Captain Marvel Soars at the Box Office and Beyond

Captain Marvel Soars at the Box Office and Beyond

Captain Marvel succeeds as the next generation of females and superheroes.

Captain Marvel succeeds as the next generation of females and superheroes.

Text: Emma Li

The twenty-first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe "Captain Marvel" was released this past weekend with a record-breaking performance. It opened at $455 million, marking the biggest debut of the year at the domestic box office. As the highest-grossing film of the year, its second weekend is expected to top the first. Its debut on March 8, also known as International Women’s Day, only solidified the feat’s significance.

The film is Marvel's first comic book adapted feature starring a female heroine. Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel, played by Brie Larson, is an Air Force pilot turned superhero who attracted female and male audience members alike to the big screen.

Lashana Lynch, the British actress behind Maria Rambeau, also hopes the film inspires women. Rambeau’s role as Danvers’ best friend, a fellow pilot, and a single mom introduces a new type of character that was invented specifically for “Captain Marvel”. Lynch’s personal memories of being raised by a single mother inspired her when she was developing her role as Rambeau.

The release of “Captain Marvel” on International Women’s Day wasn’t completely welcomed with open arms. Many people have criticized it as a marketing tactic building on the ideas of “faux-feminism” and “femvertising”, a concept defining advertisement that makes use of pro-female media and talent to empower females.

However, Marvel Studios has an established history of inclusivity. In 2017, the first season of Hulu’s original series Marvel’s Runaways was released. The show features Karolina and Nico, Marvel’s first lesbian superhero couple, played by Virginia Gardner and Lyrica Okano.

Films like “Captain Marvel” are culturally impactful, attracting viewers who don’t usually identify as fans of superhero films. Its release follows “Wonder Woman” as a superhero film directed by a woman to end any disbelief towards the success of female hero protagonists at the box office. Gal Gadot who played Wonder Woman and director Patty Jenkins took to Instagram to congratulate Larson and the team on the film’s success.

“Captain Marvel” has been introduced as an essential transition between “Avengers: Infinity War” and the concluding “Avengers: Endgame”. Fans can catch the heavily anticipated finale premiering this summer in theaters.

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