By Daniel Garris
Disney's Captain America: The Winter Soldier outpaced Fox's Rio 2 in a close race at the box office this weekend to remain in first place. The blockbuster superhero sequel from Marvel grossed $41.27 million this weekend, which was down a reasonable 57 percent from last weekend's record-breaking April start. The second weekend percentage decline for Captain America: The Winter Solider matched the 57 percent Thor: The Dark World fell in its second weekend of release this past November. Going forward, The Winter Soldier is likely to start holding up better than The Dark World did, thanks in part to not having to deal with a new film as massive as The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was. Captain America: The Winter Soldier has grossed a strong $158.88 million in ten days, which places the film 9.5 percent ahead of the $145.097 million ten-day take of Thor: The Dark World.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier took in $11.87 million on Friday, increased 49 percent on Saturday to take in $17.73 million and decreased 34 percent on Sunday to take in $11.67 million. IMAX grosses were responsible for $3.6 million of the film's overall grosses this weekend. The Winter Soldier has grossed $14.7 million to date in IMAX.
Rio 2 debuted in second with $39.33 million. The 3D computer animated sequel from Blue Sky Studios opened towards the lower end of pre-release expectations and just ahead of the $39.23 million debut of 2011's Rio (which also opened the weekend before Easter weekend). Rio 2 opened 22 percent stronger than the recent $32.21 million start of fellow Fox computer animated release Mr. Peabody & Sherman. This weekend's performance represented a very solid start for Rio 2 and shows that family audiences are still in the mood for computer animated fare in general. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, Rio 2 generated the seventh largest opening weekend ever for the month of April.
Rio 2 opened with $12.01 million on Friday, increased a relatively soft 29 percent on Saturday to take in $15.47 million and fell just 23 percent on Sunday to take in $11.85 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 3.28 to 1. While that is low for a computer animated film at this time of year, Rio 2 is still highly likely to hold up well going forward thanks in part to the lack of high-profile animated releases entering the marketplace between now and June 13, when Fox releases How to Train Your Dragon 2. Rio 2 received a promising A rating on CinemaScore.
Relativity's Oculus debuted in third place with $12.01 million. The low-budget R-rated horror film opened in line with pre-release expectations. The opening weekend performance for Oculus was quite similar to the $12.29 million start of Relativity's House at the End of the Street back in September of 2012. Oculus opened with $4.97 million on Friday, fell 12 percent on Saturday to take in $4.38 million and declined 39 percent on Sunday to gross $2.66 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.42 to 1. Oculus received a lackluster C rating on CinemaScore, which suggests the film isn't going over as well with moviegoers as it has with critics.
Off to a less impressive start this weekend was Lionsgate's Draft Day. The sports drama starring Kevin Costner debuted in fourth with $9.78 million. That was a bit below pre-release expectations and was 20 percent softer than the recent $12.24 million debut of Costner's previous vehicle 3 Days to Kill. Perhaps the film would have been a bit stronger out of the gate had it opened a bit closer to the upcoming NFL Draft. Draft Day opened with $3.56 million on Friday, increased a slim 7 percent on Saturday to gross $3.82 million and fell 37 percent on Sunday to take in $2.41 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at a so-so 2.75 to 1. Draft Day received a solid B+ rating on CinemaScore.
Paramount's Noah rounded out the weekend's top five with $7.55 million, while Lionsgate's Divergent followed closely behind in sixth with $7.38 million. Divergent had the far more impressive hold between the two films this weekend as it was down a respectable 43 percent, while Noah was down a sharp 56 percent. Clearly, audiences are responding better to Divergent than they are to Noah. Respective total grosses currently stand at $124.76 million for Divergent in 24 days and at $84.98 million for Noah in 17 days.