‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’, starring Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson, dominated the North American box office, comfortably exceeding market expectations with a commanding $96m opening weekend from a market-high 3,938 theatres. Speculation that it could hit the $100m mark after a stunning Thursday night and Friday launch was always wide of the mark but the tentpole sequel did claim the highest April opening of all time, beating Universal’s current record-holder ‘Fast Five’ by $10m. An ‘A’ CinemaScore from first night audiences and strong reviews, combined with a blistering start overseas, laid the foundations for powerful word of mouth, which will sustain another lengthy run for the Disney/Marvel superhero series.
It was a disappointing second weekend hold for Darren Aronofsky’s controversial ‘Noah’, coming off a confident debut. The biblical epic fell by almost 60% – partly following negative publicity from religious groups – in grossing a lukewarm $17m from 3,571 theatres, being $4m below more modest market forecasts.
‘Divergent’ also ran behind projections in the No. 3 spot, grossing an underwhelming $13m from 3,631 theatres during its third weekend in play.
‘Noah’ and ‘Divergent’ now stand at $72.3m and $114m respectively in the domestic market.