Here’s Why ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ Could Earn at Least $600 Million

Fans take to social media to applaud the latest Marvel superhero epic, which, if history serves, should pay off huge at the box office.

Mar 11, 2014 at 1:15PM

Early reaction to Captain America: The Winter Soldier has been overwhelmingly positive. Sources: Marvel Entertainment, YouTube.

If the reaction on Twitter to last night's early screenings is any indicator, then The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) and Marvel Studios need to get busy greenlighting a sequel to Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Accelerating the inevitable tie-in to Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. might also be s good idea.

But don't take my word for it. See for yourself: tends to document fan reaction to these sorts of early screenings. My sense from their findings this go-around is that audiences like Captain America: The Winter Soldier as much or more than they did Iron Man 3, which earned a coveted "A" CinemaScore.

Marvel Studios' superpower = connecting with audiences
Don't know the CinemaScore? I can't blame you. Designed more for studio executives than Wall Street analysts, the CinemaScore is an exit poll whereby audience members grade the film they just saw from "A" to "F". Movies that grade well tend to enjoy strong word of mouth and higher overall box office returns.

You might even say the CinemaScore is the most important indicator of box office success or failure. Twitter buzz for last night's early screening of Captain America: The Winter Soldier suggests a particularly good CinemaScore is in order.

Of course, no one in Hollywood will be surprised if the film performs well. Marvel Studios has a remarkable record of making crowd-pleasing epics. Phase 2 films Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World fared especially well at the box office:

Captain America: The First Avenger
Iron Man 3
Thor: The Dark World

Domestic opening

$65.06 million

$174.14 million

$85.74 million

Production budget

$140 million

$200 million

$170 million

Worldwide gross

$370.57 million

$1,212.69 million

$631.67 million

Est. box office break-even

$560 million

$800 million

$680 million

Est. box office gross profit %




CinemaScore / Rotten Tomatoes

A- / 79%

A / 78%

A- / 65%

Sources: The Numbers, Rotten Tomatoes, The Hollywood Reporter.

Notably, both Iron Man 2 and Iron Man 3 earned an "A" CinemaScore, while Thor: The Dark World improved on the B+ its predecessor enjoyed. All three films earned at least $600 million in worldwide grosses. Don't be surprised if Captain America: The Winter Soldier -- which opens on April 4 and doesn't face stiff competition for nearly a month -- pulls that much or more.


Actor Chris Evans becomes an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Source: Marvel Entertainment.

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Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Apple, Google, Netflix, and Walt Disney at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool recommends Apple, Google, Netflix, Twitter, and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google, Netflix, and Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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