‘Civil War’ Proves a House Divided Can Still Stand - Week 1 | Finding Dory | Captain America: Civil War | X-Men: Apocalypse

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‘Civil War’ Proves a House Divided Can Still Stand - Week 1

Finding Dory
Captain America: Civil War
X-Men: Apocalypse
Independence Day: Resurgence
Alice Through The Looking Glass

Summertime is always one of those magic periods. Full of hazy memories as a child when each day lasted forever, family vacations where you never remember how much you drove your parents crazy, and wandering into air-conditioned theaters to watch whatever was playing to beat-the-heat. Even if now summer seems to fly by, you torture your kids by parking a half-mile away from the beach to save $10 in parking, and you can never fully escaping having the TV stop on America’s Got Talent at some point, it’s not so bad. Besides, when every summer box-office season seems to start with a comic movie, what can go wrong… Unless that movie is the Fantastic Four.

Captain America: Civil War was this year’s opening selection and it had some interesting baggage going into it. One, last year’s opening film Avengers: Age of Ultron was a hit with almost $460 million dollars, and yet it was off by more than $150 million that the first Avengers. Also, it had what is now known as the Batman vs. Superman stink: “It made money, but…” Two, the Cap films have never made as much as the Iron Man and Avengers branded films. Even with all the other Avengers thrown in, would the masses go see a Cap film with a backstory not as many masses actually saw? Third, the actual Batman vs. Superman stink that follows the “but” (as opposed to the stink that follows the butt) is that people already weren’t too happy with the last superhero vs. superhero battle. Would they really run back out there to see another one just a month later?

Despite my son’s Civil War spoilers that Lincoln dies and Lee surrenders, Captain America: Civil War had the highest opening ever for a Captain America film (almost double 2014’s Winter Soldier $95 million debut) with a $179.1 million opening fire. This sum’s about $10 million behind last year’s Avengers 2 start and about $10 million ahead of March’s BvS beginning. It’s a nice way to kick off the summer season as the more butts (not the stinky ones) in the seats at the beginning of a season usually means the more butts the rest of the way. The pool’s always more fun with heavy-hitters and not films crawling to $141 million after 11 weeks.

Having this type of start even with all of those factors mentioned above should make everyone at Marvel happy today. Besides, there was obviously a “bragging rights” win by besting the BvS total from March. Heck, Captain America 3 made more in four days than Ant-Man did in four months. Sorry, Paul Rudd. At least you come up big in more ways than one in your Civil War cameo though!

Likewise, Marvel used this film as a launching pad for two new series. Both Black Panther and a rebooted Spider-Man make their first appearance in the Marvel Universe. After 42 and Get On Up, Chadwick Boseman has now played three of the most important figures in the 20th Century, even if one of the them is the leader of a fictional country in Africa. Someone’s going to need to be playing Chadwick Boseman in a movie in the next century!

On the other hand, by finally going with an actual youngster to play the eternal high-schooler Spider-Man, we now have an Aunt May that’s hot. Somewhere I missed the memo where Marisa Tomei was cast as the former silver-hair granny. Seeing Robert Downey Jr. and Marisa onscreen for the first time since the (mostly) forgotten 90’s rom-com Only You was severe deja vu. I’m not sure I’m ready for a world where I have a crush on Aunt May.

So, what does the future hold for this superhero showdown? There should be little impact from this week’s George Clooney/Julia Roberts Money Monster film. It feels as out of place this year as last year’s Hot Pursuit with Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara. (Just saying that last sentence out loud makes it sound like some sort of Tyler Perry Madea movie. Did that movie really happen?) Still, despite zero competition Avengers: Age of Ultron dropped almost 60% in week 2. Captain America will want to do better than that if it wants to win this war.

The Top Five If Today Was Labor Day:
#1. Captain America: Civil War - $179.1 million
#2. n/a
#3. n/a
#4. n/a
#5. n/a


Extra Bonus Section

As per the Week 1 tradition, here were my esteemed, extremely well thought-out and perpetually doomed to fail 2016 Summer Movie Pool prognostications.

I was actually torn greatly on a lot of these films. There were 12 films I felt could be at least that Ant-Man to Pitch Perfect 2 kind of hit. Which would be the top and (the toughest part) which would be the bottom of the top was where the real coin flipping began.

#1. Captain America: Civil War - It wasn’t the lock for me that I’d have wished. After last year’s “out of nowhere” Jurassic World ambushed the Age of Ultron, I kept looking for something that could break Cap’s shield and I couldn’t. Sure, Dory could turn out to be Toy Story 3-size, but that seems more Monster U to me. Likewise, Independence Day 2 could be Jurassic World all over again, but Jurassic Park was some 90’s kids Star Wars. ID was more like 90’s kids The Lost Boys. I went with the less-than Avengers 2 guestimate of $432 for the final gross.

#2. Independence Day: Resurgence - Just because it’s the 90’s version of The Lost Boys doesn’t mean people don’t want to see it. Especially since we’re all hankering for some Jeff Goldblum mannerisms after Jurassic World and this is the film he’s actually going to be in!

#3. Finding Dory - If this was 2006 instead of 2016, I’d have picked this film higher. Instead, I’m worried about how in a world of Cars 2 and Monsters U the Pixar sequels (outside of Toy Story) have been lackluster both in product and box-office. Will it still do well and probably be the top kids film? Sure. A didn’t-even-try movie like Minions made $336 million. It’s going to have to be good to pass the other two and I have my doubts.

#4. X-Men: Apocalypse - Here’s where things get scary. I could easily switch this with Alice at #5 and be fine. I could easily drop both of these and put something else up, because they might just cannibalize each other on Memorial Day Weekend paving the way for two other films. Why would I put this over the Alice sequel when Alice in Wonderland made much more than any of the X-Men films? AinW was terrible. It had the Batman vs. Superman stink long before BvS. How Disney thinks they can trick people into going back for more is insane… and yet, Disney. So that’s why Alice ends up making my list… and why I think X-Men will still do better overall.

#5. Alice Through the Looking Glass - I wanted to find something else to take this film out, yet a sequel to a $300 million-plus film has to still make more than the other movies coming out… At least, I think it does.

As for the also rans, I thought all of these could make $175-$200 mill, but not enough to pass these other five: TMNT 2, Ghostbusters, Star Trek, Bourne, BFG, Suicide Squad, and Central Intelligence (can’t stop the Hart!). Whether that turns out to be the case or not, only time will tell.

Good luck, everyone!

by Matt Neuenburg on 05/10/2016

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Alice Through The Looking Glass, Captain America: Civil War, Finding Dory, Independence Day: Resurgence, X-Men: Apocalypse
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