‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ Box Office Impresses, But Iron Man and Thor Prove Mightier

Marvel’s latest epic opens internationally, but opening outside blockbuster season could stunt returns at the “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” box office.

Mar 31, 2014 at 1:48PM

Captain America The Winter Soldier Banner

Captain America: The Winter Soldier box offices opened in 32 territories over the weekend. The film debuts here in the U.S. on Friday, April 4. Credit: Marvel Entertainment.

In the comics, Iron Man, Thor, and The Hulk were always the mightiest among Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Turns out that's also true at theaters. With a $75.2 million overseas open, Captain America: The Winter Soldier box office is (so far) the worst of Marvel's Phase 2 peers:

Metric
Iron Man 3
Thor: The Dark World
Captain America: The Winter Soldier

International opening

$198.4 million

$109.4 million

$75.2 million

No. of territories

42

36

32

Opening date

April 24, 2013

Oct. 30, 2013

March 26, 2014

Sources: IMDB, The Hollywood Reporter, The Wrap.

Yet that's not as bad as it sounds for Marvel or Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) investors. Why? Iron Man 3 opened in late April-early May 2013 while Thor: The Dark World opened Halloween weekend. Both are notoriously strong seasons for action adventure films.

But don't take my word for it. Here's a closer look at April versus May and November, according to data supplied by Box Office Mojo:

  • April 3-year average gross = $640.03 million

  • May 3-year average gross = $1,278.53 million

  • November 3-year average gross = $1,346.60 million

To be fair, these figures are for domestic rather foreign box office performance. And yet the broader point is that April is traditionally a tough month for big-ticket action flicks. Recent history says the Captain America: The Winter Soldier box office should find it difficult to produce half the haul of Iron Man 3 or even get within spitting distance of Thor: The Dark World.

As it stands now, Cap's latest adventure is already tracking to earn 38% of what the Iron Man threequel did and 69% of The Dark World's haul while opening in fewer territories. In each case, current figures say Disney investors can expect theatergoers to spend at least $440 million worldwide at the Captain America: The Winter Soldier box office -- with upside to $600 million or more if the movie earns a coveted 'A' CinemaScore.

Do you agree? Are you planning on seeing the movie when it opens in U.S. theaters this weekend? Please make your prediction for the Captain America: The Winter Soldier box office in the comments below, and also let us know if you would buy, sell, or short Disney stock at current prices.

Three superhero stocks you can profit from right now
At the movies and in the comics, superheroes triumph against overwhelming odds. Winning in the stock market needn't be that difficult. You can get rich just by betting on the companies whose businesses are overwhelmingly favored to profit in the face of industry changes, like these three, which are disrupting the $2.2 trillion television business. Click here for their names. 

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 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 Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of 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.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of fool.com.

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to www.fool.com/beginners, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at www.fool.com/podcasts.

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.


Compare Brokers