ca-civilwar.pngBy Shawn Robbins

Whilst Avengers: Age of Ultron is sitting pretty atop its mountain of global box office earnings, Wednesday marks exactly one year before Captain America: Civil War hits theaters on May 6, 2016.

Following Ant-Man later this summer, the next Captain installment will be Marvel Studios' 13th chapter in their beloved cinematic universe. Could it mark the fifth consecutive year a Marvel flick claims the domestic summer box office throne, and join the $1 billion global club in the process?

There's a touch of irony to the potential of Civil War. As a superhero, the Captain was at one time presumed to have the weakest lucrative potential because of a perception that the world wouldn't connect to such a patriotic hero in a decidedly mixed cultural and political climate for America. Of course, this was before The First Avenger released to solid reviews, word of mouth, and box office returns in 2011 -- laying the final brick in Marvel's lead up to the first Avengers.

Last year's Winter Soldier was met with fantastic word of mouth, and nearly doubled First Avenger's global box office take ($715 million from $371 million -- that's more than just market expansion). Now that audiences have gained an appreciation for Chris Evans' Steve Rogers, his proud alias, and what he stands for, the Captain America series has earned the role of carrying the MCU flag between Avengers movies now that Iron Man is, for the time being, on ice. 

One growing "criticism" of Marvel flicks is the strict adherence to formula. This is nearly unavoidable when you're churning out an average of two films per year, but "The Cap" has managed to stand out. First Avenger was a nostalgic throwback to wartime stories with an ending that dared leave our hero more lost and out of place than any MCU film has ever since. Winter Soldier followed that by not just pushing forward Steve's story in the modern world, but by shaking up the entire Marvel mythos with the plot-twisty collapse of S.H.I.E.L.D. -- ultimately becoming one of the most well-received Marvel films up to this point.

Civil War is poised to continue that tradition of providing the MCU its next major evolution.

The story arc on which it's loosely based is one of the most popular among Marvel fans, and was a watershed moment in the history of comic books. Pitting heroes against heroes on a massive epic scale is ripe with dramatic potential and, incidentally, was a major strength of the first Avengersnarrative.

Civil War promises to deliver on the well-established beef between Rogers and Robert Downey, Jr.'s Tony Stark, the de facto leaders of the Avengers, when the world's governments impose regulation on all superhero activity in the wake of Age of Ultron's events. This forces other heroes to take a side as allies become enemies -- and *that* is an interesting dynamic audiences should be keen on watching play out because both sides of the ensuing conflict will be supported by deeply rooted character empathy that just isn't found in most villains (Tom Hiddleston's Loki being the closest exception). Whatever the outcome is, you can bet it will have ripples throughout virtually all of Marvel's following films.

Effectively, this positions Civil War to be more than just a Captain America sequel. Think Avengers 2.5, sans Bruce Banner/Hulk and Thor (for now, anyway).

It's also confirmed that the new Peter Parker/Spider-Man will be introduced in this film. Despite that franchise's troubles in recent years, he'll be a major drawing factor if he's provided more than just a cameo. Marvel's ability to finally have creative input into that franchise (whose rights are still owned by Sony) is just the saving grace Spidey needs right now, and it will finally place one of the most popular comic book characters of any generation into the heart of Marvel's mighty universe.

Filming has only just begun, but on paper, Captain America: Civil War may already have a leg up on Summer 2016's contenders for the box office crown. That's not to say they don't have strong arsenals of their own, though: Paramount's Star Trek 3 will be taking advantage of that franchise's 50th anniversary, Fox's X-Men: Apocalypse will cap off a (thus far) well-received trilogy in epic fashion under the guidance of Bryan Singer, Sony has high hopes for its star-studded and female-driven Ghostbusters revival, while Disney itself has another contender in Pixar's long-awaited Finding Dory.

We'll discuss those and more films in the months ahead as part of our continued early glimpses into the box office future.

Follow Shawn Robbins and BoxOffice on Twitter

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By Daniel Garris

Avengers: Age of Ultron took in $13.13 million on Tuesday to dominate the daily box office for a fifth consecutive day. The blockbuster superhero sequel from Disney and Marvel was down a slim 1 percent from Monday's performance. In comparison, 2012's Marvel's The Avengers fell 6.5 percent on its first Tuesday to gross $17.68 million, while 2013's Iron Man 3 was essentially unchanged on its first Tuesday to take in $11.29 million. Avengers: Age of Ultron has grossed $217.63 million in its first five days. While that is softer than was widely expected, it still represents the second largest unadjusted five-day start of all-time (behind only The Avengers). Avengers: Age of Ultron is running 11 percent behind the $244.01 million five-day start of The Avengers and 11 percent ahead of the $196.69 million five-day take of Iron Man 3.

Lionsgate's The Age of Adaline held steady in a distant second with $0.809 million. The romantic drama starring Blake Lively was up a very strong 53 percent over Monday and down 40 percent from last Tuesday. The Age of Adaline continues to perform on the high end of expectations with a twelve-day take of $24.72 million. That places the film just 1 percent behind the recent $24.96 million twelve-day start of The Longest Ride. The Age of Adaline will hope to hold up well this coming weekend thanks in part to the Mother's Day holiday.

Furious 7 grossed $0.610 million to remain in third place. The seventh installment of Universal's blockbuster action franchise was up 24 percent over Monday and down a sharp 57 percent from last Tuesday. Furious 7 has grossed $332.17 million in 33 days, which places the film an extremely impressive 44.5 percent ahead of the $229.85 million 33-day take of 2013's Fast & Furious 6.

Sony's Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 continued to claim fourth place with $0.438 million. The Kevin James led comedy sequel increased a healthy 45 percent over Monday and fell 46 percent from last Tuesday. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 has grossed $52.26 million in 19 days. The film continues to run in line with expectations and is running 16 percent behind the $62.02 million 19-day take of 2011's Zookeeper.

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Cinderella is a $500 million worldwide hit for Disney.

The live-action fairy tale has now grossed $308 million outside of North America, due in part to a stellar run in China ($71M), where it recorded the biggest March debut of all time with $25 million. Cinderella was able to cross the box office milestone following a strong run in Japan, where it opened in April 25 and recorded the biggest opening day and opening weekend of the year for a Western release. Cinderella has grossed a total of $21.6 million to date in Japan.

Other top overseas performers include Australia ($16.5M), Italy ($16.5M), Brazil ($15.5M), and Mexico ($15.4M). 

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PRESS RELEASE:

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Weekly Series to Showcase Cultural Influencers Including Reba McEntire, Tony Hawk, Evander Holyfield, Slash, Darius Rucker, Al Roker, Larry King, and Others, and Run on Fandango Movieclips on YouTube, Hulu, Roku and Samsung's Milk Video Service

LOS ANGELES (MAY 6, 2015) - Fandango, the nation's leading digital destination for moviegoers with 36 million unique visitors per month, launched today a new original video series, "I Love Movies" featuring pop culture influencers outside the film industry sharing meaningful movie memories throughout their lives. Guests will include athletes, musicians, television personalities, innovators and others, talking about iconic movies from all genres such as "The Sound of Music," "Rocky," "Finding Nemo," "The Spy Who Loved Me," "The Naked Gun," "Purple Rain," "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation," and many more.

The first episode featuring NBA All-Star Dwight Howard launched today and can be viewed across Fandango's digital network, including Fandango Movieclips, the number one movie trailer and content channel on YouTube, and Fandango channels on Hulu, Roku and Samsung's Milk Video Service. New episodes will be introduced in the coming weeks starring Grammy Award winner Reba McEntire, skateboarding icon and X Games gold medalist Tony Hawk, five-time heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield, rock legend Slash, country music artist Darius Rucker, TODAY co-anchor and weatherman, Al Roker, award-winning TV host Larry King, with more debuting throughout the summer. Interviews were conducted by New York Times bestselling author and writer-at-large for Esquire Magazine, Cal Fussman.

"The influence of movies on our culture is far reaching and personal, as we all have favorite film memories," said Fandango Chief Creative Officer and series creator, Sandro Corsaro. "With our series, we sought out a wide array of notable personalities to uncover why they love movies. The stories were surprising and unexpected, and we're excited to share how the power of movies helped shape the paths of some extraordinary people. There is incredible relevance and authenticity to this series that we know will resonate with our audience."

"I Love Movies" is the first original series to be produced under the company's new video brand, Fandango Movieclips, which was formed after the successful acquisition of Movieclips, the largest movie trailer and content network on YouTube, in April 2014. Since Fandango's acquisition, Movieclips subscribers have increased by 49%, adding 3.2 million to its network of more than 9.8 million subscribers. Video views are also up 71% year-over-year, with an average of 350 million video views per month. Over the past year, the Fandango Movieclips team has published more than 6,500 movie trailers and original videos to its digital network, including over 200 exclusive trailers.

The series will be supported by a summer-long promotional campaign celebrating the joys of moviegoing. The program will feature celebrity pro-social events, VIP movie screenings, summer festival sponsorships, social media activations and widespread television advertising. Fandango will also be giving away a year's worth of free movie tickets, every day throughout the summer.

 

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By Daniel Garris

Avengers: Age of Ultron continued to dominate the daily box office on Monday with a daily take of $13.23 million. In the process, the blockbuster superhero sequel from Disney and Marvel surpassed the $200 million mark on Monday. The film reached the milestone in four days; making it the second fastest film ever to reach the milestone (behind only 2012's Marvel's The Avengers). However, Avengers: Age of Ultron was down a sizable 74 percent from Sunday's performance. That is a concerning early sign given that The Avengers declined 67 percent to gross $18.89 million on its first Monday. The first Monday performance of Avengers: Age of Ultron was much closer to that of 2013's Iron Man 3, which fell 74 percent on its first Monday to gross $11.27 million. With a massive four-day start of $204.499 million, Avengers: Age of Ultron is running 10 percent behind the $226.34 million four-day take of The Avengers and 10 percent ahead of the $185.41 million four-day gross of Iron Man 3.

Lionsgate's The Age of Adaline placed in a distant second with $0.529 million. The romantic drama starring Blake Lively was down 65 percent from Sunday and down a solid 42 percent from last Monday. The Age of Adaline continues to perform on the high end of expectations with an eleven-day take of $23.91 million. That places the film a slim 1 percent behind the recent $24.21 million eleven-day start of The Longest Ride. The Age of Adaline will hope to hold up well this coming weekend thanks in part to the Mother's Day holiday.

Furious 7 followed closely behind in third place with $0.494 million. The seventh installment of Universal's blockbuster action franchise fell 74 percent from Sunday and a sharp 57 percent from last Monday. Furious 7 has grossed $331.56 million in 32 days, which places the film an extremely impressive 45 percent ahead of the $229.19 million 32-day take of 2013's Fast & Furious 6.

Sony's Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 claimed fourth place with $0.301 million. The modestly budgeted Kevin James led comedy sequel declined 82 percent from Sunday and 51 percent from last Monday. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 has grossed $51.82 million in 18 days. The film continues to run in line with expectations and is running 14 percent behind the $60.48 million 18-day take of 2011's Zookeeper.

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