Friday, April 04, 2014

'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' Looking at a Super Heroic Win at the Box Office

One of the biggest potential blockbusters of the year comes out in one of the traditionally quieter movie months. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is looking to kick-off the big box office season early and become another massive hit for Marvel. Scott looks at its chances along with the pictures he predicts will land in the top 5 spot for this weekend.

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This year the blockbuster season has an early start as Disney pulls out the big guns the first weekend of April as opposed to the customary beginning of May kick-off weekend. Captain America: The Winter Soldier stands as the only new wide release, which is a smart move by competing studios who know that going against a Marvel super hero who was in The Avengers could be a dangerous game. This week I will be looking at how it will do, as well as making predictions on what the films will be in the box office’s top five will be.

First Place – Captain America: The Winter Soldier - $90 Million

A sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger, The Winter Soldier comes after 2012’s The Avengers, a super hero ensemble film that was able to prove solid in boosting the selling power of the Marvel brand. Iron Man 3 saw an opening weekend increase of 36% over Iron Man 2, showing just how great the increased popularity had become. As well, Thor: The Dark World had an $85 million opening weekend, a jump of 30% from the $65 million that Thor brought in. It has become quite clear that The Avengers has added a lot of interest into the movies of its individual components, the main question will be just how much Captain America: The Winter Soldier is able to grow by.

Similarly to the first Thor movie, The First Avenger had a solid opening frame of $65 million and online tracking of social media shows that it is ahead of where The Dark World was at the same point in its release cycle. It also has a much better critical reception when compared to the sophomore showing of Thor (which had 65% on Rotten Tomatoes compared to Captain America’s current rating of 88%). The trailers for the film have looked great, and the inclusion of Scarlett Johansson in her role as Black Widow should assist the film as well.

Second Place – Noah - $18.5 Million

After having a very successful opening weekend of $43 million, the Darren Aronofsky directed interpretation of the Biblical flood account really stands no chance of competing with a Marvel super hero from The Avengers. If it was just an ordinary weekend I could see the film holding up well with perhaps a drop of only 50% or so, but because of its competition it will most likely be dropping close to 60% from its opening weekend numbers. It has already cracked $100 million worldwide, and it should be able to secure second place quite easily this weekend.

Third Place – Divergent - $12.5 Million

After so many young adult movies had failed to capture audiences and become the next Twilight or The Hunger Games, Divergent was able to establish itself as a viable franchise moving forward. After opening to $54 million, it dropped by 53% for its second weekend, and I could easily see a drop of 50% in its future for this weekend. It may not have made the same amount of money that other successful young adult films have pocketed, but it has done well enough that it should be able to grab third spot without much competition.

Fourth Place – God’s Not Dead -$7.9 Million

While the top three movies this weekend feel like clear cut predictions as far as how they will order, the lower half of the top five sees three movies (God’s Not Dead, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Muppets Most Wanted) that could all land within one million dollars of one another. The faith based film God’s Not Dead debuted at number four and then dropped to fifth place last weekend. It is expanding its theatre count this weekend to 1,765 theatres from last week’s 1,178. I am predicting that it will be able to make a per theatre average of around $4,500 (down from last week’s average of $7,468) and could end up nabbing fourth place in the process.

Fifth Place – The Grand Budapest Hotel - $7.5 Million

Also expanding this weekend is Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, which has seen great support from both audiences and critics so far. It has been working its way slowly towards wide release, and this weekend will be screening at 1,263 locations. It started its run at four theatres on March 7, and made an enormous $202,000 per theatre average. Since then, it has kept the critics happy (currently it has a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes) and the fans keep flocking out to see it. I do not think a per theatre average this weekend of $6,000 is out of the question (down from $8,741) which could keep it fending off Muppets Most Wanted who will be possibly landing right around the same mark.

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