Hollywood Movies

‘Civil War’ Earns Impressive $2.9M in Thursday Previews

April 12, 20243 Mins Read

Alex Garland‘s dystopian action movie Civil War has started off its North American box office run with an impressive $2.9 million, a record for indie studio and distributor A24.

The $50 million movie about a divided America is a big swing for A24 as it tries to produce bigger movies, and is its most expensive production to date.

Civil War is tracking to open north of $20 million, although one leading tracking service has a slightly lower range of $19 million to $20 million. As with the preview number, that would be record for A24, beating the $13.6 million opening of A24’s horror pic Hereditary in 2018.

A24 and writer-director Garland held the movie’s world premiere last month at the South by Southwest Film and TV Festival, an ideal venue since many of the attendees are younger adults, the film’s target demo.

Set in the near-future, the story follows a wartime photojournalist (Kirsten Dunst) and her colleagues as they make their way across a hostile and divided United States of America that has been torn apart under the authoritarian rule of a three-term president (Nick Offerman). Yet the film shys away from red state/blue state divisions, and the politics behind the conflict are generally left unexplained, other than to say that one of the president’s first first actions was to disband the FBI in an apparent nod to former President Donald Trump, who has called to “defund” the Bureau.

Civil War‘s timing surely isn’t a coincidence as it hits cinemas amid a contentious election year in which President Biden and former President Trump are once again the leading candidates for their respective parties as Trump seeks to return to the White House

At a SXSW panel following the film’s premiere, Garland said it made sense to release Civil War now, although it’s not as if there is anything new about the contentious political discourse gripping the country.

“I think all of the topics in in [Civil War] have been a part of a huge public debate for years and years. These debates have been growing and growing in volume and awareness, but none of that is secret or unknown to almost anybody,” Garland said. “I thought that everybody understands these terms and, at that point, I just felt compelled to write about it.”

Cailee Spaeny, Jesse Plemons and Wagner Moura also star.

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