Disneynature's new True Life Adventure "Bears" showcases a year in the life of a bear family as two impressionable young cubs are taught life's most important lessons. Set against a majestic Alaskan backdrop teeming with life, their journey begins as winter comes to an end and the bears emerge from hibernation to face the bitter cold. The world outside is exciting-but risky-as the cubs' playful descent down the mountain carries with it a looming threat of avalanches. As the season changes from spring to summer, the brown bears must work hard to find food-ultimately feasting at a plentiful salmon run-while staying safe from rival male bears and predators, including an ever-present wolf pack. "Bears" captures the fast-moving action and suspense of life in one of the planet's last great wildernesses-Alaska!
Captain America: The Winter Soldier won the weekend box office race with a better than expected result and this helped it reach $200 million. Likewise, Heaven is for Real was surprisingly strong earning second place over the weekend, despite opening on Wednesday. Unfortunately, none of the other new releases lived up to expectations and the overall box office fell 5% to $133 million. This was still 20% higher than the same weekend last year, boosting 2014's lead over 2013 to 8% at $2.92 billion to $2.70 billion.
It's a busy weekend with four wide releases opening this week, but only one of them, Transcendence, has a real shot at opening in first place, but its reviews will likely prevent that. Heaven is for Real is aiming for a midlevel hit, to match its midlevel reviews. A Haunted House 2 hopes to match its predecessor, but it is unlikely to get there. Finally there's Bears, which has the best reviews, but the weakest box office potential. Despite the number of new releases, top spot will likely be a battle between Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Rio 2. Family films tend to have better legs, so that could give Rio 2 the edge, but movies also tend to drop the most during their sophomore weekend. (That is unless their theater count collapses shortly afterward.) Last year, Oblivion opened with $37.05 million, which is a figure no film will match this year. On the other hand, 42 was the only other film to earn more than $10 million last weekend. 2014 will lose on the top of the chart, but it also has better depth than 2013 did, so that should help it come out on top in the end.
March was stronger than expected when compared to 2013 with four films earning $100 million or more, led by Divergent. (Not all of them have gotten there yet, but they are certain to reach that milestone before they are done their box office runs.) It wasn't a blow-out victory, on the other hand, as a few weekends the ticket sales were lower in 2014 than they were during the same weekend in 2013. April looks really strong with Captain America: The Winter Soldier leading the way. This film should top $200 million over the weekend, while it isn't the only film that should crack the century mark, as Rio 2 is also on track for $100 million. This is great news, as no film last April reached $100 million. Granted, 42 came close and Oblivion wasn't far behind, but The Winter Soldier should earn more than those two films earned combined giving 2014 a comfortable lead over 2013 over the full month.
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