It’s a great day to be a Marvel superhero: Captain America: The Winter Soldier took the No. 1 spot for the third weekend in a row, earning $26.61 million this holiday weekend, allowing it to cross that magical $200 million finish line. For comparison’s sake, this sequel – directed by Anthony and Joe Russo – has already outearned 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger, which ended its run with $176.65 million.
What’s the real takeaway from all this? That for all the idle chatter of audience superhero fatigue, no one is going to be putting away the spandex just yet. It will be interesting to see how The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – already healthily earning overseas – fares when it opens domestically on May 2.
Initially it seemed like this weekend would be a tight race between holdover sequels Captain America and Rio 2, but it turned out to be less so, with Fox’s animated avians coming in at $22.5 million this weekend, bringing its domestic totals to $75.36 million. How the lure of a blue macaw voiced by Bruno Mars didn’t succeed in nabbing the No. 1 spot is hard to say, but keep an eye on this one over the next few weeks to see what kind of staying power it may have.
Meanwhile the faith-based Heaven Is for Real continues to pleasantly surprise during its first weekend in wide release: TriStar’s film brought in $21.5 million this weekend, bringing its five-day total to $28.5 million. The demographics for the film broke down to 62 percent female and 38 percent male and, interestingly, 49 percent of the audience under the age of 35. The movie stars Greg Kinnear and Kelly Reilly as real-life couple Todd and Sonja Burpo, whose son claims to have seen Heaven while unconscious.
Much less happy news is the $11.15 million opening of Warner Bros.’ Transcendence. This cyber-thriller starring Johnny Depp opened to lackluster reviews (such as ours by Chris Nashawaty) and a meh Cinemascore of C+. Does this mean, finally, that we can stop with movies about sentient computers? Probably not. And don’t expect the stink of this flick to stick to Depp or his co-stars, Rebecca Hall, Morgan Freeman, and Kate Mara – we’re guessing they’ll be just fine. Hopefully this will not deter longtime Christopher Nolan cinematographer Wally Pfister from getting back in the director’s chair either.
Another new release this weekend, Haunted House 2, came in fifth place with $9.1 million. With a reported $4 million budget, this is good news for the Marlon Wayans-led comedy (tagline: “It’ll scare the #2 out of you”), which may not have delighted critics but received a B- Cinemascore.
Here’s the final breakdown on this weekend’s top five: