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New in Theaters April 4: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

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By Chris Kavan - 04/03/14 at 06:44 AM CT

While March was a good month, compared to the 2012 record, it was down 15% (and even down 3% from last year). Still, for the entire year, 2014 is running about 5% ahead of 2013 but trailing 2012, 2010 and 2009 in terms of total numbers. But April is going to open with a film that has the potential to be one of the biggest movies of the spring,. The juggernaut that is Marvel Phase 2 continues to roll out and with no other wide-release film opening this weekend (and why would they?), this could easily add up to the biggest opening so far this year.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLIDER If Chris Evans' Captain America character follows the trend, Winter Solider should be a home run over the weekend. Each "Phase 2" film has improved over its predecessors - Iron Man and Iron Man 2 took in $318.4 and $312.4 respectively whereas Iron Man 3 wound up at $409 million. Thor took in $181 million, while The Dark World topped out at $206.3 million. Captain America: The First Avenger took ended up with a total of $176.6 million. Given the recent trend, Winter Soldier should easily be able to top $200 million and, depending on how it's received and how it stacks up against competition, a total north of $250 million, perhaps even the coveted $300 million, could be expected. From what I can tell, this takes on a more serious tone as our hero not only has to adapt to modern life, but also faces a blast from the past as a one-time ally looks to become his most deadly enemy yet. But the greatest battle may be fought with those he considers allies, as it looks the the Cap and SHIELD go head-to-head at some point. Returning in their respective roles are Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson at NIck Fury and The Black Widow. Sebastian Stan also returns as "Bucky" Barnes who has been transformed into the Winter Soldier. New faces include Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson aka Falcon along with Robert Redford (thankfully not just on a boat this time) as a senior SHIELD agent. Trust is the main component of this film - who can Captain America trust? And from what I have read, this film dials back the CGI spectacle and turns into almost a political thriller - not exactly what one would expect from a super hero film. That being said, I like the idea because while spectacle is fine and good, I want some meat on the bone and if Winter Soldier can deliver depth as well as excitement, I will definately be on board. There is no doubt this is going to be a monster opening, but the only question remains how big? It will likely easily sink Noah and Divergent, but it should be interesting to see if this somewhat higher concept super hero still connects with audiences as well as the brash Iron Man and Thor.


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