'Captain Marvel' will give the box office a big boost after a miserable start to 2019

Marvel StudiosBrie Larson in ‘Captain Marvel.’
  • BoxOfficeAnalyst.com’s Doug Stone told Business Insider he estimates “Captain Marvel” to open with between $US175 million and $US185 million.
  • Exhibitor Relations senior analyst Jeff Bock had a more conservative estimate at $US95 million, which he said is “still an epic launch for an unknown” superhero.
  • The 2018 box office broke records, but 2019 has been off to a sluggish start. Hopefuls like “The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part” and “Alita: Battle Angel” have disappointed.
  • “Captain Marvel” will give the box office a much-needed boost, and Stone predicts the year to end on a high note.

The box office is in need of a hero, and Carol Danvers is here to save it.

“Captain Marvel” lands in theatres this weekend, and it’s expected to give a sluggish box office the boost it needs. As the biggest release of the year so far and the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s sure to attract audiences back to the theatre.

The movie is online ticket service Fandango’s biggest pre-seller since “Avengers: Infinity War,” which opened to a record $US258 million.

BoxOfficeAnalyst.com’s Doug Stone told Business Insider that “Captain Marvel” will “indeed help the box office rebound.” He projects “Captain Marvel” to open between $US175 million and $US185 million and said it could end up with at least $US450 million domestically due to a lack of competition around its release.

READ MORE: Early estimates say ‘Avengers: Endgame’ could shatter the opening weekend box office record

Exhibitor Relations senior box-office analyst Jeff Bock had a more conservative estimate at $US95 million, which he told Business Insider is “still an epic launch for an unknown” superhero.

“‘Captain Marvel’ may just be the right franchise film at the right time,” Bock said. “Anything between $US80 million and $US140 million seems possible. The Marvel brand will definitely see a heat check with this one, as reviews have been decent but not off the charts like most Marvel flicks. Anything over $US100 million would be a huge win for Marvel, considering the most popular female superhero of all time, Wonder Woman, debuted with $US103 million [in 2017].”

Stone said that this year’s box office was down 29% at the end of February compared to that time last year. But he expects that number to fall to around 5% by the second quarter of 2019, and for the year to end on a high note.

“From there it should kind of meander around until December when we should rebound significantly with likely the strongest week that includes Christmas ever and finish slightly above 2018,” Stone added.

The sequel to 2017’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” and “Star Wars: Episode IX” come to theatres in December. Other anticipated blockbusters this year that will steer the box office in the right direction include “Avengers: Endgame” next month, “The Lion King” and “Toy Story 4” this summer, and “It: Chapter 2” and “Frozen 2” this fall.

READ MORE: ‘Captain Marvel’ is a fun origin movie filled with ’90s nostalgia, but it has flaws

The 2018 North American box office hit an all-time high with $US11.4 billion. It was bolstered by Disney blockbusters like “Black Panther,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” and “Incredibles 2,” as well as “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” and “Deadpool 2.”

By this time last year, “Black Panther” had already broken records, and launched what would become a record-breaking year at the box office. That Marvel movie was the biggest debut for a February release and ultimately grossed $US700 million domestically and over $US1 billion worldwide.

Movies like “Glass” and “The Upside,” which have both cracked $US100 million domestically, have helped the box office this year, and “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” is off to a decent start. But other hopeful hits have hit a wall.

“The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part” fell below projections and made just $US34 million in its opening weekend last month. The first “LEGO Movie” opened with $US69 million. “Alita: Battle Angel” cost $US170 million to make, and raked in just $US27 million in its opening. It will likely be a massive, money-losing flop for the studio Fox.

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