Box Office Results: Captain America: The Winter Soldier Sets New April Opening Record!

The ComingSoon.net Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.

The strong March box office showed a lot of potential for another big blockbuster in April, and sure enough, with Marvel Studios offering their first April release, the sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier proceeded to set a new April opening record for the month, besting the previous opening record held by 2011′s Fast Five. Opening in 3,938 North American theaters, the sequel, starring Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Samuel L. Jackson, Sebastian Stan and Robert Redford, took in $37 million on Friday (including $10.2 million in Thursday previews), dropped a bit on Saturday to $34.6 million and is estimated to make $24.5 million on Sunday for a first three-day total of $96.2 million. Besides setting a new April opening record, that’s the fifth-highest opening for a Marvel Studios movie and eighth-biggest opening for a movie based on a Marvel Comics character.

On top of that, “The Winter Soldier” has grossed $303 million worldwide in just ten days, having already surpassed the previous movie’s international gross with over $200 million overseas. $9.6 million of Cap’s opening weekend take was delivered from 346 domestic IMAX screens, which made up 16 of the top 20 locations, with another $6.5 million grossed on 278 international IMAX screens for a $19.4 million global IMAX total so far.

Darren Aronofsky’s biblical epic Noah (Paramount), starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Douglas Booth, Anthony Hopkins and Ray Winstone, took a major plunge in its second weekend, dropping 61% to take second place with $17 million for the weekend and a $72.3 million domestic total.

The first installment of Veronica Roth’s popular book series, Divergent, starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ansel Elgort and Miles Teller, was down 49% in its third weekend, adding another $13 million to its total take of $114 million for third place.

Normally, the Top 10 is chock full of movies playing in 3,000 theaters or more, so it’s nice to see a couple of movies bringing in audiences while playing in half that amount of theaters, with the independent God’s Not Dead (Freestyle Releasing) continuing its hold on moviegoers as it moved up another slot to 4th place with $7.7 million. Down just 12% from last weekend, it has grossed $32.5 million since opening two weekends back.

Wes Anderson’s latest The Grand Budapest Hotel (Fox Searchlight) also continued to do decent business as it expanded into more theaters, moving up to fifth place and earning $6.3 million over the weekend in just 1,263 theaters to bring its own total gross to $33.4 million.

It has some competition for that fifth place slot from Muppets Most Wanted (Walt Disney Pictures), featuring Tina Fey, Ricky Gervais and Ty Burrell, which took in a similar amount in more than twice as many theaters. Domestically, it has grossed $42.1 million, less than its $50 million production budget, and the $10.1 million it has earned so far internationally isn’t helping that much.

On the other hand, Mr. Peabody & Sherman (20th Century Fox), which has not been one of DreamWorks Animation’s bigger hits, continues to hold well, taking seventh place with $5.3 million and crossing the $100 million mark with $102.2 million total.

The rest of the Top 10 brought in less than $2 million apiece with old school action heroes like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Sabotage (Open Road) and attempted new one Aaron Paul and Need for Speed (DreamWorks) vying against 62-year-old Liam Neeson’s latest Non-Stop (Universal), which remained in the Top 10 with a total gross of $88.1 million, nearly double the gross of the other two movies combined.

The estimated $157 million earned by the Top 10 easily surpassed last year when the remake of Evil Dead topped the Easter box office with $25.8 million and the Top 10 brought in less than $125 million.

As far as the limited releases, Jonathan Glazer’s creepy thriller Under the Skin (A24), starring Scarlett Johansson, fared the best in terms of per-theater average, bringing in $140,000 in four theaters or $35 thousand per venue, the highest per-theater average of the weekend and a good start for an inevitable expansion.

After opening on Wednesday, also in four theaters, Richard Shepard’s Dom Hemingway (Fox Searchlight), starring Jude Law and Richard E. Grant, didn’t fare as well, only making $32,000 or $8k per site.

The long-delayed Halle Berry drama Frankie & Alice (Codeblack Entertainment/Lionsgate), co-starring Stellan Skarsgard, opened in 171 locations, more than three years after Berry received a Golden Globe nomination for the film, grossing $350 thousand or $2,000 per location.

The second half of Lars von Trier’s sex odyssey Nymphomaniac: Volume II (Magnolia), starring Charlotte Gainsbourg and Stellan Skarsgard (him again!), lost nearly half the audience from the first movie, taking in just $75 thousand in 30 locations.

Opening in 37 IMAX theaters, Warner Bros.’ latest nature doc Island of Lemurs: Madagascar, narrated by Morgan Freeman, grossed $185 thousand over the weekend.

Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films.

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