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SYFY WIRE Avengers: Endgame

Captain Marvel presales on track to beat Aquaman, almost all previous MCU films

By Matthew Jackson
Brie Larson Carol Danvers Captain Marvel

With two weeks to go until it hits theaters, Captain Marvel is flying high in advance ticket sales. 

Fandango announced Thursday that the latest Marvel Studios release — starring Brie Larson in the title role — is on pace to top December's superhero hit Aquaman, along with Warner Bros.' other major DCEU hit, Wonder Woman, at the same point in their respective presale timetables.

What's perhaps more interesting, though, is that Captain Marvel isn't just topping its competition over at Warner Bros. It's topping just about every previous Marvel Cinematic Universe release as well. If the sales pace holds, the film will rank third on the MCU list in terms of presale tickets from Fandango, behind only Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War. If it holds this pace, the film will finish second in Fandango presales among superhero origin story movies, behind only Black Panther

"If we’re looking at superhero origin stories, Black Panther is No. 1, Captain Marvel is now No. 2," Fandango Managing Editor Erik Davis tells SYFY WIRE. "So it’s outpacing films like Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Deadpool, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange. It’s outpacing all of those films in advance ticket sales at the same point in the sales cycle."

Early press screenings for the film kicked off just a few days ago, and the first reactions for the film are a big part of what's driving the rapid pace of presales. According to Davis, who was one of the lucky few to catch the very earliest screenings, the film is garnering such positive early reactions in part thanks to its unique approach to the superhero origin story.

"I think what’s unique about it is tonally, it’s constantly changing and evolving as the film goes along. You’re sort of in space, you’re on Earth in the ‘90s, and you’re kind of learning about who this character is as she’s learning about who she is," Davis says. "And I think it’s really interesting for fans because it’s a character that isn’t like a Batman, a Superman, a Wonder Woman, an Iron Man, where we kind of already come into it knowing the origin story, and we’re just waiting for the familiar beats to happen. This isn’t a movie that has those familiar beats, because it kind of rearranges the origin story, tells it in an inventive way, and it’s a story that we haven’t seen yet and that we don’t really know as well as we do others."

If the film continues its sales pace, and that keeps translating to high box office numbers, Captain Marvel will inevitably find itself compared with Black Panther in terms of trailblazing films for Marvel. That film, the first MCU movie led by a black hero, went on to become a full-blown cultural phenomenon. Does Captain Marvel, the MCU's first female-led blockbuster, have that same potential? It's impossible to know for sure until people see the film, but Davis notices a lot of potential there.

"I think it’ll have a similar kind of energy. I know that there’s already fundraisers out there for underprivileged kids and little girls to sort of see the film. But what I also think is fun about Captain Marvel is that it functions in that way — that it’s sort of this film of the moment about empowerment, that really sort of is a key to the future of not just Marvel, but of movies in general, of the kind of films or the kind of characters that we want to see front and center in these movies — but at the same time it’s also a really sort of dorky fun ‘90s sci-fi throwback that reminded me of like Buffy and Galaxy Quest. So it’s this really nice, familiar nod to I think a generation that hasn’t had a modern-day superhero movie set in that way. And so I think ‘90 kids are going to just eat this thing up, but then I also think at the same time it’s this really important film for Marvel, for the MCU, and for the future of movies. So, I think it’s going to have a big effect."

So, Captain Marvel is on pace to thoroughly dominate the box office in March and be all that a lot of superhero fans talk about... at least, until Avengers: Endgame (featuring Carol Danvers returning yet again) arrives to rule the box office in April. 

Captain Marvel is in theaters March 8.