Female fronted superhero film ‘Captain Marvel’ tops box offices

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“Captain Marvel,” the first Marvel superhero film with a female character in top billing, soared atop North American box offices in its debut weekend, with ticket sales of $153.4 million, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations said on Monday.

Added to the $302 million taken in internationally, the film’s total of $455 million for the three-day weekend makes it the biggest opening ever for a female-fronted superhero film, the Hollywood Reporter said.

It is also the sixth highest global debut ever and the best domestic start for a superhero film since Marvel’s “Black Panther” opened last year with $202 million, trade magazines said.

The film stars Brie Larson, winner of a 2016 Best Actress Oscar for “Room,” as Carol Danvers, a former fighter pilot who gains superpowers in an accident and finds herself in the middle of a galactic conflict.

Also starring are Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Annette Bening and Jude Law. The film, which opened on International Women’s Day, was co-directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck.

It soared to the top of ticket sales despite online misogynistic trolls who launched a coordinated attack against the film over the weekend by posting negative reviews.

Trailing light-years behind in second place, at $14.7 million, was Universal’s “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” which had topped the North American box office for two straight weekends.

The final instalment in the “Dragon” trilogy, voiced by Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Cate Blanchett and F. Murray Abraham, tells the story of young Hiccup and his dragon Toothless on their quest to find a reputed dragon utopia.

In third, down one spot, was Lionsgate’s “A Madea Family Funeral” from actor/director Tyler Perry. The latest comic chapter about the irreverent but caring elderly title character (played by Perry) earned $12.5 million.

Fourth spot went to Warner Bros.’ “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” at $3.9 million. Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks and Will Arnett voice the animated toys in a story of love and apocalypse in a plastic universe.

In fifth was Fox’s “Alita: Battle Angel” at $3.2 million. The sci-fi fantasy stars Rosa Salazar as a nearly human cyborg who has lost her memory.