Disney reports that Captain America: The Winter Soldier bagged $37 million on opening day, setting the stage for what the BoxOffice staff projects will be a $94 million weekend. Fast Five's $86.2 million April record should go down, while the Marvel sequel is also surpassing Disney's own expectations of an opening around $85 million. Cap's Friday also topped the Fast sequel's $34.4 million for a record April opening day.
Worth noting is that Cap's Thursday evening business represented a larger share (28 percent) of opening day than its counterparts, Iron Man 3 (22.7 percent) and Thor: The Dark World (22.2 percent). This indicates that fan excitement was more potent than already expected compared to that of general audiences on the first day of release--although it did top Thor 2's post-Thursday opening day business by $2 million. Still, Marvel films have been known to generate better-than-expected holds over the weekend due to their nature as matinee-friendly flicks (due to high family appeal). For that reason, and given its somewhat unexpected pattern at the start of college basketball's popular Final Four weekend, this is one frame where we won't confidently the know full story until Sunday or Monday.
Another major advantage for the Captain sequel: word of mouth is exceptionally strong so far, earning an impressive 95 percent score from the Flixster audience as of Saturday morning. Regardless of how this weekend plays out from here, it would be very surprising if Winter Soldier doesn't boast healthier long-term legs than Marvel's first two post-Avengers entries.
Meanwhile, Noah encountered a sizable decline as expected. The film was down 68 percent from opening day to $4.91 million yesterday. With $60.25 million in the bank after 8 days, BoxOffice projects Darren Aronofsky's controversial Biblical adaptation will pull in $16.5 million for its sophomore frame.
Lionsgate's Divergent was off 49 percent from last Friday to $4.2 million yesterday, bringing the young adult adaptation's domestic cume to $105.2 million after 15 days. BoxOffice projects a $13.2 million third weekend for the successful film.
Official Friday estimates for God's Not Dead weren't available at the time of reporting on Saturday, although BoxOffice projects Freestyle's pic will earn $8.2 million over the current frame.
Last but not least, The Grand Budapest Hotel reeled in another $1.83 million yesterday and increased its domestic total to $28.9 million. Wes Anderson's latest success is projected by BoxOffice to gross $6.4 million over the three-day frame.
Additional reporting by Daniel Garris