Disney/Marvel’s superhero threequel Captain America: Civil War enlists this week in 61 overseas territories, beginning notably with France and Korea tomorrow, before hitting North America on May 6. Looking more like an Avengers extension than a solo Cap threequel, the Anthony and Joe Russo-helmed actioner is predicted to fall in the $200M-$230M range in its offshore debut, according to industry sources. Some have it lower, at about $180M and yet some have it as high as $250M. If it performs at that very high end of a range, it would unseat Furious 7 as the 6th highest opener of all time internationally.
To get the No. 5 slot, it would have to bat away Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice and its $256.2M start last month which made it the top-grossing superhero launch ever. While only a bullish few would call that possible, it’s worth nothing that contrary to BvS, working in Cap’n’crew’s favor are very positive reviews. The film is 97% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and has a 99% want to see, and that reverberates internationally.
Let’s look at the territories where Steve Rogers and Tony Stark are going to duke it out, because there are some key plays missing in the first suite. Cap 3 will hit most of the world except for China, Russia, Italy, Argentina and some smaller markets. Both China and Russia are among the best overseas plays for Disney’s The Jungle Book so giving the movie a bit more swing time with the boys there makes sense. Russia also has a homegrown blockbuster right now with The Crew which grossed upwards of $7M at the weekend and pushed TJB down to No. 2. No need for Cap to get in its flight path this week.
The rest of the world, however, is up for grabs, and that means a mix of the top Marvel markets (outside China and Russia) including Korea, the UK, Mexico, Japan, Germany, France, Brazil and Australia. The teams have been out and about internationally, with China recently the first stop on the Captain America: Civil War global tour. Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan (immensely popular in China), Anthony Mackie and director Joe Russo recently participated in a press conference, fan event and red carpet premiere in Beijing before moving on to Singapore. The Team Iron Man crew went to Paris and Berlin. Both met up in London this week. There, both directors attended a press conference with Marvel’s Kevin Feige, Evans, Stan, Mackie, Robert Downey Jr, Daniel Bruhl, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Olsen, Jeremy Renner, Emily VanCamp and Paul Bettany. The premiere is tonight.
Among the comps for CACW are last year’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron ($202M intl opening/$946M intl cume); 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($75.2M/$455M); 2013’s Iron Man 3 ($198.4M/$806M) and The Avengers in 2012 ($185.1M/$896M). Given the rivalry between the two lead characters, let’s throw in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice for good measure ($256.5M/$532M+).
(It’s important to recall that tracking for international markets is less detailed than in the U.S. and makes predictions very difficult. At today’s exchange rates in the same suite of markets that Cap 3 opens this weekend, Ultron did $212M, Iron Man 3 $160M and Winter Soldier $78M.)
There are a couple of further caveats as none of the aforementioned titles are apples-to-apples. In the case of Ultron, it likewise did not have China in the debut frame, but it did have Russia and Italy. Conversely, CACW has Spain, Mexico and Japan in Week 1 while Ultron did not. Buzz is at a fever pitch and one analyst sees CACW matching and exceeding Ultron at anywhere from $210M-$230M.
The top plays in the first weekend of Ultron were Korea ($27.9M), the UK ($27.2M), Russia ($16.2M), Brazil ($13.6M) and France ($12.4M).
As for the other Marvel comps, it’s farily likely Cap will outrun their opening numbers. What about Batman?
The Warner Bros superhero face-off had a lot of built-in excitement given the time elapsed since either character was on the big screen; plus there was the Batfleck curiosity factor and the Wonder Woman wannasee which helped propel that first weekend past Furious 7 for the No. 5 spot on the all-time overseas opening charts. BvS also had $57.2M from China in its first weekend, as well as $7.7M from Russia and $6M from Italy. Its opening made it the biggest superhero launch of all time internationally. Without China, Cap would need all boots on the ground to snatch the title away. Could it? Maybe according to some, but regardless, it’s no slight if it doesn’t. Given the critical reaction so far, it is looking at legs.
Cap has some furlough time to play with this weekend as Japan’s Golden Week kicks off on Friday (something that also might benefit Disney’s Zootopia which started out in the market last frame) while kids are still off from school in Australia and the UK and other markets have the May Day holiday Monday meaning Sunday numbers will be higher than normal.