It looks like Marvel Studios is going to start Phase Three with a bang.
According to Birth.Movies.Death, the studio has begun doing test screenings for Captain America: Civil War, and the response has been through the roof. The site's Devin Faraci says he's spoken with five different sources who all agree that the audience reaction to the film has been tremendous -- the best, in fact, since Cap's last adventure, The Winter Soldier, which until now has worn the crown as Marvel's best-testing movie. The only question about this one, it seems, is whether the crowds have loved Civil War as much as they did The Winter Soldier or even more.
Another interesting thing is that the same sources noted that the movie "doesn't pull any punches in the third act" and goes to some pretty dark places, but that the test audiences didn't flinch. Fans of the Civil War storyline in the comics know very well what that might mean -- we won't spoil it here -- and if the movie has retained that aspect of the narrative then we're in for some weighty stuff indeed.
Captain America: Civil War is actually doing reshoots or "additional shooting" as we speak, with directors Joe and Anthony Russo calling back Chris Evans (Cap), Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther) and others for a few days of extra filming in Los Angeles. These additional shooting days used to be perceived as a sign of trouble for movies, but Marvel builds them into every production schedule, just in case they view a rough cut of the film and decide that something could look better or that an extra scene or two is needed.
Based on those apparent test screening scores, however, it seems like they have a winner on their hands. Now, it's also true that test audiences tend to be more positive, especially about a film like this, because of the excitement of being among the very first people to see the movie, even in an unfinished version. But the trailers have also been terrific, and I've had a sneaking suspicion all along that Civil War will be the movie that truly shakes up the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Avengers: Age of Ultron didn't quite get that job done).
What do you think?