Mar 20, 2019

Captain Marvel: The Audience Powering The Marvellous Superhero hit

In only its second week, Captain Marvel is already standing tall among Hollywood studio superhero movies. It’s quickly becoming one of the most successful female-fronted tentpole movies of all time, making $760 million at the global box office in its first 12 days and racing towards the $1 billion mark.

In witnessing the success Captain Marvel has experienced thus far, we were interested to see exactly who showed up to attend the film, particularly given the fact that Captain Marvel is only the second major superhero film with a female lead. In order to provide some context, we compared Captain Marvel’s audience to that of male-fronted Captain America: Civil War and female-fronted Wonder Woman.

Audience Highlights of Captain Marvel

Considering the success Wonder Woman had amongst female moviegoers, one would expect Captain Marvel to see a similar outperformance within the segment; however, this was not the case. Female moviegoers made up only a third of presale tickets and 35% of the opening weekend audience, which is much closer to that of Captain America: Civil War (35%) than Wonder Woman (39%). In our Wonder Woman Audience Evolution Report we found that the female share of the overall audience increased from opening weekend through the movies full run time, ending a full 16% over the average superhero movie. It will be interesting to watch whether or not Captain Marvel experiences a similar evolution in the weeks ahead.

Captain Marvel failing to outperform amongst female moviegoers could be seen as disappointing, given the title was heavily pushed as a female-centric film by the studio (the release date was deliberately scheduled to coincide with International Women’s Day). However, this could be seen as a positive development; proving that the typical male-skewed Marvel audience will still show up for a franchise film with solid ratings regardless of the gender of the protagonist, much in the same way Black Panther’s racially diverse cast managed to attract a new segment of moviegoers while still maintaining the traditional superhero audience.

Looking at the age distribution of the audience; the average age for Captain Marvel at this stage of its release is 37 years old, which falls in between Captain America: Civil War (36 years old), and Wonder Woman (40 years old). However, on the opening weekend, Captain Marvel attracted more Gen X moviegoers (those aged 30-50) than both Captain America and Wonder Woman. Gen X moviegoers made up 45% of the opening weekend audience for Captain Marvel compared to 42% for Captain America and 43% for Wonder Woman. As traditionally seen with blockbuster movies, the Captain Marvel audience grows older as the movie moves through its run, going from an average of 32 years old on opening night to 38 years old by week two.

Check out more of our moviegoing audience insights here.

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