‘Captain America’ Outguns ‘Rio 2’ to Top Cinemas a Second Week

Walt Disney Co.’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” led ticket sales for a second week, holding off Fox’s “Rio 2,” as audiences rewarded Hollywood studios for releasing their biggest films early.

“The Winter Soldier,” the superhero sequel to the 2011 movie, took in $41.4 million in U.S. and Canadian theaters, while the animated “Rio 2,” collected $39 million to place second in its debut for 21st Century Fox Inc., Rentrak Corp. said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.

The superhero movie, which posted a record opening for April and notched up the biggest debut so far this year, shows how Hollywood can successfully stagger releases to help avoid cannibalizing sales of too many so-called tentpole pictures during the summer. It’s also more evidence of the commercial success of Marvel studios, acquired by Disney in 2009, which has since churned out monster hits like “Marvel’s The Avengers” and “Iron Man 3.”

“The key takeaway is this is turning into a huge month and bodes well for the industry,” said Phil Contrino, chief analyst with BoxOffice.com. “It highlights that if studios spread out their films during the year they can do really well.”

Such is the confidence Disney has in its Marvel productions, the company said last week, that the third “Captain America” film will open on the same day as the combined Superman-Batman movie from Warner Bros. in May 2016.

Soviet Agent

“The Winter Soldier” has taken in $477 million globally, according to Box Office Mojo. This past weekend it was projected to collect $43.5 million, according to BoxOffice.com.

The movie, with Chris Evans in the title role, picks up the story of super-soldier Steve Rogers, who finds himself battling a Soviet agent known as the Winter Soldier. It was directed by Anthony and Joe Russo and cost an estimated $170 million to produce, according to Box Office Mojo.

Horror film “Oculus,” the third new film in wide release, placed third, generating sales of $12 million for Relativity Media LLC. The movie follows a woman who tries to exonerate her brother, convicted of murder, by proving that the crime was committed by a supernatural phenomenon.

It was projected to take in $13 million in its domestic opening. The movie garnered a 71 percent rating on Rottentomatoes.com.

Football drama “Draft Day,” featuring Kevin Costner, placed fourth in its debut weekend, raising $9.8 million for Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. It had been forecast to generate $13.5 million by BoxOffice.com.

Costner stars as manager Sonny Weaver who takes a gamble on rebuilding his team when he finds out his job is on the line. Rottentomatoes.com gave the film a 61 percent positive rating.

Weekend revenue for the top 10 films rose 25 percent to $130.7 million from the year-earlier period, Rentrak said. Domestic box-office sales year to date are $2.78 billion, up 7 percent from a year earlier.

The following table has U.S. movie box office figures provided by studios to Rentrak Corp. The amounts are based on gross ticket sales from April 11 and April 12 and estimates for yesterday.

                     Rev.  Pct.               Avg./  Total
Movie               (mln)  Chg. Theaters   Theater (mln)  Wks
1 CAPTAIN AMERICA    $41.4  -56   3,938  $10,512   $159.0   2
2 RIO 2               39.0   --   3,948    9,878     39.0   1
3 OCULUS              12.0   --   2,648    4,532     12.0   1
4 DRAFT DAY            9.8   --   2,781    3,506      9.8   1
5 DIVERGENT            7.5  -42   3,110    2,412    124.9   4
6 NOAH                 7.45 -56   3,282    2,270     84.9   3
7 GOD’S NOT DEAD       5.5  -29   1,860    2,949     40.7   4
8 GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL 4.0  -34   1,467    2,761     39.5   6
9 MUPPETS MOST WANTED  2.2  -64   2,261      970     45.7   4
10 MR PEABODY          1.8  -64   2,001      912    105.2   6

Top 10 Films Grosses:

   This Week     Year Ago      Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
    $130.7        $104.5        +25

Year-to-date Revenue:

     2014          2013
      YTD           YTD        Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
    $2,778         $2,595        +7

Source: Rentrak Corp.
Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.