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Weekend Predictions: Will Captain America Freeze Out the Competition?

April 3rd, 2014

Captian America: The Winter Soldier poster

It is the first weekend in April, which means one thing... Game of Thrones returns! Also, Captain America: The Winter Soldier opens domestically. The film already opened internationally and was a much bigger hit than its predecessor was in the markets it debuted in, which bodes well for its opening here. On the other hand, it scared away all other films and there's no competition opening in wide release and it could take a real bite out of the holdovers. That said, this weekend last year, the biggest hit of the weekend was Evil Dead, which only made $25.78 million and The Winter Soldier could earn four times that over the weekend.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier arguably starts summer a month earlier that usual with its debut this weekend. It is the follow-up to both Captain America: The First Avenger and The Avengers, not to mention tying into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s most recent episode. Its reviews are excellent and are currently 88% positive, although this is off their peak of 94% positive. Given the film's start on the international market, the low end expectation for this weekend is more than $75 million, while the high end is just over $100 million. The high end appears to be more likely than the low end. It should top Fast Five earning the best April opening weekend of all time. I'm going with an opening weekend of $93 million, which puts $250 million domestically within reach.

Noah will get pushed back into second place with $20 million, more or less. It will earn more if churchgoers decide to see it, because they are not as interested in seeing The Winter Soldier. It will earn less if its target audience was more interested in the film because of the stunning visual nature and Darren Aronofsky's directing. I think the latter might be more accurate and earning just under $20 million is likely. This would still give the film a running tally of $75 million over ten days putting it on pace to reach $100 million with ease.

Divergent will reach $100 million on Thursday and add another $12 million over the weekend. This will be the film's last major milestone, but it should finish with $130 million domestically, while it is too soon to tell where it will finish internationally. If it can merely match its domestic number overseas, then it will break even before it reaches the home market, assuming its P&A budget isn't higher than I'm expecting.

God's Not Dead is expanding some more and that should help it earn fifth place with $7 million over the weekend. This would push its running tally passed $30 million, which should be more than enough to break even. ... Unless the studio decided to really amp up the advertising campaign after the first weekend, which it might have.

If God's Not Dead isn't able to reach the top five, both Muppets Most Wanted and The Grand Budapest Hotel will be right behind in a close battle, each earning between $6 million and $7 million. For Muppets Most Wanted, this would give it $42 million after three weeks of release. The Grand Budapest Hotel would see its running tally rise to $33 million.


Filed under: Weekend Preview, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Noah, Divergent, Muppets Most Wanted, The Grand Budapest Hotel, God’s Not Dead, Darren Aronofsky