Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden’s Captain Marvel dropped just 54% from its $153 million opening, earning $69.3 million to drive its domestic total to $266.2 million, powering the top 12 films to a 7% gain over the same weekend last year when Black Panther spent its fifth and last weekend at #1 with $26.5 million.

There was a time when a nearly 55% second week drop was considered a bad thing, but when a film like Captain Marvel opens with a mammoth $153 million, a 54.8% slide is a solid result, significantly below the 56% fall that is the current standard for films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Captain Marvel now appears destined for $400 million domestic and, with current global total of $760 million, $1 billion worldwide (so far Captain Marvel has earned $494 million overseas, which is considerably more than the $409 million Wonder Woman amassed in its entire run outside North America).

If Captain Marvel does as expected pass the $1 billion mark, it will become the first live-action film co-directed by a woman to achieve that box office goal.  In spite of the online efforts of misogynist trolls, Captain Marvel is an unalloyed hit, and it’s not just women who are making it so.  In fact second weekend audiences for Captain Marvel continued to skew male (though by less than the standard Marvel film).  Even though the distaff portion grew by 1% during Captain Marvel’s sophomore frame, males still accounted for 54% of the audience.

Captain Marvel is also performing overseas in much the same manner as the last 2 Avengers films.  Currently 65% of Captain Marvel’s global gross comes from outside North America, which is very close to the percentages of the past two Avengers films (67% for Age of Ultron, and 66% for Infinity War).  When Wonder Woman over-performed in the U.S. (or under-performed overseas), some analysts claimed it was the result of the resistance of foreign audiences to female leads, but Captain Marvel is putting that canard to rest.

The competition for Captain Marvel certainly steps up in the weeks ahead, staring with the release of Jordan Peele’s horror film Us next weekend, with Disney then stepping on its own hit by releasing Tim Burton’s live-action Dumbo on the 29th, and then the Warner Bros./DC Shazam! on April 5.  So getting to $400 million domestic won’t be easy, and next weekend will be key in deciding just how big a hit Captain Marvel, which could well cede its #1 spot, will be.

Weekend Box Office (Studio Estimates): March 15-17 2019



Weekend Gross



Total Gross



Captain Marvel







Wonder Park







Five Feet Apart







How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World







Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral







No Manches Frida 2







Captive State







The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part







Alita: Battle Angel







Green Book






Second place went to Paramount’s animated family film Wonder Park, which came in at the top of expectations with $16 million.  Paramount fired the director of Wonder Park during filming, and costs for the troubled production reached $100 million, so a $16 million opening is bad news.  The only hope for Wonder Park appears to be overseas, where early results, it took in $4.3 million from just 13% of the markets, are inconclusive.

The critics disliked Wonder Park, which has just a 30% positive rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, but audiences, which skewed female (59%), gave the film an OK “B+” CinemaScore.  Families made up 62% of the audience for Wonder Park.

Third place went to the YA novel adaptation Five Feet Apart about two teens with cystic fibrosis who fall in love, but have to maintain a distance because of their disease.  Not surprisingly opening weekend audiences for this teenage tearjerker skewed heavily female (82%) and younger (65% under 25, with 45% under 18).  Look for Five Feet Apart to stick around despite its targeted appeal because its target audience loved it, giving it an “A+” CinemaScore.   Five Feet Apart made $13.2 million, almost as much as Wonder Park, but with 2,800 theaters vs. 3,843 for Wonder Park.

Dreamworks’ How to Train Your Dragon 3 dropped just 36.4% in the face of direct competition from Wonder Park, earning $9.3 million and driving its 4-week domestic total to $135.6 million.  While it’s unlikely that Dragon 3 will catch either of its predecessors, Dragon 2 made $177 million, and the first HTTYD film earned $217.6 million, it should end up with a global total close to that the first film in the franchise.

Coming in at #6 in spite of the fact that it was just in 472 theaters is Pantellion’s Spanish language No Manches Frida 2, which earned $3.9 million, and in the process humiliated this week’s third wide release, the alien invasion action movie Captive State, which pulled in just $3.2 million from 2,548 venues, a poor $1,241 average (compared with $8,250 for No Manches Frida 2).

At the bottom of the top ten are the James Cameron-produced Battle Angel Alita, which added $1.9 million to bring its domestic total to $81.8 million, and the Oscar-winning Green Book, which has now earned $82.6 million here in North America.  Alita currently has $400 million worldwide (thanks largely to $129 million in China), but with a production cost of $170 million, the film remains in the red, and it would appear to be unlikely that Disney, which now owns Fox, will attempt to make it into a franchise.

Green Book, which cost just $23 million to make, has also done well overseas, earning $192 million (70% of its total).  It has become the highest-grossing “Best Picture” winner since The King’s Speech ($414 million in 2011).

Be sure to check back here next week to see what happens when Jordan Peele’s well-reviewed (currently 100% positive on Rotten Tomatoes), and genuinely scary horror film Us debuts in over 3,600 theaters.