Captain America:The Winter Soldier, the sequel to Marvel’s 2011 film about the red, white and blue superhero, smashed its way to $96.2 million in weekend ticket sales, setting a new record for an April release and speeding past last week’s winner, Noah.
In the process, it also validated the strategy of the film’s distributor, Walt Disney Co, to ramp up its pipeline of films featuring super heroes made famous by bashing bad guys in Marvel Comics. Captain America, which stars Chris Evans as a scrawny World War Two reject given super powers from an experimental serum, easily exceeded the April take for the racing movie Fast Five, which collected $86.2 million in ticket sales in April 2011.
Since Disney bought Marvel for $4 billion in 2009, Marvel characters have starred in some of Hollywood’s biggest hits. Iron Man 3 was last year’s second-highest grossing film with domestic ticket sales of $409 million, according to the site Box Office Mojo.
In 2012, Marvel’s The Avengers was the third-biggest film in Hollywood history, with $623.4 million in domestic sales and $1.5 billion worldwide. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is “a safe bet” to pass $250 million, said Box Office Mojo. Disney takes advantage of each hit by spinning it through its sprawling network of theme parks, TV studio and consumer products units. The movies sell well on DVD, and Disney will generate hefty revenue from sales of Captain America t-shirts, lunch boxes and action figures. The company is also making four original live-action TV series for Netflix that will begin streaming next year. “When you put the name Marvel on a movie, we think that it gives us essentially a head start with the audience,” Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger told analysts during a conference call in February. Noah, starring Russell Crowe as the biblical figure, was second with $17 million in ticket sales from Friday to Sunday.
The dystopian action film Divergent was third with $13 million, for a total of $114 million since its March 21 release in U.S. and Canadian theaters.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier also scored the biggest opening weekend of 2014, and took in another $9.6 million at IMAX screenings, for which moviegoers are premium. That also set a new April record.
“I would certainly expect we can broaden out” beyond the usual Marvel film buyers, said Dave Hollis, Walt Disney Studios’ executive vice president of film distribution. Hollis noted that some 90 percent of critics gave positive notices as collated by the Rotten Tomatoes website and audiences rated the film an A. Fourth for the weekend, with sales of $7.7 million, was the independently released Christian drama God’s Not Dead, which continued its impressive run despite being panned by critics. The Grand Budapest Hotel rounded out the top five, taking in $6.3 million. Starring Ralph Fiennes as a scheming concierge and directed by Wes Anderson, the film started slowly, playing in only four theaters on March 7 and has grown steadily. It is currently playing in 1,263 theaters.
Disney distributed Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Noah was released by Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom.
Lionsgate distributed Divergent. The Grand Budapest Hotel was released by Fox Searchlight, a unit of Twenty-First Century Fox. God’s Not Dead was distributed by Freestyle Releasing.
Captain America sets box office record as it leaps past Noah
Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the sequel to Marvel’s 2011 film about the Red, White and Blue super hero, smashed its way to $96.2 million in weekend ticket sales, setting a new record for an April release and speeding past last week’s winner, Noah. The film, which stars Chris Evans as a scrawny World War Two reject given super powers from an experimental serum, easily exceeded the April take for the racing movie Fast Five, which collected $86.2 million in ticket sales in April 2011. Noah, starring Russell Crowe as the biblical figure, was second with $17 million in ticket sales from Friday to Sunday, and has collected $72.3 million in overall domestic sales since opening last week, according to studio estimates. The dystopian action film Divergent was third with $13 million, for a total of $114 million since its March 21 release in U.S. and Canadian theaters. Captain America: The Winter Soldier was distributed by Walt Disney. Paramount, a unit of Viacom, released Noah. Divergent was released by Lionsgate.
Disney to release Captain America 3 film in May 2016
Aer a record-breaking weekend at the box office, Marvel’s Captain America series will return for a third installment on May 6, 2016, Walt Disney Co said on Monday. Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the sequel to 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger, stormed the U.S. and Canadian box office with $96.2 million in its opening weekend, setting a record for an April film release.
The films, based on the Marvel comics, star Chris Evans as a scrawny World War II reject who gains super-powers from an experimental serum and becomes America’s first superhero, donning a suit of stars and stripes. The success of Captain America follows Disney’s long line of recent hits from the Marvel universe, led by Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor and 2012’s superhero ensemble The Avengers, which became the third-biggest film in Hollywood history with $1.5 billion at the worldwide box office. Each film is interconnected with the others, often featuring crossover characters and stories.
Captain America 3 will be released on the same scheduled date as Warner Bros’ sequel for 2011’s Superman reboot, Man Of Steel. The yet-to-be titled project will see DC Comics hero Superman, played by British actor Henry Cavill, face off with Batman, played by Ben Affleck.
Before Captain America 3 is released in 2016, the hero will return in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Shares of Disney were down 1.7 percent at $79.04 in afternoon trading.