Weekend Report: With Big 'Avengers' Bump, 'Captain America' Sets April Record
Eschewing a typical Summer release, Captain America: The Winter Soldier opened to a very strong $95 million this weekend. That's a new record for the month of April ahead of Fast Five's $86.2 million.
The Winter Soldier is also doing strong business overseas, where it has already topped the first movie's $194 million total.
Riding a wave of goodwill from 2012's The Avengers, The Winter Soldier's domestic debut is a 46 percent improvement over the first Captain America's opening. That's the biggest "Avengers bump" yet: Iron Man 3 was up 36 percent, while Thor: The Dark World improved 30 percent. Speaking of The Dark World: Captain America's debut is noticeably higher than that movie's $85.7 million.
Still, Captain America: The Winter Soldier couldn't quite match the original Iron Man, which opened to $98.6 million back in 2008 (before most moviegoers were even familiar with The Avengers).
It's abundantly clear that, as one of the highest-grossing movies ever, The Avengers substantially increased the number of fans for its individual characters. Captain America's performance may be the most impressive yet: not only did it grow nearly 50 percent from its predecessor, it did so without the addition of 3D (the first installment was already in 3D).
Credit is due to a marketing campaign that made clear this was an action-packed extension of The Avengers that introduced new characters and pushed the story forward an interesting way. It's likely that positive reviews had an impact as well.
The Winter Soldier's audience was 64 percent male, which is a slight increase over the Thor sequel (62 percent). They awarded the movie an "A" CinemaScore, which correlates nicely with the reviews (89 percent on Rotten Tomatoes).
Showings in 3D accounted for 40% of the Captain's opening. Meanwhile, with nine of the 10 highest-grossing screens, IMAX contributed $9.6 million.
If Captain America: The Winter Soldier follows Thor: The Dark World's pattern, it will end up with nearly $230 million total. With a stronger response from audiences and no serious competition until The Amazing Spider-Man 2, a total north of $250 million seems like a safe bet.
In its second weekend, Noah plummeted 61 percent to $17.05 million. That drop is roughly on par with Son of God (60 percent), and is worse than 300: Rise of An Empire (57 percent). To date, Noah has earned $72.4 million; while it will eventually pass $100 million, it probably won't be by much.
Divergent fell 49 percent to $13 million. The young-adult hit has taken in $114 million so far.
Faith-based drama God's Not Dead expanded to 1,758 theaters and added $7.76 million. To date, the Freestyle Releasing movie has taken in $32.6 million.
Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel eased 28 percent to $6.12 million this weekend. The Fox Searchlight hit has earned $33.2 million so far.
In late 2010, Halle Berry received a Golden Globe nomination for her role in Frankie & Alice. Over three years later, the movie finally reached theaters this weekend. Unfortunately, audiences weren't all that interested: playing at 171 theaters, the drama earned a weak $350,647.
A24 released acclaimed sci-fi flick Under the Skin in to four theaters in New York and Los Angeles this weekend. The movie earned an estimated $140,000, which translates to a solid $35,000 per-theater average.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier expanded in to 50 total markets (92 percent of international marketplace) and earned an impressive $107.1 million this weekend. Overall, The Winter Soldier has already grossed $207 million, which is ahead of the first movie's $194 million total.
Captain America opened to $39.2 million in China, which is Disney's biggest three-day opening ever there (Iron Man 3 earned $64.5 million over five days). It also took first place in Russia ($7.4 million) and Australia ($6 million), and continued to play well in holdover markets. Captain America expands in to Brazil next weekend, followed by Japan on the 19th.
Playing in 45 markets, Noah took in $45.6 million. It had a huge $8.5 million debut in Brazil; that ranks fourth all-time, and first for a non-sequel. It was also solid in the U.K. ($4.2 million), Germany ($3.3 million) and Spain ($3 million). Noah has now earned $106.2 million total, and will reach France and Italy this coming weekend.
A week ahead of its U.S. debut, Rio 2 added $22.2 million from 12 foreign markets. New territories included the U.K. ($4.7 million), Germany ($4 million) and Spain ($2.5 million). Across all three of those markets, Rio 2's debut was a step up from the original. The animated sequel has now earned $55.5 million.
Opening in its first major markets, young-adult adaptation Divergent earned $11.1 million this weekend. It took fourth place in the U.K. with $3 million, and debuted in second in Mexico ($2.5 million) and Italy ($1.5 million).
Those are fine results, but they do suggest that Divergent could be one of those rare movies that makes more in the U.S. than it does overseas. Overall, the movie has grossed $22.4 million so far, and it's set to expand in to France, Australia, Germany and Russia next weekend.
Disney Animation's Frozen has now earned $1.097 billion worldwide. Sometime last week, it passed The Dark Knight Rises to move up to ninth place all-time.
The movie continues to do phenomenal business in Japan, where it's banked $75.1 million total and held first place for four-straight weekends. Assuming it continues to hold well there, Frozen should eventually move up to sixth on the all-time chart ahead of Transformers: Dark of the Moon ($1.124 billion).
Discuss this story with fellow Box Office Mojo fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @boxofficemojo, and follow author Ray Subers at @raysubers.