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'Captain America' Tops Box Office Top Ten for Third Week as Depp's 'Transcendence' Flops

Photo of Tom Brueggemann By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood April 20, 2014 at 1:03PM

This Easter weekend three religious-themed films made the Top 10, led by new opener "Heaven Is for Real" (Sony) which barely missed taking the #2 spot despite playing in more than 1,000 fewer screens than the box office leaders. This unheralded low-budget effort reinforces the most significant trend of 2014 so far: faith-based films nabbing substantial audiences.
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Johansson in 'Winter Soldier'
Johansson in 'Winter Soldier'

This Easter weekend three religious-themed films made the Top 10, led by new opener "Heaven Is for Real" (Sony) which barely missed taking the #2 spot despite playing in more than 1,000 fewer screens than the box office leaders. This unheralded low-budget effort reinforces the most significant trend of 2014 so far: faith-based films nabbing substantial audiences (even "Noah" got a piece of this action).

For the third week running, the top film is "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" (Marvel/Buena Vista), which looks to be among the year's very best grossers, particularly worldwide. But with three other openers falling below expectations, particularly Warner Bros.' "Transcendence," once expected to be a top spring hit, the overall weekend total is disappointing. The $118 million total marks an uptick from the same calendar weekend last year, but falls $20 million below last year's earlier Easter.

Way over expectations is the year's penultimate specialized opener, "Fading Gigolo" (Millennium), which came in around $200,000 in five theaters. Despite a mixed critical response, this sexy John Turturro-directed comedy, with a lead performance from Woody Allen, is the specialized surprise of the year. More on this and other specialized films in Arthouse Audit.

1. "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" (Buena Vista) Week 3 - Last weekend #1

$26,612,000 (-36%) in 3,825 theaters (-113); PSA (per screen average): $6,957; Cumulative: $201,526,000

The great news for Marvel keeps rolling along. With its third weekend at #1, this latest "Captain America" effort now has a domestic total far surpassing the previous effort, and also is only $5 million short of the producer's most recent film, "Thor: The Dark World." Even better, worldwide, its take is now approaching $600 million, while the first one didn't hit $400. And it opened in early April, usually not a date associated with this stratospheric level of performance.

What comes next: Marvel has become a money-printing machine for all involved, and this success just adds to the legend.

2. "Rio 2" (20th Century Fox) Week 2 - Last weekend #2

$22,500,000 (-43%) in 3,975 theaters (+27); PSA: $5,660; Cumulative: $75,383,000

The gross by itself is decent enough, but the drop for a holiday weekend with a Friday school holiday is more worrisome. The first "Rio" had amassed $81 million through 10 days by comparison, meaning that this will likely fall short of the $143 million domestic take of the previous film. International fortunately is far better so far ($124 million before this weekend), so with a reasonable (about $100 million) budget, this should still turn out OK or above.

What comes next: With the foreign haul, this should do enough to keep the series going.

This article is related to: Box Office, Box Office Top Ten, Box Office, Transcendence, Johnny Depp, Johnny Depp, Captain America: The Winter Soldier , Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Comics, Walt Disney Pictures


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.