Austin, Texas CNN Business  — 

Disney’s Marvel Studios’ latest superhero film was unstoppable in its worldwide box office debut this weekend.

Captain Marvel” made an estimated $455 million globally. That includes an $89 million opening in China — the world’s second largest movie market.

The film, starring Brie Larson, brought in an estimated $153 million in North America. That blew past expectations: Analysts had forecast that the film would make about $130 million in North America.

Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, “Captain Marvel” is the first Marvel film to be directed by a woman and the first to feature a female superhero in the lead.

“Captain Marvel” is the 21st Marvel Studios film, going back to 2008, a year before Disney bought the franchise. They have all come in No. 1 at the North American box office on their opening weekends.

For Disney, Marvel Studios has made close to $18 billion worldwide. “Captain Marvel” is a boost for the movie industry, which has gotten off to a sluggish start this year. The 2019 North American box office was down 26% heading into Friday. Because of “Captain Marvel,” this weekend’s box office totals were up roughly 50% compared to the same weekend last year, according to Comscore (SCOR).

The film garnered an “A” CinemaScore from audiences and a 79% score on review site Rotten Tomatoes.

Nearly half, or 45%, of the “Captain Marvel” audience this weekend was female.