Marvel superheroes have saved cities, worlds and galaxies and now their newest hero is going to try to save the 2019 box office.
"Captain Marvel," the 21st film in Disney's Marvel cinematic universe, made $61.3 million on its opening day Friday.
It's expected to bring in roughly $130 million domestically this weekend, according to analysts. If it does, "Captain Marvel" will instantly become the highest-grossing film of 2019 -- a year that's so far been downright abysmal at the box office.
The North American box office is down 26% compared to a year ago. That's because there hasn't been a blockbuster hit in 2019, according to Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore
"It's been really bad," Dergarabedian told CNN Business. "There's been no films this year that have made people want to leave the warm comforts of their home, but maybe 'Captain Marvel' can change that."
M. Night Shyamalan's horror flick "Glass" is the highest-grossing film of the year so far at $109 million. After that, it's the Kevin Hart comedy "The Upside" and "How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World."
February was especially rough with ticket revenue down 38% from this time last year when the records-shattering "Black Panther" premiered and went on to become the highest-grossing superhero film in U.S. history.
Without a "Black Panther" in 2019, it's been a cold winter for Hollywood, but that could soon change with "Captain Marvel" premiering this weekend.
Marvel is one of the most popular and reliable brands in the history of film. Disney's superhero studio has made $17.5 billion worldwide, broken numerous records and has had 20 straight No. 1 openings since 2008.
"Captain Marvel," which is the first Marvel film to be directed by a woman and the first to feature a female superhero in the lead, could be an even bigger hit than expected thanks to the cultural significance of the film, according to Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Boxoffice.com.
"We saw that with 'Black Panther' and 'Wonder Woman,' two films with a cultural impact that greatly exceeded expectations," Robbins told CNN Business. Robbins said that a film like "Captain Marvel" can attract viewers who don't typically watch superhero films, but want to be a part of the cultural moment.
"You have a generation of women who have rarely seen themselves presented on screen in a big heroic blockbuster like this before," Robbins said. "That matters."
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