“Captain America: Civil War” marks wave of ‘bigger and better’ for Marvel
This year superheroes go head to head at the box office.
On one side of the ring we have, DC Comics, which tried to establish its universe with Batman vs. Superman: The Origin of Justice. However, the film which was directed by Zack Snyder, grossed an underwhelming $850 million a month from its release, a figure which was way below industry expectations.
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On the other side there’s, Marvel, which inaugurated Phase 3 of its box office plan with Captain America: Civil War. The film directed by Russo brothers, Anthony and Joe, debuted last Friday, May 6 in theaters nationwide and centered on a rivalry between Steve Rogers (Captain America) and Tony Stark (Iron Man).
Captain America: Civil War raked in a whopping $179.1 million on its first weekend at the box office and according to website, Box Office Mojo:
“Captain America: Civil War not only scored the fifth largest opening of all-time, it is the third largest opening for a film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”
Aside from that, the film opened a week before globally and, so far, has earned $673.1 million.
Captain America: Civil War came at a warning time for Marvel, a time when the studio suffered from the departures of famous directors such as Joss Whedon and Edgar Wright and stagnant figures at the box office.
“This was our biggest challenge” said Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios during a press conference in Los Angeles. “We didn’t have contracts with various actors, including Robert Downey Jr., and the heroes were separated (Marvel didn’t produce the last few Spider-man movies). I always wanted to adapt Civil War so I thought: ‘It’s now or never’”.
During the Captain America: Civil War panel, the film’s directors said they were happy with what critics and fans had to say about it but were very diplomatic in regards to what it takes to avoid upsetting comic book and superhero followers.
“We take the time we invest and fans’ emotion very seriously and don’t want to repeat experiences of comics that the audience already had,” said Anthony Russo, who directed the film with his brother Joe.
In Captain America: Civil War, one of the objectives was to turn the psychology of Marvel characters upside down.
Actor Chris Evans who played Captain America added:
“I say, let’s keep going, let’s let the wave get bigger and bigger…It’s not like they’re making bad movies, they’re making great movies and if you want to put them in this superhero box you can, but they’re good movies.”
The studio did this by injecting some or let’s just say a lot of politics in the storyline. If you have yet to watch the film, the plot goes like this:
Captain America has a conflict with Iron Man because the group formed by the two along with Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Falcon, Hawkeye, Hulk and Thor (who by the way are not in this film) are accused of making decisions without measuring the consequences and causing thousands of deaths, while they attempt to save the world.
Stark believes that the Avengers must be supervised by an authority, while ‘Cap’ thinks they will become puppets of the government.
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“We read a lot and we are interested in what happens in the world. It is inevitable that these plots are in our stories,” said Joe Russo. The filmmaker and director believes there’s a “radicalization” in the world today, in the U.S. as well as in other countries. In the film, the Avengers, who are terrified of this radicalism, along with many of the victims, serve as collateral damage.
“These people are present in the film,” said Russo. “One of them is Zemo, played by Daniel Brühl. He became a radical because of the loss he suffered. ”
“We knew we wanted to tell a very complicated story between Captain America and Iron Man and we’re big fans of balance in storytelling, movies that make us laugh and cry,” he said of their approach.
“We wanted to bring in characters that didn’t have the same emotional investment that The Avengers had. Bringing in characters like Spider-Man and Ant-Man, who don’t have that baggage, allowed us to bring new color to the film.”