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Sunday Update: Disney's Captain America: The Winter Soldier took in an estimated $26.61 million this weekend to lead the weekend box office for a third consecutive frame. The blockbuster 3D superhero sequel from Marvel is set to surpass the $200 million domestic milestone on Sunday, making it the second release of 2014 to reach the milestone (The LEGO Movie being the first). Captain America: The Winter Soldier was down 36 percent from last weekend, which indicates that strong word of mouth is really starting to kick in for the film. With a 17-day take of $201.53 million, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is now running 20 percent ahead of the $167.92 million 17-day gross of last year's Thor: The Dark World and will soon surpass that film's final domestic gross of $206.36 million.

Fox's Rio 2 held steady in second place with an estimated $22.5 million. The 3D computer animated sequel from Blue Sky Studios was down 43 percent from last weekend. That represented a harsher second weekend decline than 2011's Rio experienced, when it fell 33 percent to gross $26.32 million. Rio 2 has grossed $75.36 million through ten days of release. That is 7 percent softer than the $80.81 million ten-day take of Rio, but Rio 2 is still performing well in its own right, especially when considering its strength overseas. With 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 is likely to stabilize going forward.

Heaven is for Real exceeded its rapidly rising expectations this weekend with an estimated third place start of $21.5 million. The low-budget faith-based drama from Sony has grossed $28.53 million in its first five days of release. With a five-day to three-day ratio of 1.33 to 1, Heaven is for Real clearly built up momentum once the weekend arrived, as moviegoers were in the mood to catch the film over Easter weekend. The five-day start for Heaven is for Real was an impressive 12 percent stronger than the $25.39 million five-day launch of The Last Song over Easter weekend back in 2010.

Heaven is for Real took in $7.85 million on Good Friday, increased 5 percent on Saturday to take in $8.26 million and is estimated to fall 35 percent on Sunday to gross $5.39 million. The film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.74 to 1 is extremely strong for a faith-based film over Easter weekend and is a good early sign going forward. The film's A rating on CinemaScore is also a strong sign for the film. The audience breakdown for Heaven is for Real skewed heavily towards female moviegoers (62 percent) and slightly towards moviegoers 35 years and older (51 percent).

On the other end of the box office spectrum, Warner's Transcendence bombed this weekend with an estimated fourth place start of just $11.15 million. The pricey sci-fi film starring Johnny Depp had been widely expected to get off to a lackluster start this weekend, but the film was ultimately unable to live up to its relatively modest expectations for a film of its cost. Clearly, the film's largely negative critical reviews didn't help matters this weekend. The opening weekend performance of Transcendence was quite similar to the $11.59 million launch of Grindhouse over Easter weekend back in 2007.

Transcendence opened with $4.85 million on Friday (with an alarmingly high $850,000 of that total coming from Thursday night shows), fell a harsh 21 percent on Saturday to take in $3.82 million and is estimated to slide 35 percent on Sunday to gross $2.49 million. The film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.30 to 1 is soft for a film aimed at adult audiences over Easter weekend. The audience breakdown for the film skewed towards male moviegoers (56 percent) and moviegoers over the age of 25 (56 percent). Transcendence looks to fade away from theatres quickly, especially with it having received a disappointing C+ rating on CinemaScore.

Also off to a lackluster start this weekend was Open Road's A Haunted House 2. The low-budget horror comedy sequel starring Marlon Wayans debuted in fifth with an estimated $9.1 million. That was below pre-release expectations and was a disappointing 50 percent softer than the $18.10 million start of last year's A Haunted House. A Haunted House 2 opened with $4.04 million on Friday, fell 25 percent to take in $3.03 million on Saturday and is estimated to fall 33 percent on Sunday to gross $2.03 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at just 2.25 to 1. A Haunted House 2 received an underwhelming B- rating on CinemaScore and is extremely likely to be front-loaded towards its opening weekend performance.

The weekend's other new wide release, Bears, debuted in eleventh with an estimated $4.77 million. The latest nature documentary from Disneynature opened softer than was widely anticipated and 20 percent below the $6.00 million start of African Cats over Easter weekend back in 2011. However, it should be noted that African Cats did have the added advantage of having Earth Day fall on its opening Friday. With Earth Day falling this coming Tuesday, Bears is likely to hold up nicely during the midweek. The film received a strong A rating on CinemaScore.

Saturday Update: Although Friday was led by Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Rio 2, Sony's Heaven Is for Real continues to perform well in its extended Easter weekend launch as it pulled off an upset over Transcendence yesterday. After bringing in $7 million combined on Wednesday and Thursday, the faith-based adaptation earned another $7.85 million on Good Friday as the film continues to crossover between mainstream and church-going audiences. BoxOffice projects Heaven will tally $19 million over the 3-day frame, giving it a strong 5-day start of $26 million through Easter Sunday. The film's Flixster score is a very encouraging 80 percent, on par with Son of God's 82 percent on the first Saturday of its release.

Warner Bros. reports that Transcendence earned a meager $4.82 million on Good Friday--including Thursday night's $850,000 early show debut. From there, BoxOffice projects a disastrous $12.2 million weekend for the $100 million+ sci-fi flick. By comparison, 2011's Source Code opened to $5.1 million before going to a $14.8 million opening weekend in April 2011. Early word of mouth isn't doing Transcendence any favors as WB reports audiences gave the pic a poor C+ Cinemascore, while the film's Flixster approval/anticipation rating is down to 50 percent after just one day of release. The writing was on the wall going into release as Rotten Tomatoes critics rate it a mere 19 percent fresh as of Saturday morning.

A Haunted House 2 brought in $4.03 million for its first day, significantly down from its predecessor's $6.8 million opening Friday. BoxOffice projects a soft $9.8 million weekend. Critics, unsurprisingly, disapprove of the film (7 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), but Flixster's community gives the film a 75 percent score as of Saturday morning.

Rounding out the weekend's new releases, Disneynature's Bears pulled a modest $2.3 million yesterday and is projected to earn $5.4 million over Easter weekend. While that's noticeably down from Chimpanzee's $3.55 million opening day two years ago, it should be noted that Earth Day fell on Sunday that year while Easter had already passed two weeks earlier. With Earth Day 2014 landing on this coming Tuesday, Bears could see slight back-loading after the weekend. Critics' reviews (88 percent) and early word of mouth (80 percent on Flixster) appear healthy.

Friday Update #2: Sources tell BoxOffice that Transcendence may be trailing Heaven Is for Real in a close race on Friday. The Johnny Depp sci-fi flick is on pace to bring in around $6 million today. That would position it for a considerably disappointing $16 million weekend. Meanwhile, Sony's faith-based hit is looking at a possible $6.5 million on Friday--after bringing in over $7 million on Wednesday and Thursday already. From there, Heaven would also be on course for a $15-16 million three-day frame.

No early numbers for Captain America: The Winter Soldier have been reported yet, however, Rio 2 is holding well for a targeted $11 million Friday and $28 million sophomore frame.

Meanwhile, A Haunted House 2 is off to a rocky start with what looks to be a $4 million Friday and $10 million opening weekend. Disneynature's Bears could earn around $3 million today for an opening weekend around $7 million.

Friday Update: Warner Bros. reports that Transcendence earned $850K from Thursday evening shows.

More to come...

Thursday Update: Sony reports that Heaven Is for Real bowed to a strong $3.7 million on Wednesday, claiming first place in the process. That figure tops the $3.64 million Friday debut of April 2011's Soul Surfer, a fellow faith-based film also distributed by Sony. With Easter weekend still ahead and a strong push for pre-sales among church crowds, Heaven is set to post a very healthy 5-day opening.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier grabbed another $3.52 million yesterday as it slipped into second place. That figure was down 25 percent from Tuesday and just 27 percent from Wednesday of last week. Through 13 days of release, Winter Soldier's $170.6 million domestic take is 12 percent ahead of Thor: The Dark World at the same point.

Rio 2 dropped 29 percent from Tuesday to add $3.03 million yesterday. The animated sequel's 6-day take is $49.3 million, or about 2 percent behind the pace of the 2011 original film.

Kevin Costner's Draft Day earned $0.83 million on Wednesday, off 34 percent from Tuesday. The sports drama's 6-day gross is $12.7 million, about 15 percent behind Costner's 3 Days to Kill.

Rounding out the top five, Oculus posted a 24 percent decline from Tuesday as it took in $0.87 million yesterday. The horror flick's 6-day tally is $14.97 million--3 percent ahead of House at the End of the Street.

Previously: Sony reports that Heaven Is For Real snagged $3.7 million yesterday, putting it in first place ahead of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Rio 2. The faith-based flick boasts an A+ CinemaScore from viewers under 35 and an A overall.

"We believe through strong word of mouth and social media, Heaven is for Real will continue to play well throughout the holiday weekend and beyond," says Jean Geurin, Senior VP, Media Relations for Sony.

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By Daniel Garris

Captain America: The Winter Solider returned to the top of the daily box office on Thursday with $4.32 million. The blockbuster 3D superhero sequel from Disney and Marvel was up 23 percent over Wednesday and down a slim 6 percent from last Thursday. Midweek grosses continued to be stronger than usual in general on Thursday due in part to Holy Week. The Winter Soldier was the week's top film with $57.31 million. That was down 51 percent from the film's opening week performance and brings the two-week total for the film to a strong $174.91 million. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is currently running 14 percent ahead of the $153.72 million 14-day take of last year's Thor: The Dark World.

Fox's Rio 2 was up 18 percent and one spot over Wednesday to place in second on Thursday with an estimated $3.58 milion. The 3D computer animated sequel from Blue Sky Studios placed in second for the week with a seven-day start of $52.86 million. That was in line with pre-release expectations and places the film just 3 percent behind the $54.48 million seven-day start of 2011's Rio.

Heaven is for Real was down two spots and a healthy 10 percent from Wednesday's opening day performance to claim third with an estimated $3.33 million. Sony's faith-based drama has grossed a very solid $7.03 million in two days of release. That places the film 16 percent behind the $8.36 million two-day midweek start of Titanic 3D ahead of Easter weekend back in 2012. With the aid of an A rating on CinemaScore, Heaven is for Real is likely to hold up well going forward.

Oculus held steady in fourth place with $1.02 million. The low-budget R-rated horror film from Relativity was up 17 percent over Wednesday. Oculus placed in third for the week with a seven-day start of $15.99 million. That was in line with expectations and places the film 6 percent ahead of the $15.07 million seven-day take of 2012's House at the End of the Street.

Lionsgate's Divergent was up 23 percent and one spot from Wednesday to round out Thursday's top five with $0.955 million. The successful young adult adaptation starring Shailene Woodley was also up 23 percent from last Thursday. Divergent placed in sixth for the week with $10.79 million and has grossed $128.16 million in four weeks.

Fellow Lionsgate release Draft Day was down one spot from Wednesday to land in sixth with $0.913 million. The modestly budgeted sports drama starring Kevin Costner was up 10 percent over Wednesday. Draft Day placed in fourth for the week with a seven-day start of $13.65 million. That was a bit below pre-release expectations.

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wipo.pngThe U.S. Copyright Office will host a Copyright Matters program in connection with World Intellectual Property Day at 1:45 p.m. on Wednesday, April 23, in the Coolidge Auditorium of the Library of Congress, located on the ground floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street, SE, Washington, D.C. The event is free and open to the public; tickets are not required.

The theme of World Intellectual Property Day this year, as announced by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), is "Movies: A Global Passion." World Intellectual Property Day is celebrated around the globe annually to mark the date the convention establishing WIPO came into force.

Francis Gurry, director general of WIPO, headquartered in Geneva, will deliver special remarks, followed by director Matthew Harrison and actor Robert Newman, presented by the Copyright Alliance. The Copyright Alliance is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public interest and educational organization representing artists, creators and innovators across copyright industries.

Harrison, an award-winning feature film and television director, will discuss the creative process of filmmaking. Harrison's film "Rhythm Thief" was awarded special jury recognition for directing at the Sundance Film Festival. He also received the Mystic Fire Independent Film Award and directed episodes of "Sex and the City" for HBO.

Newman, nominated for two Daytime Emmy Awards, will discuss the creative components of film and other audiovisual works. Newman is vice president for actors and performers for the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, which represents more than 165,000 media professionals including actors, stunt performers and voiceover artists.

Film scholar Mike Mashon, head of the Library of Congress Moving Image Section, will discuss the historical and cultural importance of movies and the art and science of preserving them.

The Copyright Office launched the Copyright Matters lecture series in 2011 as a forum for discussion of the practical implications of copyright law in the 21st century. For details, go to www.copyright.gov/copyrightmatters.html.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions. Many of the Library's rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov.

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image.jpgThe Amazing Spider-Man 2 began spinning its web overseas after netting a total of $5.4 million from its first four territories.

Sony's Spidey sequel collected $2.73 million on Wednesday in the United Kingdom. The film also took in $190k from its Wednesday opening in Belgium.

Thursday openings for the superhero sequel included Australia with $1.44 million and a $1.11 million debut from Germany.

Spider-Man will have four clear weeks without competition from a comparable release overseas. The film will open in 15 additional territories this weekend.

 

 

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