend. And the momentum does not seem to be letting up. Forecastspredict "Civil War" will be one of the five biggest openings inhistory.

Specifically, those forecasts all hover at or above the $200million mark. BoxOffice.compins the domestic opening at $214 million. Varietybrushed off the question, with a vague estimate in "the $200 millionrange." DeadlineHollywood got a little more specific with a range of $190 million to $200million, adding, "Given how non-exact tracking is in predicting these bigopenings, should Civil War's dust settle at $175M, the Mouse House will be veryhappy."

Supporting the performance of the film, critics are flippingfor "Civil War." Deadline reported a "hugely successfulCinemaCon screening," and the movie is topping out Rotten Tomatoes' scalefor superhero flicks. "Civil War" was running at a 92% "CertifiedFresh" score as of 12 p.m. ET May 6, compared to a score of 83% for"Deadpool,"91% for "Guardiansof the Galaxy," 92% for "TheAvengers" and a mere 75% for "Avengers: Age ofUltron."

As with critical reviews, "Civil War" is in ararified class of films based on its financial metrics. In a list of similarmovies compiled by SNL Kagan, a list that includes some of the top-earningsuperhero films of all time, only "The Avengers" topped the $200million mark at its domestic opening at $207.4 million. "Avengers: Age ofUltron" came close, with a $191.3 million opening gross. The averageopening gross for the group, which includes other superhero titles like"Iron Man 3" as well as the first two Captain America films, was $146.6million.

"Civil War" will well out-earn its Captain Americapredecessors, if estimates are accurate. "Captain America: The FirstAvenger" and "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" collectedjust $65.1 million and $95.0 million at opening, respectively. They went on tosee total revenue of $529.3 million and $882.0 million, respectively, wellunderperforming the average total revenue of the group, $1.28 billion.

"The Avengers," the movie that "CivilWar" seems to be tracking closest, collected a whopping total revenuefigure of $1.74 billion, leading to profits just shy of $1 billion.

After years of delivering the highest-earning superheromovies in history, with "Civil War," it seems Disney has done itagain.

SNL Image