‘Captain America’ Returns to Top Theaters in 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 $41.3 million in U.S. and Canadian theaters, while the animated “Rio 2,” collected $39.3 million to place second in its debut for 21st Century Fox Inc., Rentrak Corp. said in an e-mailed statement today.

The superhero movie, which posted a record opening for April and notched the biggest debut so far this year, shows how Hollywood can successfully stagger releases to help avoid cannibalizing sales of 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.

“Rio 2,” the sequel to the 2011 hit that follows the story of a family of blue parrots, had been projected to take in $40 million.

Featuring the voices of stars such as Anne Hathaway and Jamie Foxx, the film had generated $55.5 million internationally before its domestic opening weekend, according to Box Office Mojo. It was made for $103 million, according to the researcher.

Feathery Couple

The sequel returns to feathery couple Blu and Jewel, who now have three kids, as they embark on a new adventure in the Amazon where they encounter old enemy Nigel, the bitter cockatoo, and Blu’s father-in law.

The movie has faced tough reviews from critics, receiving a 49 percent positive rating on aggregator website Rottentomatoes.com.

“Wonderfully animated and well-voiced, ‘Rio 2’ is nevertheless too much,” wrote Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times. “Too much plot, too many issues, too many characters. But not too much music.”

The first “Rio” film earned $143.6 million domestically, 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.

Football Gamble

It was projected to take in $13 million in its domestic opening. The movie garnered a 72 percent favorable rating on Rottentomatoes.com.

Football drama “Draft Day,” featuring Kevin Costner, placed fourth in its debut weekend, with sales of $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 63 percent positive rating.

Weekend revenue for the top 10 films rose 25 percent to $131.1 million from the year-earlier period, Rentrak said. Domestic box-office sales year to date are $2.78 billion, up 7.1 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 to April 13.

                   Rev.   Pct.            Avg./    Total
Movie             (mln)   Chg.  Theaters  Theater  (mln)     Wks
1 Winter Soldier    $41.3   -57    3,938   $10,481   $158.9    2
2 Rio 2              39.3    --    3,948     9,961     39.3    1
3 Oculus             12.0    --    2,648     4,534     12.0    1
4 Draft Day           9.8    --    2,781     3,518      9.8    1
5 Noah                7.6   -56    3,282     2,302     85.0    3
6 Divergent           7.4   -43    3,110     2,373    124.8    4
7 God’s Not Dead      5.5   -29    1,860     2,979     40.9    4
8 Grand Budapest      4.1   -33    1,467     2,774     39.5    6
9 Muppets Most Wanted 2.3   -63    2,261     1,007     45.8    4
10 Mr. Peabody        1.9   -64    2,001      936     105.3    6

Top 10 Films Grosses

This Week Year Ago Pct. (mln) (mln) Chg. =================================== $131.1 $104.5 +25

Year-to-date Revenue

2014 2013 YTD YTD Pct. (mln) (mln) Chg. =================================== $2,779 $2,595 +7.1 Source: Rentrak Corp.
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