By Frank Pallotta
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Get ready for the battle of the Marvel Studio stars.
Captain America: Civil War,” the next film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, kicks off the summer movie season in 4,226 theaters this weekend and looks to do so in blockbuster style.
The Disney film, which pits Chris Evans’ Captain America against Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, brought in an estimated $75.3 million opening day on Friday.
Industry analysts currently forecast the film to have close to a $185 million box office opening in North America this weekend. The latest projections are down a bit from original estimates of roughly $200 million.
Earlier this week, some analysts even projected the film’s opening could be as high as $215 million. That would make “Civil War” the second biggest opening in box office history — overtaking the $208.8 million debut of last summer’s “Jurassic World.”
Yet, box office projections aren’t as accurate as Iron Man’s targeting systems, so only time will tell if “Civil War” still has a real shot at bypassing “Jurassic” this weekend.
Disney is being conservative with estimates, putting projections in the wide range of $170 million to $190 million.
“Civil War” looks to bust box offices even after two other legendary comic book heroes just fought one another in Warner Bros. and DC’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” in March.
“You’re not seeing the same old thing with ‘Civil War,'” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore. “Audiences are going to have an emotional response to the film not because it’s a good comic book film, but because it’s a great movie, period. It’s immune to superhero fatigue.”
For Disney and Marvel, “Civil War” is more than just a fistfight between Captain America and Iron Man.
The film incorporates a dozen Marvel characters ranging from new heroes like Black Panther to lesser known ones like Agent 13.
It’s also about the two men behind the masks.
Evans and Downey are the pillars of Marvel’s nearly $9 billion brand.
Downey’s Iron Man has been Marvel’s box office might since kicking off the franchise with 2008’s “Iron Man.” The ironclad playboy has flown to more than $2.4 billion at the worldwide box office over three films.
As for the star spangled man, Captain America has been arguably the critical heart of the studios.
“Captain America: The First Avenger” and “Captain America: The Winter Solider” brought in scores of 80% and 89% on review site Rotten Tomatoes.
“Civil War” has garnered even bigger acclaim bringing in a 92% score. Some critics have gone as far as to call it the best film Marvel has produced.
Regardless of who wins between Iron Man and Captain America this weekend, the real champ is going to be Disney.
The Mouse House has already had a big year so far with “Zootopia” and “The Jungle Book,” bringing the studio more than $1.6 billion worldwide.
And it’s not slowing down with Pixar’s “Finding Dory,” Marvel’s “Doctor Strange,” and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” on the docket for the rest of 2016.