Huh, maybe all those millions spent on advertising did pay off: Captain America: Civil War completely dominated the domestic box office this weekend, pulling in $181.8 million for the fifth-biggest opening weekend of all time. (It’s already made nearly half a billion overseas.) That would be impressive enough on its own, but is especially so next to its closest competitor, The Jungle Book, which racked up a relatively paltry $21.8 million at No. 2. That $160 million cushion helped propel both Civil War and its parent company, Disney, to new records, as the corporate entity just surpassed the record set by Universal for the fastest $1 billion domestic box-office year on record. Presumably, Universal’s Dominic Toretto and friends will have something to say about all that when Fast 8 comes out next April. (They’re big into races, you see.)
Further down the box-office charts, we see another steep drop-off at No. 3 as $9 million worth of dutiful, if not especially creative, sons and daughters took their moms to see Mother’s Day for Mother’s Day. Following that was The Huntsman: Winter’s War, whose chilly $3.6 million weekend brings the Kristen Stewart-less sequel to a $40 million gross, much less than the film’s estimated $115 million budget. The No. 5 film, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele’s catnapping comedy Keanu, will be fine, though, as it’s already earned back its $15 million budget. (Never underestimate the power of cute animals with silly names, apparently: Zootopia’s also still hanging in there at No. 7 10 weeks into its theatrical run.)
Perhaps wisely, no other big releases dared go up against Cap ‘n’ friends this weekend, leaving the rest of the week’s new movies languishing in the specialty box office. And we do mean languishing: A Bigger Splash, starring Tilda Swinton as an aging rock star—she is the closest thing to David Bowie this world has left—did okay, making $110,000 on five theater screens. It’s diminishing returns after that, though, all the way down to the Star Wars behind-the-scenes documentary Elstree 1976, which grossed a mere $3,000 in 14 theaters. A Star Wars-related property that isn’t the cinematic equivalent of a money-printing machine? Who knew?