Box Office: 'Captain Marvel' Flies to Huge $20.7M in Previews

Captain Marvel Still 16 - Publicity - H 2019
<p><em>Captain Marvel</em></p>   |   Courtesy of Marvel Studios
Marvel's first female-fronted superhero pic — starring Brie Larson — scored one of the top starts ever for a comic book adaptation. And it's also off to an impressive start overseas, including China.

Captain Marvel flew to a huge $20.7 million at the Thursday night box office.

Marvel and Disney's first female-fronted superhero pic scored one of the top preview grosses ever for a comic book adaptation, behind juggernauts Avengers: Infinity War ($39 million), The Dark Knight Rises ($30.1 million), Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice ($27.7 million), Avengers: Age of Ultron ($27.6 million), Black Panther ($25.2 million), Captain America: Civil War ($25 million), not adjusted for inflation.

And it's the second-biggest for a superhero movie starring a new solo character behind Black Panther, as well as the fifth biggest for a Marvel Cinematic Universe title and the second-largest for March, behind DC's Batman v. Superman.

Among other comps: DC's Wonder Woman earned $11 million in previews on its way to a domestic launch of $103 million.

For the weekend, Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson, is tracking to take in $125 million-$145 million. Some box office analysts believe the movie could even cross $150 million.

The forecast is also promising overseas, where the tentpole is touching down in every major market this week and weekend — save for Japan — for a projected global bow well north of $300 million through Sunday. It has earned an impressive $44 million in its first two days.

That doesn't include an estimated opening day in China of $34 million, the second-highest start for any MCU title, behind Infinity War. Imax is reporting that its share ($3.9 million) is the fifth biggest opening day for any film.

In many markets, Captain Marvel is doing more business than any other MCU film introducing a new standalone character. And in Brazil, it scored the industry's second-biggest opening day of all time ($3 million) behind Infinity War.

The story, set in 1995, follows galactic warrior Vers as she flexes her powers and savvy when a battle between two alien races threatens Earth. Along the way, she discovers her true identity and past — along with Goose the cat. Larson reprises the role in the upcoming Avengers: Endgame.

Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, Captain Marvel — which is opening on International Women's Day — also stars Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Rune Temte, Algenis Perez Soto, Mckenna Grace, Annette Bening, Clark Gregg and Jude Law.

Captain Marvel currently boasts a Rotten Tomatoes score of 82 percent. The score among top critics is a more divisive 62 percent, however.

The domestic box office could use a strong performer after a dismal January and February (in February alone, ticket sales fell to a 17-year low). Revenue for the year to date is down 26 percent from the same corridor in 2018.