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Captain Marvel soars even higher with stellar 2nd weekend

Captain Marvel  soars even higher with stellar 2nd weekend
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LOS ANGELES -- "Captain Marvel" has continued to dominate the global box office in its second weekend in theatres, leaving newcomers in the dust.

Walt Disney Studios estimated Sunday that the intergalactic superhero fell only 55 per cent from its record-breaking opening. This weekend, "Captain Marvel" earned an additional US$69.3 million from North American theatres and $119.7 million internationally, bringing its global grosses to $760 million.

With Brie Larson in the title role, "Captain Marvel" has already surpassed the lifetime grosses of a slew of superhero films including "Justice League," "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and "The Amazing Spider-Man."

In a very distant second, Paramount s animated family film "Wonder Park" struggled with $16 million against a reported $100 million budget. Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst for Comscore, said that it s hard to compete with "Captain Marvel," which is playing to all ages and audiences. But the PG-rated pic about a girl who dreams up an amusement park did not score well with critics either -- it s currently sitting at a 30 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes.

But it wasn t all bad news for the films in "Captain Marvel s" shadow. The Cole Sprouse and Haley Lu Richardson film "Five Feet Apart" opened in third place with $13.2 million in ticket sales, which is nearly double its production budget. The film from Lionsgate and CBS Films is centred on two teens with cystic fibrosis.

Audiences were overwhelmingly female (82 per cent) and young (65 per cent under age 25 and 45 per cent under 18). That the stars involved, like Sprouse who is in the popular TV show "Riverdale," have a strong fan base and social following motivated young women to turn out to the theatres.

"You don t always have to be No. 1 to have a success," Dergarabedian said. "And Five Feet Apart proves that."

It was a good weekend overall for Lionsgate, which had three films in the top 10, including "Five Feet Apart," Tyler Perry s "A Madea Family Funeral," which landed in fifth place with $8.1 million (behind "How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World") and the Spanish-language newcomer "No Manches Frida 2," which opened on only 472 screens and grossed $3.9 million to take sixth place.

"In the world of everybody talking about diversity, this is a great example of a diverse lineup. All three films were completely different, which was obviously a strategic distribution decision," said David Spitz, Lionsgate s president of domestic distribution. "Those three films were able to capture an audience even with the 300-pound gorilla of Captain Marvel."

Not so lucky was "Captive State," an alien invasion thriller from Focus Features that floundered in seventh place with $3.2 million against a $25 million budget.

But overall, things are finally looking up for the industry-wide box office. The "Captain Marvel" effect has lowered the year to date deficit nearly 10 per cent in a week.

"We re on the right track now. It shows when you re this early in the year, any change can make a significant difference to the bottom line," said Dergarabedian. "But it s going to take more than one big movie to start us toward another record-breaking year in North America."

One film that might help: Jordan Peele s "Get Out" follow-up "Us" hits theatres next weekend and is tracking for an opening north of $40 million.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theatres, according to Comscore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
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