Now that the dust has settled on "Batman v Superman," the season's next blockbuster is set to hit theaters. And judging by the advance critical reception and fan buzz, it's unlikely to be saddled with some of the weight the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel had to wrestle with in their debut.
With only two weeks to go before its official release, Marvel's "Captain America: Civil War" is generating heavy social media buzz that has reached a crescendo in recent days. The film, which had its red carpet premiere last week, has been widely celebrated by critics — much unlike the heavily pilloried "Batman v Superman," which has pulled in more than $800 million globally despite its poor reviews.
Meanwhile, "Civil War" will be jam-packed with at least 10 different heroes, and pits a group led by Captain America against another headed by Iron Man. Yet movie watchers say the critical reception and social media interest show that there's still substantial interest in comic movies, especially ones made by Marvel.
"If there's a risk of the Marvel 'formula' becoming stale, there isn't any evidence of that here," Jordan Farley, a critic and writer for Total Film, said in his review. "'Civil War' isn't just a damn-near-perfect popcorn crowd-pleaser; it doesn't offer any easy answers for its combatants, or the world going forward."
Farley added: "Team Cap or Team Iron Man? The real winner here is Team Marvel."
Farley isn't the only one impressed with "Civil War." Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore, calls the film "pure candy for the fans" and touts that it will likely surpass the $166 million domestic opening of "Batman v. Superman."
"We need to brace ourselves for an opening weekend that I think will rank among the biggest ever," he told CNBC. "Given already the buzz surrounding the film and the critical raves that are starting to appear, and the many more that will be on the way, you have to figure that opening weekend everybody is going to be talking about this movie."