Weekend Box Office (April 11 - 13, 2014)

by Gitesh Pandya

THIS WEEKEND Marvel muscle kept Captain America: The Winter Soldier on top of the North American box office for a second time while the Brazilian birds of another April sequel, Rio 2, landed in second place followed by middling debuts from a pair of other new releases.

The latest Captain America saga grossed $41.3M in its sophomore frame falling an acceptable 57% from its record debut, according to final studio figures. That was identical to the decline experienced last November by Thor: The Dark World and off a tick from the 58% drop Iron Man 3 saw last May. All three enjoyed a post-Avengers boost with audiences. Winter Soldier now sits at a mighty $158.9M on its way to the vicinity of $250M which will beat out all five Thor, Hulk, and Captain America movies.

Overseas success, led by China, has been tremendous for the new Steve Rogers story. This weekend saw $60.6M from 54 markets boosting the international tally to $317.7M and the worldwide haul to $476.6M which is already much bigger than the $371M lifetime global gross of its 2011 predecessor. It could eventually double that mark.

China leads all overseas markets by a wide margin with a jaw-dropping $80.4M to date which is bigger than the next three markets - Korea, UK, and Mexico - combined. With Japan opening next weekend, reaching the $750M mark may just be possible which would beat out most of the films from the Avengers gang as well as last summer's Superman movie Man of Steel.

Opening in second place was the animated sequel Rio 2 with $39.3M which was virtually identical to the $39.2M bow of its 2011 predecessor. Both films opened on the session before Easter weekend which is a slot studios often use for major kidpics given that many schools start closing during that time making the target audience available during weekdays. Rio 2 actually edged out Winter Soldier on Friday, but the Saturday increase was not as strong so the full weekend gross came in a few notches below.

Good weather in much of the country on Saturday affected the overall box office and certainly family films. The first Rio jumped 69% Friday-to-Saturday in its debut frame while the sequel increased only 29%. Sequels do tend to be more upfront and nowadays there is extra Thursday night business added to the Friday take, however Rio 2 did not jump up on Saturday as much as expected. Fortunately, there are no A-list toons opening between now and mid-June so Rio 2 can make up any lost business in the days and weeks to come. The G-rated movie can especially corner the market for younger children who parents would not take to gun-heavy super hero films like Captain America. It earned a solid A CinemaScore while marks from film critics were mixed.

Studio research showed that 57% of the crowd was female, 57% was non-white, and a low 31% of sales came from 3D screens. Animated films often score low in this higher-priced format. The reported production budget was just over $100M. The first Rio grossed a whopping $486M worldwide with 71% coming from overseas markets so the follow-up is certainly looking at worldwide audiences to measure success. Rio 2 has already amassed $125.2M from international markets with plenty more to go with Easter holidays coming up. The pair of Rio films may certainly reach a combined global gross of more than $1 billion.

The supernatural thriller Oculus debuted in third place to mediocre results with $12M from 2,648 locations for a $4,534 average. The R-rated spooky mirror flick earned generally positive reviews from critics, but was not well-liked by the paying public as the CinemaScore grade was a lackluster C. Relativity picked up the low-budget $5M film at last year's Toronto International Film Festival and promoted it as being from the producer of the Paranormal Activity and Insidious franchises. But despite having no major horror films release over the past two months, Oculus still did not attract any impressive turnout.

Kevin Costner suffered his third disappointment in four months as the football flick Draft Day bowed to $9.8M landing in fourth place. The Lionsgate release averaged a weak $3,518 from 2,781 and was just the latest film this year to see its pricey Super Bowl TV spot fail to translate into box office gold. Others included Need For Speed, Pompeii, Muppets Most Wanted, and Costner's own 3 Days to Kill. Reviews were mixed for Draft Day which cost just under $25M to produce and the CinemaScore was a moderate B+.

Collecting $7.6M was the historical epic Noah which tumbled 56% to a $85M sum for Paramount. Its bigger international haul stands at $162M now for a solid $247M global gross. Book-based hit Divergent dropped 43% in its fourth lap to $7.4M pushing the domestic tally to $124.8M for Lionsgate which has three more films to release for this franchise. Overseas grosses from 62 markets climbed to $50.3M for a worldwide take of $175M.

A pair of moneymaking indies followed those big-budget epics. The Faith-based hit God's Not Dead grossed $5.5M, off 29%, for a $40.9M cume for Freestyle. Fox Searchlight saw $4.1M with its Wes Anderson smash The Grand Budapest Hotel which declined by 34% putting the total at $39.5M.

Kidpics rounded out the top ten but fell hard thanks to new competition. Disney's Muppets Most Wanted took in $2.3M, down 63%, while the animated comedy Mr. Peabody & Sherman banked $1.9M, down 64% as well. Totals are now $45.8M and $105.3M, respectively.

The top ten films grossed $131.1M which was up 26% from last year when 42 opened at number one with $27.5M; and up 25% from 2012 when The Hunger Games remained on top for a fourth weekend with $21.1M.

Compared to projections, Rio 2 opened ahead of my $32M forecast while Oculus and Draft Day were both close to my respective predictions of $13M and $11M.

Get earlier box office updates and analysis by following BoxOfficeGuru.com on Twitter.

For a review of Captain America: The Winter Soldier visit The Chief Report.

Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Transcendence, A Haunted House 2, Heaven Is For Real, and Bears all open.

# Title Apr 11 - 13 Apr 4 - 6 % Chg. Theaters Weeks AVG Cumulative Distributor
1 Captain America: The Winter Soldier $ 41,274,861 $ 95,023,721 -56.6 3,938 2 $ 10,481 $ 158,883,032 Disney
2 Rio 2 39,327,869 3,948 1 9,961 39,327,869 Fox
3 Oculus 12,005,402 2,648 1 4,534 12,005,402 Relativity
4 Draft Day 9,783,603 2,781 1 3,518 9,783,603 Lionsgate
5 Noah 7,553,607 17,045,744 -55.7 3,282 3 2,302 84,975,242 Paramount
6 Divergent 7,380,460 12,976,413 -43.1 3,110 4 2,373 124,757,453 Lionsgate
7 God's Not Dead 5,540,678 7,762,603 -28.6 1,860 4 2,979 40,897,990 Freestyle
8 The Grand Budapest Hotel 4,069,245 6,115,230 -33.5 1,467 6 2,774 39,488,800 Fox Searchlight
9 Muppets Most Wanted 2,275,944 6,145,357 -63.0 2,261 4 1,007 45,752,991 Disney
10 Mr. Peabody & Sherman 1,872,803 5,131,458 -63.5 2,001 6 936 105,262,782 Fox
11 The Raid 2 956,672 130,928 630.7 954 3 1,003 1,369,797 Sony Classics
12 Non-Stop 750,225 1,793,330 -58.2 762 7 985 89,454,530 Universal
13 Need for Speed 682,317 1,807,160 -62.2 613 5 1,113 42,076,561 Disney
14 Bad Words 596,236 1,613,277 -63.0 763 5 781 7,126,342 Focus
15 The LEGO Movie 502,033 1,402,281 -64.2 610 10 823 251,560,804 Warner Bros.
16 300: Rise of an Empire 441,465 1,466,274 -69.9 525 6 841 105,020,890 Warner Bros.
17 Frozen 385,006 399,877 -3.7 344 21 1,119 399,445,248 Disney
18 Sabotage 361,438 1,999,758 -81.9 751 3 481 10,069,569 Open Road
19 Son of God 297,567 305,629 -2.6 905 7 329 58,969,640 Fox
20 Cesar Chavez 285,502 962,077 -70.3 305 3 936 5,186,330 Lionsgate
Top 5 $ 109,945,342 $ 138,953,838 -20.9
Top 10 131,084,472 155,800,774 -15.9
Top 20 136,342,933 163,236,700 -16.5
Top 20 vs. 2013 136,342,933 112,772,090 20.9

Last Updated: April 15, 2014 at 11:55AM ET

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