In what will be its last day at the top of the daily box office, Paramount's Noah led the way on Thursday with $2.30 million. The Darren Aronofsky directed biblical epic starring Russell Crowe was down a sharp 12 percent from Wednesday, as the film clearly took a hit from the strong Thursday night launch of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Noah was easily the week's top film with a seven-day start of $55.34 million. That was slightly ahead of pre-release expectations and was just 6.5 percent below the recent $59.21 million seven-day start of Warner's 300: Rise of an Empire.
Lionsgate's Divergent held steady in second place with $1.48 million. In the process, the young adult adaptation starring Shailene Woodley surpassed the $100 million domestic milestone on Thursday. Divergent reached the milestone in 14 days and has now grossed $101.03 million to date. Divergent fell 5 percent from Wednesday and 52 percent from last Thursday. The film placed in second for the week with $32.27 million for the frame. That represented a respectable 53 percent decline from the film's opening week performance.
Disney's Captain America: The Winter Solider was off to a terrific start on Thursday night with an estimated $10.2 million from late night shows that began at 8 p.m. As is commonplace, those grosses will be counted towards Friday's opening day performance. The late night launch for the highly anticipated Marvel superhero sequel was 44 percent stronger than the $7.1 million late night start of last year's Thor: The Dark World and 35 percent behind the $15.6 million late night launch of last year's Iron Man 3. Both comparisons strongly suggest that Captain America: The Winter Solider will open above the $100 million mark this weekend. Check back throughout the weekend for further updates on the progress of Captain America: The Winter Soldier at the box office.
Turning back towards Thursday's rankings, God's Not Dead took in $0.732 million to remain in third. The faith-based drama from Freestyle and Pure Flix was down 5 percent from Wednesday and down a slim 18 percent from last Thursday. God's Not Dead placed in fourth for the week with $11.84 million. That was down 9 percent from the previous frame and brings the film's two-week total to a significantly stronger than expected $24.796 million. God's Not Dead will be playing in 1,776 locations this weekend.
Fox Searchlight's The Grand Budapest Hotel followed closely behind in fourth with $0.695 million. The critically acclaimed Wes Anderson directed film was down just 2 percent from Wednesday and up 16 percent over last Thursday (when it was playing in significantly fewer locations). The Grand Budapest Hotel placed in sixth for the week with $11.45 million and has grossed a healthy $27.08 million in 28 days. The film will be playing in 1,263 locations this weekend.
Disney's Muppets Most Wanted and Fox's Mr. Peabody & Sherman claimed fifth and sixth places respectively with $0.642 million and $0.559 million. Both family films held up well yesterday, as Muppets Most Wanted was down 2 percent from Wednesday, while Mr. Peabody & Sherman was down 3 percent. Muppets Most Wanted placed in third for the week with $14.02 million and has grossed an underwhelming $35.86 million in two weeks. Mr. Peabody & Sherman took fifth place for the week with $11.49 million and is on the verge of reaching the $100 million domestic mark with a respectable four-week take of $96.90 million.