When it was announced that the third installment in the Captain America film franchise would be released on the same day in 2016 as the much-anticipated "Man of Steel" sequel, many wondered why Marvel would take such a risk. Some fans thought that Captain America could not compete with a sequel that features not only Superman, but Batman and Wonder Woman as well. After the release of the second film, "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," some audiences and critics have changed their tune and now believe that Marvel and Cap can compete with DC's lineup.
The film earned an "A" grade from CinemaScore, a research and polling company that gives surveys to audience members to gauge their reaction to a film. The letter grades are then compiled to give an average grade that is then released to the public. The scale ranges from a perfect "A+" to a failing "F," so receiving an "A" like "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" did is just shy of perfection. It is not easy to get such a high score, especially since pollsters for CinemaScore try to get a broad range of people to fill out the survey cards.
Disney, who owns Marvel Studios, has also sent out camera crews to record the reaction of fans who just saw the film. The short clips can be found online and are meant to help spread positive word-of-mouth about the movie. The reaction in these clips is overwhelmingly positive, with some fans getting extraordinarily excited and proclaiming the film to be the best that Marvel has put out so far. Many even feel that it trumps "The Avengers," the megahit from director Joss Whedon that featured multiple heroes and went on to become the third-highest grossing film in U.S. history.
It is really no surprise that the film has such great reaction from fans, because the buzz was going on for weeks before its U.S. release. Marvel decided to release the film a week early in a few markets, including England. The buzz started in the overseas markets and soon spilled over domestically, where the film earned over $96 million during its opening weekend.
The positive buzz is not all just from fans and audience members. Movie critics are also praising the film, with the aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes giving it a "fresh" score of 89, meaning 89 percent of critics gave it a positive review. It proclaimed that the film was a political thriller and action movie rolled into one, allowing fans of both genres to enjoy it. Others were excited because the events of the film change the structure of the Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward in ways that are exciting and new.
The plot seems to be the main attraction for the critical reaction, because it is very complex and helps to set the stage for future franchise installments and could have a lasting impact in other franchises within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially for the Avengers. It also affects the television show "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." on ABC. In the show, a group of agents led by a resurrected Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) go on missions to try and thwart localized and global disasters.
The film is expected to do well during its second weekend at the box office, a time when films historically drop off significantly in ticket sales. Though no one thinks it will make another $96 million, almost all pundits and entertainment insiders expect that it will remain number one at the box office and bring in a tidy sum. At least some of the tickets sold will be from repeat customers, as many viewers expressed their desire to see the movie again while it is still in movie theaters.
Captain America will next be seen in "The Avengers: Age of Ultron," which has already begun filming overseas. After that, he will be in the untitled third Captain America film to be released in May 2016. Star Chris Evans is locked into a long-term contract with Marvel, so nobody should be surprised if he is seen again in a third Avengers installment and beyond.