Weekend Wrap-Up: Captain America Reaches Milestone, Transcendence Sinks

Captian America: The Winter Soldier poster

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.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier beat expectations earning first place with $25.59 million over the weekend for a total of $200.50 million after three weeks of release. It became the second film released in 2014 to get to the $200 million milestone and the sixth film in The Avengers franchise to get there. Only Harry Potter and Star Wars have done the same.

Heaven is for Real could be said to be the real winner this weekend, as it earned $22.52 million over the three-day weekend for a total opening of $29.56 million. I'm not sure how well it will hold out. Its reviews are barely over 50% positive, which suggests weak legs, plus it was Easter weekend, which likely boosted attendance from churchgoers. On the other hand, the film is aimed at a more mature target demographic and they rarely rush out to see film on their opening weekend and this could help its legs. We will know more by this time next week.

While I thought Rio 2 would take top spot, it slipped to third place with $22.16 million over the weekend for a ten-day total of $75.05 million. It will still get to $100 million with ease, but it might not get there by this time next week.

Transcendence wasn't the weakest new release in terms of raw dollars, but it certainly was the biggest flop of the weekend when compared to its production budget. It only manged fourth place with $10.89 million over the weekend on a $100 million production budget. Its reviews rose to 19% positive, which is still a disaster, and it will likely see a substantial loss in its theater count by the time the summer blockbuster season starts. Unless something amazing happens internationally, the studio is going to lose a bundle on this one.

A Haunted House 2 opened in fifth place with just $8.84 million. This is more than it cost to make, but very likely less than it cost to advertise, so the studio can't be truly happy with the results. Add in aggressively negative reviews and this film will likely take a serious hit at the box office next weekend.

Even worse, Bears barely manged a spot in the top ten with $4.78 million over the weekend. Granted, it was playing truly wide, but for a film that earned 89% positive reviews, this is really disappointing. DisneyNature hasn't been able to perform consistently at the box office, so I don't know how long they will continue to exist as a label.

There were two films in the sophomore class to not reach the top five. Draft Day came the closest with $5.71 million, which was enough for sixth place. This represented a 42% decline, while it lifted its running tally to $19.36 million after ten days of release. This is a mediocre result and no more. Oculus fell to eighth spot down 57% to $5.16 million over the weekend for a total of $21.15 million after two. This isn't an unexpected decline, given its genre, while it is more than enough to cover its production budget. If it can do this well internationally, it could break even before its home market debut.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-04-22