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Two weeks before it came out, Captain Marvel‘s ticket presales suggested it would be a smash hit. Now, we know for sure. Over opening weekend, it made $153 million in the U.S. and $455 million worldwide, the sixth-best weekend haul of all time.
A lot of the conversation around Captain Marvel has been bogged down in sexist backlash, with internet trolls spamming Rotten Tomatoes with negative comments and sharing conspiracy theories about Brie Larson banning men from watching the movie. (She didn’t.) The real box office figures prove that these trolls were just a vocal minority. Captain Marvel is clearly very popular among mainstream audiences worldwide.
As the Hollywood Reporter points out, Captain Marvel’s weekend box office beat every superhero movie aside from Avengers: Infinity War last year. Whatever way you look at it, this movie is a huge commercial hit both in the U.S. and abroad—especially for an origin story about a “new” character.
Until recently, we only saw big-budget superhero movies with white men in the lead roles. The common wisdom was that women and people of color were a “risky” casting choice that couldn’t necessarily attract a wider audience. Clearly, that’s wrong. Black Panther and Captain Marvel are both huge hits that found emotional and political resonance with fans (in fact, Black Panther had an even bigger opening weekend than Captain Marvel in the U.S.), and so was Wonder Woman. So for the millionth time: Yes, women can indeed lead a movie to blockbuster success.
Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer at the Daily Dot, covering geek culture and fandom. Specializing in sci-fi movies and superheroes, she also appears as a film and TV critic on BBC radio. Elsewhere, she co-hosts the pop culture podcast Overinvested.