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Weekend Box Office: Winter Soldier Retains Top Spot as Rio 2 Flys Just Short

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By Chris Kavan - 04/13/14 at 11:29 PM CT

Just when you thought winter was over - it comes back with a vengeance... no, seriously, it's snowing here in Lincoln and it's the middle of freakin' April - now that's just all kinds of messed up if you ask me. But overly-nice weather may have helped one movie eek out a win as families took the opportunity to do something more active rather than sit in a dank theater. Meanwhile it was good new for yet another low-budget horror film while football didn't attract nearly as much attention as baseball. But the good news is that the overall box office continued to outpace the 2013 season by a respectable margin.


Captain America faced some good competition, but thanks to an above-average weekend, this Avenger managed to come out on top once again. With another $41.4 million in the bank, The Winter Solider now stands at just above $159 million. The film saw a 56.4% drop from it's monster opening - holding just better than fellow super hero films Thor: The Dark World (57%) and Iron Man 3 (58%). It kind of puts a damper on it hitting the $250 million mark - though $225 million is pretty much guaranteed. But the Captain has already done better internationally than the first film brought in during its entire run - so even if it slows down domestically, it won't have any problem keeping the Marvel flame alive and well. The biggest test for the rest of the month will be how it holds up against Johnny Depp and Transcendence this coming weekend.

2) RIO 2

The animated sequel looked to be on the fast-track to weekend win on Friday, as it outpaced Captain America by a good margin, but, surprising for an animated film, it had a weaker-than-expected Saturday-Sunday punch (due, in part, to the nice weather - you know, before this snow decided to move in) and wound up with $39 million. Despite falling short of first, the film beat both Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 ($34 million) and Mr. Peabody & Sherman ($32.2 million) in terms of openings and was pretty much right in line with the original Rio ($39.2 million). You can thank the good will the first film brought as well as the fact that audiences were getting antsy for another family film as Muppets Most Wanted has worn out its welcome. The movie got an "A" cinemascore and got an average 31% 3D boost. Given that it's the only family film out until the Return to Oz hits in the second weekend of May, it should have no problem hanging around and could approach the original films $143.6 million total.


Horror fans can either support or bury films - and Oculus, being the only horror film released since January, attracted the right crowd. Another low-budgeted offering (around $5 million), Oculus managed a nice $12 million opening. While critics were a bit kinder, general audiences gave it just a "C" cinemascore - though that is typical for a horror film (Cabin in the Woods and The Purge got the same response) and shouldn't really affect it's long term chances. What will affect it in the future is The Quiet Ones - which opens in just two weeks. With the marketing already in full swing, Oculus probably doesn't stand much of a chance, and it will be lucky to wind up over the $30 million mark. Still, this is just another example of low-budget horror bringing in good returns - so expect this model to continue as long as audiences support it.


With Oculus being the winner, Kevin Costner's Draft Day could be considered the weekend's loser. Opening at just $9.75 million, Draft Day opened much lower than Moneyball ($19.5 million) and couldn't match Costner's action film 3 Days to Kill ($12.2 million) nor the poorly-received football film Leatherheads ($12.7 million). The movie did draw an older audience and they awarded it a "B+" cinemascore - meaning its long-term chances are somewhat promising, though, like Oculus, the best it can hope for it a roughly $30 million total gross. Given the response, it's likely to be forgotten by the time the actual draft rolls around in May.


Poster for Divergent The latest YA franchise continued to play well, dropping 42% in its fourth weekend to round out the top five. Taking in $7.5 million, Divergent upped its total to $124.5 million - on an $85 million budget, it's looking very good. In comparison, Noah, the $125 million film, has grossed only about $85 million (though in the global market it is doing much better). Fans of the series can rejoice as, just with Harry Potter, Twilight and The Hunger Games, the final film in the series (Allegiant) will be split in to parts 1 and 2 - meaning more Tris for everyone! It will be interesting to see if the response for The Fault in Our Stars (with Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort - both who star in Divergence) - will get a bump from the success of the film. Both target roughly the same audience - even though Stars is a much different story. Time will tell, but signs point to yes in my eyes.

Outside the top five: While Frozen claws ever closer the $400 million mark, it crossed another milestone by passing Skyfall at the global box office to become the 8th-highest-grossing film of all time. Chances are it has enough gas left in the tank to climb at least one more spot (maybe two) on the all-time chart.

Next week we have the sci-fi film Transcendence, the horror spoof sequel A Haunted House 2, the uplifting Heaven is for Real and the annual Disneynature offering Bears. It's busy, but most likely only Transcendence will wow the box office.


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