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'Captain Marvel' continues to soar over box office competition

On screen or in the ticket booth, few foes dare challenge the superpowers of "Captain Marvel," but a few contenders will try to sweep up in the aftermath of the Marvel Universe juggernaut.

Forecasters expect two debut films to get some attention, with "Wonder Park" expected to ignite the imaginations of most. "Wonder Park", which is set in an imaginary amusement park, should collect between $8 million and $14 million, according to Variety. and Box Office Mojo generally agree, with forecasts of $12 million and $13 million, respectively.

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"Five Feet Apart"
Source: Lionsgate

An opening in the $12 million to $14 million range would put "Wonder Park" in-line with fellow animated film "Ferdinand," which debuted in 2017 to $13.4 million against a $112.5 million budget. Despite the high cost and modest opening, "Ferdinand" still netted $64.7 million in profits, a 16.3% margin, according to data from Kagan, a media research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence. Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures did not release a production budget for "Wonder Park."

Looking at a range of five recent whimsical animated titles compiled by Kagan, including "Ferdinand," the average opening was $16.8 million, driving average net theatrical profits of $27.9 million.

Fighting against "Wonder Park" will not only be "Captain Marvel," which forecasters expect to drive $70 million or more in its sophomore weekend, but also a "rotten" score of 29% for the new film on Rotten Tomatoes as of 2 p.m. ET on March 15.

Also trying to capture audiences' attention, expects teenage romantic drama "Five Feet Apart" to close in on a $10.4 million opening, while Box Office Mojo predicts a range of $9 million to $11 million for the opening. Variety stands apart from the others with a more bearish $6 million to $10 million forecast range.

"Five Feet Apart" compares to other young-adult romances like "The Fault in Our Stars," "Paper Towns" and "Everything, Everything." Aside from "The Fault in Our Stars," which scored a breakout opening of $48.0 million in 2014, most of the other Kagan-compiled comparisons opened near the $10 million mark. "Five Feet Apart" reported a more modest budget of $7 million from Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., which should work in the debut film's favor; however, among its Kagan comparisons, only "The Fault in Our Stars" managed a profitable theatrical run.

"Five Feet Apart," about the romance between two teenagers undergoing treatment for cystic fibrosis, was running a 55% "rotten" score on Rotten Tomatoes as of 2 p.m. ET on March 15.

Focus Features will try to fight against "Captain Marvel" with a sci-fi fantasy of its own, launching "Captive State." The debut film was expected to be a limited release, but the studio ultimately announced a wide opening shortly before the release date.

"Captive State" is expected to draw in a modest $3 million to $5 million in its first weekend, according to forecasters. It was also running at a 61% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes as of about 2 p.m. ET on March 15.

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