The Cap is on top of things. Oh, very much so! The latest Marvel hit Captain America: The Winter Soldier did not only open in North America to a grand $96.2 million estimated earnings over the weekend, but broke the weekend record for the month of April held previously by 2011’s Fast Five ($86.2 million). That is not the only feat that this much raved about movie has achieved. It of course had a way better start than its predecessor, Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) which opened with $65 million. That is a staggering 48% jump in the first weekend earnings, and would bring cheers to the studio who hiked up the production budget by only 20% ($170 million for the sequel as compared to $140 million for the first movie). Hang on, there is more to come. Now, the enhanced excitement of the Marvel films is also emanating from the success of The Avengers, agreed. Even in that space, Captain America: The Winter Soldier has a 48% higher earnings figure than its predecessor, as compared to a 36% jump seen by Iron Man 3 and a 30% jump seen by Thor: The Dark World over their respective predecessors. Look at it from any angle, the movie is doing Marvel proud!
In foreign markets, the movie has already earned $207 million, and it has been running for 10 days in some of these territories; well, this figure is already greater than the $194 million earned by Captain America: The First Avenger in foreign markets in its entire run. Now that’s called moving up the ranks! So we are probably looking at a domestic tally of $230 million or so, definitely better than the $206 million earned by Thor: The Dark World, and something in excess of $400 million from foreign markets, but those are always tougher to predict. What becomes interesting from now on is to see whether these movies are already achieving their saturation points in terms of the amounts they can earn. Would Avengers: Age of Ultron do better than The Avengers? Would the next Captain America movie fare better than this one? How much further up the production budget can afford to go? Guess the people at Marvel would already be working on this. But now, time for the champagne to keep flowing as Marvel / Disney deliver another gem of a movie with Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
The Cap had no competition from any new releases this weekend. Last year’s leader Noah took a sharp 61% dip to earn $17 million for its second weekend. That’s a bigger jump than we expected. Its domestic collection after 10 days stands at $72 million, and while it will cross the $100 million mark, how much beyond it will go becomes a big question. Last week we had analysed that Noah would need a strong foreign run to get about $400 million in worldwide earnings, which would be the least the studio would be hoping for, and this figure did seem achievable then. Well, it has earned close to $179 million in worldwide earnings so far, and with a few more foreign markets to go, Noah’s ark still seems to be sailing without much turbulence, though in a couple of weeks the picture will be clearer.
Divergent opened in its first major foreign markets this weekend, and has so far earned $22.4 million outside USA, while the domestic earnings stand at $114 million. This one is a strange high-profile movie which is opening much later in markets outside North America. While it has performed decently well on the home turf, the appeal of another Young Adult movie where the novel source may not be so established outside the USA, is something that even the studio would learn as the movie expands. With a sequel being shot, the studio would have to get its marketing right to build the brand so that the sequel comes in with more of a flourish. And before we wrap up, Wes Anderson’s latest flick The Grand Budapest Hotel is adding on theatres each week, and has now crept into the top five at the domestic box-office charts; it has earned $88 million in worldwide earnings making it the biggest Wes Anderson film so far. With a 92% score on Rottentomatoes, this one might be worth looking out for.
There is a three-way fight next weekend among the new releases, and in the midst of all this Captain America would still be alive and kicking. Who comes out on top, we’ll let you know a week later!
Here are the top 5 weekend earners at the US box-office (estimates):
1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($96.2 million)
2. Noah ($17.0 million; second weekend)
3. Divergent ($13.0 million; third weekend)
4. God’s Not Dead ($7.7 million; third weekend)
5. The Grand Budapest Hotel ($6.3 million; fifth weekend)