Representing both the start of the summer movie season and Marvel Phase 3, Captain America: Civil War hits theaters this weekend, in what's expected to be a massive debut. The superhero adventure has already gotten off to a great start overseas, taking in $200.2 million while opening in 37 international market, although many key territories are yet to come like China, Russia, Italy and Argentina. Box office prognosticators have been predicting a debut in the range of $175 million to $200 million for Captain America: Civil War, but it may just open higher than that.
According to Box Office Mojo, Captain America: Civil War is expected to debut in over 4,000 theaters, although a specific theater count has not been given yet. The movie is already a hit with critics, posting an impressive 94% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with 103 positive reviews out of 110. Based on the positive word of mouth, and the large theater count, we're predicting that Captain America: Civil War will take in $210.5 million. If it does hit that mark, it will top the opening weekends of 2012's The Avengers ($207.4 million) and Avengers: Age of Ultron ($191.2 million) for the studio's biggest opening weekend of all time.
Steve Rogers leads a newly formed team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. The action is set in the aftermath of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Following another incident involving the Avengers that results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability, headed by a governing body to oversee and direct the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers, resulting in two camps, one led by Steve Rogers and his desire for the Avengers to remain free to defend humanity without government interference, and the other following Tony Stark's surprising decision to support government oversight and accountability.
Team Iron Man includes Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Vision (Paul Bettany), War Machine (Don Cheadle) and the new characters T'challa (Chadwick Boseman) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland). Team Cap includes Captain America (Chris Evans), The Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan). Captain America: Civil War also stars Frank Grillo as Crossbones and William Hurt, reprising his role from The Incredible Hulk as Thaddeus Ross.
Captain America: Civil War will kick off the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Phase Three, which will be followed by Doctor Strange on November 4, 2016). Next up will be Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (May 5, 2017), followed by Spider-Man (July 7, 2017), Thor: Ragnarok (November 3, 2017), Black Panther (February 16, 2018), Avengers: Infinity War Part I (May 4, 2018), Ant-Man and the Wasp (July 6, 2018), Captain Marvel (March 8, 2019) and Avengers: Infinity War - Part II (May 3, 2019). The studio recently pushed Inhumans out of its July 12, 2019 release date, which was originally slated to be the last Phase Three movie, but the project doesn't have a new release date at this time.
The arrival of Captain America: Civil War brings an end to The Jungle Book 's three-week reign atop the box office, with this Disney adventure dropping to second place this weekend with a predicted $23.5 million. Disney's adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's timeless literary classic has taken in $253.3 million domestically and $688.1 million worldwide after opening in theaters on April 15. Also rounding out the top 5 this weekend will be holdovers The Huntsman: Winter's War ($4.1 million), Keanu ($3.9 million) and Mother's Day ($3.8 million).
Rounding out the top 10 will be Barbershop: The Next Cut ($3.2 million), Zootopia ($2.9 million), Ratchet & Clank ($2.6 million), The Boss ($2.1 million) and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($1.5 million). This will most likely be Batman v Superman's last week in the top 10, but it has put together an impressive box office run, earning $325.1 million domestically and $862.8 million worldwide. Also opening in limited release this weekend is Fox Searchlight's A Bigger Splash, which actually opens on May 4, two days before Captain America 3, with the Star Wars documentary Elstree 1976, Shout! Factor's horror movie Bite, Sony Classics' documentary Dark Horse, Paladin's Being Charlie and IFC's Pele: Birth of a Legend also coming this week.
Looking ahead to next weekend, Marvel's Civil War will square off against two new movies in wide release, Sony's financial thriller Money Monster starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts, and High Top Releasing's The Darkness starring Kevin Bacon and Radha Mitchell. A number of indies will also open in limited release next weekend, such as Magnolia's High-Rise, Well Go USA's Kill Zone 2, Broad Green Pictures' Last Days in the Desert, A24's The Lobster, Roadside Attractions' Love & Friendship, Focus World's Search Party and Magnolia's Sunset Song. Be sure to check back on Sunday for the box office estimates, and again on Tuesday for next week's predictions. Until then, take a look at our predictions for the weekend of May 6.