‘Civil War’ Heads for A24 Record $26 Million Box Office Launch

Alex Garland’s dystopian drama “Civil War” earned $10.8 million from 3,838 theaters on Friday, putting the film on track to earn the highest-ever opening weekend for distributor A24 with an industry-estimated $23 million.

While A24 has rarely opened films with a wide release, this nearly doubles the studio’s previous opening record of $13.5 million, set by the 2018 horror film “Hereditary.” That’s particularly encouraging considering “Civil War” also carries the highest production budget ever for an A24 film, at a reported $50 million before marketing costs, though presales to overseas distributors will lower the break-even point for the film.

Set in a dystopian future where a group of war journalists follows a rebel militia as it marches on Washington D.C. through a wartorn United States, “Civil War” captured the attention of an anxious country as the 2024 presidential election has heated up — though the film dodges many of its situation’s implied politics. Rotten Tomatoes scores for the film have been generally positive at 84% critics and 79% audience at time of writing, while the film’s CinemaScore grade, befitting its bleak tone and polarizing nature, stands at a B-.

It is difficult to say how far word-of-mouth will travel on such a despair-filled film as “Civil War,” though audiences in the coming weekends may wish to buy a ticket simply to see what all the watercooler conversation is about. Competition in the rest of April will be relatively light, with next week’s releases including the Universal horror film “Abigail” and Lionsgate’s Guy Ritchie shoot-’em-up “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.”

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