Box Office Top 10 Film Film News

Box Office: Captain America: Winter Soldier Rides Avengers Bump to Record-Setting Opening

To see our other box office top 10 breakdowns please go here.

So, here’s what happened this weekend at the domestic box office: Captain America: The Winter Soldier set a new record for April, Noah plummeted in face of the competition, and Grand Budapest Hotel quietly became the biggest worldwide hit of director Wes Anderon’s career.  Let’s break it down:

Top 10 Actual Domestic Totals (4/4-4/6)

1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Opening Weekend)


  • Opening Weekend Gross=$95 million
  • Budget=$170 million

Foreign: $107.1 million from 92% of the international market this weekend for a new total foreign gross of $207 million and worldwide total of $302 million.

The ginormous success of The Avengers has created what is called the “Avengers bump” (kind of like the Colbert bump) whereby Iron Man 3 opened 36% higher than Iron Man 2, and Thor: The Dark World 30% higher than the first Thor.  But Captain America is the one who really needed a bump since his first film (Captain America: The First Avenger), though arguably one of Marvel’s actual best films, remains their second-lowest grossing, domestic ($176 million) and worldwide ($303 million).  Only The Incredible Hulk made less.

Thankfully, The Winter Soldier [read our review here] enjoyed the biggest “Avengers bump” to date, opening 48% higher than First Avenger.  It’s $95 million opening set a new opening weekend for the month of April, trouncing Fast Five‘s $86.2 million.  Plus, after 3 days of domestic play, and a couple of weeks of international release The Winter Soldier has just about equaled The First Avenger‘s total worldwide gross of $303 million (and surpassed First Avenger‘s $193 million foreign total).

So, does that mean Marvel Studios has a new #2 character behind Iron Man?  Last November, Thor: The Dark World had a big opening of $85.7 million, but not Winter Soldier-big.  Plus, like Winter Soldier with Fast Five The Dark World had a chance to set a new opening weekend record for the first half of November, but it failed to surpass Skyfall‘s $88 million from a year earlier.  Now, Marvel is so high on Winter Soldier they’ve already hired its directors (Joe and Anthony Russo) to prep and helm a third Captain America film, which they are so confident about they’ve scheduled to open opposite Batman Vs. Superman in early May of 2016.  Thor, on the other hand, has some people working on a screenplay, but no director and no announced release date.

Part of this superior performance of Winter Soldier is that it is simply a much better movie then The Dark World.  In fact, at 89% on RottenTomatoes The Winter Soldier is currently the third-best reviewed film in Marvel Studios history, trailing Avengers (92%), and Iron Man (93%).  Plus, as the advertising effectively communicated Winter Soldier is the film of Marvel’s Phase 2 which most directly continues the story started in The Avengers.  Looking down the road, The Winter Soldier doesn’t face any serious competition until The Amazing Spider-Man 2 at the start of May whereas The Dark World only had two weeks of free roaming before Frozen and Hunger Games: Catching Fire came along.  So, a domestic total north of The Dark World‘s $206 million is a lock for the Winter Soldier at this point.

2. Noah


  • Weekend Gross=$17 million
  • Gross to Date=$72.3 million
  • Budget=$125 million

Foreign: $45.6 million from 45 markets this weekend for a new international gross of $106.2 million and worldwide total of $178.5 million.

Much was made last week about Noah‘s grade of a C assigned by opening night audiences polled by online service CinemaScore.  Was this a proxy-indicator of bad word-of-mouth thus predicting a big drop-off in Noah‘s second weekend?  Was it simply a reflection of the divisive nature of the film’s story?  Or was it partially a reaction to an advertising campaign which purposefully hid the film’s more supernatural story elements thus resulting in audiences who might have felt duped?  Those last two were blamed for Wolf of Wall Street earning a C its opening weekend, and it went on to become the biggest worldwide hit of director Marcin Scorsese’s long and storied career.  So, sometimes, CinemaScore grades mean next to nothing.

Well, maybe a “C” was a bit more significant than the studio was letting on because Noah dropped 60% here in its second weekend, an actual worse (albeit just barely) drop than something like 300: Rise of an Empire (57%).  Then again, maybe it has nothing to do with word-of-mouth, but everything to do with competition (Captain America!!!) as well as the normal viewing patterns for faith-based films which open wide right away (e.g., Son of God also dropped 60% in its second weekend).  In truth, it’s a combination of all of those things, although if word-of-mouth was truly toxic the drop would have been higher than just 60%.

3. Divergent



  • Weekend Gross=$12.9 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$113.9 million
  • Budget=$85 million

Foreign: $11.1 million from major markets like the UK, Mexico, and Italy this weekend for a new total foreign gross of $22.4 million and worldwide total of $136.3 million

Divergent has well cleared the $100 million milestone at the domestic box office, and while it has declined by at least 50% the past weekends (53% last weekend, 50% this weekend) it’s still hanging around in the top 3 on the chart.  So, yeah, you can stop talking about last year’s YA adaptation box office bombs The Host, Beautiful Creatures, and The Mortal Instruments for a while (at least until The Maze Runner comes out).  However, Divergent saw its first real play in significant foreign markets this weekend, but with everyone so gaga over Captain America poor little Divergent was left to play second fiddle, finishing 2nd in Mexico and Italy and 4th in the UK.  That’s not a bad start, but it’s not a particularly great one, either.

4. God’s Not Dead

  •  Weekend Gross=$7.7 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$32.5 million
  • Budget=They’re not telling

Foreign: The rest of the world doesn’t get to assess God’s “Dead”/”Not Dead” status; right now, this is a domestic-only release

Now playing in 1,758 theaters, God’s Not Dead will end up passing prior surprising Christian indie hits like Fireproof ($33 million in 2008), Courageous ($34 million in 2011), and The Nativity Story ($37 million in 2006).  Combine this with the $58 million performance of Son of God just over a month ago, and Noah‘s current run and faith-based audiences have been well-served with options at the cineplex as of late, even if they’re not fond of some of the story choices (looking at you Noah).

5. Muppet’s Most Wanted


  • Weekend Gross=$6.14 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$42 million
  • Budget=$50 million

Foreign: Currently, its international gross stands at $10.1 million making for a worldwide total of $52.1 million

Prior to Muppet’s Most Wanted, the average Muppet film, including Jason Segel’s 2011 entry, grossed $41.2 million in actual dollars, $87.9 million in ticket price inflation-adjusted dollars.  So, Muppet’s Most Wanted is falling in line with that in actual dollars, but in reality it’s selling far fewer tickets and being seen by fewer people than the average Muppet film.

6. Grand Budapest Hotel

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  • Weekend Gross=$6.11 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$33.1 million
  • Budget=They’re not telling

Foreign: Currently, its international gross stands at $54.3 million making for a worldwide total of $87.4 million

All of a sudden, the world up and decided to make Grand Budapest Hotel the biggest hit in director Wes Anderson’s career.  Among his films, it currently ranks 3rd domestically, behind Moonrise Kingdom ($48.2 million) and The Royal Tenenbaums ($52.3 million), but 1st worldwide, ahead of the Royal Tenenbaums‘ $71.4 million from 2001.

7. Mr. Peabody & Sherman


  • Weekend Gross=$5.1 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$102 million
  • Budget=$145 million

Foreign: Currently, its’ total international gross stands at $136.5 million making for a worldwide total of $238.5 million

It was always a risky proposition to leverage this offshoot of the old Rocky & Bullwinkle TV show into a big budget animated film, and it still isn’t particularly close to doubling its budget in worldwide gross at which point it might be thought to have at least broken even.  On the bright side, this has grossed way more than the live-action/half animation Rocky & Bullwinkle film from 2000, which carried a budget of $76 million but only managed a worldwide gross of $35 million.

8. Sabotage


  • Weekend Gross=$1.9 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$8.7 million
  • Budget=They’re not telling

Foreign: Currently playing in a handful of  international territories concurrent to its domestic debut; box office figures for those countries are not available yet

Arnold Schwarzenegger has starred (not counting cameos) in 27 films since 1982, beginning in low-budget affairs which became cult classics before he ascended to temporary movie god status in the late 80s into the early 90s.  So, it is sad to see just how far the mighty has fallen, but of his 27 films 3 of the 4 lowest-grossing entries (after adjusting for inflation) have come in the last 15 months.  Escape Plan topped out at $25.1 million domestic, and The Last Stand $12.4 at million last year.  Red Sonja‘s $16.3 million from 1985 slots right in-between those.  However, now bringing up the rear is Sabotage. 

9. Need for Speed 

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  • Weekend Gross=$1.80 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$40.5 million
  • Budget=$66 million

Foreign: Currently, its international gross stands at $143 million making for a worldwide total of $183.5 million

China loves itself some car chase action movies, proving as much by giving over $59 million to Need for Speed.   Interestingly, the last big car chase movie, Fast & Furious 6, made $66 million in China.  That’s right – to them, Need for Speed is almost as big of a deal as Fast & Furious 6.  Everyone else begs to differ since Fast & Furious 6 ended up with a domestic gross of $238 million and worldwide total of $788 million.

10. Non-Stop


  • Weekend Gross=$1.79 million
  • Total Gross to Date=$88.1 million
  • Budget=$50 million

Foreign: Currently, its has a combined international gross of $90.2 million for a worldwide total of $178.3 million.

Non-Stop has been out for 38 days now.  So, let’s look at the 38-day grosses of prior Liam Neeson action films:

  • The Grey ($50 million)
  • Unknown ($62 million)
  • Taken ($117 million)
  • Taken 2 ($131 million)

Moreover, Non-Stop has turned into a bigger international hit than either The Grey, Unknown, or even the first Taken, which only grossed $81 million overseas.  However, Taken finished with $226 million worldwide, and Taken 2 with $376 million compared to the $178 million Non-Stop is currently at.

What Happened Outside of the Top 10?

Who Fell Out of the Top 10?: 300: Rise of an Empire (#9 to #11) exits the top 10 in its 5th weekend of release, currently sitting at $104 million domestic and $220 million foreign for a worldwide total of $324.7 million.  These totals are all below the first 300.


What’s Up Next?: After conceding this weekend to Winter Soldier, the other studios jump back into the game by opening 3 new movies wide: Kevin Costner’s Draft Day for guys and older audiences, the Karen Gillan haunted mirror movie Oculus for the tweens, and Rio 2 for the kids.  All open on Friday (4/11).

UPDATED 4/9/14: The studio estimated totals have been replaced with the actual box office totals.  The change?  Muppets Most Wanted and Grand Budapest Hotel swapped spots on the chart.

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