April 4, 2014

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Captain America” Smashes Records


CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (Disney) is as big as expected, and maybe even a little bigger.  Preliminary numbers at Deadline have it at up to $38M on Friday (that includes $10.2M from Thursday night), putting it close to 20% higher than the $31.9M opening day for Thor: The Dark World, which wound up with a $85.7M weekend.  That sets Winter Soldier on track for at least $95M this weekend, and if word of mouth is as strong as the movie’s critical support (88% positive on Rotten Tomatoes), it might even crack $100M.  Along the way, it’s blowing by the $25.7M opening day ($65.1M weekend) for Captain America: The First Avenger, and smashing the all-time record for an April opening, which until today was held by Fast Five‘s $34.4M Friday and $86.2M weekend.  By the end of this weekend, Winter Soldier may be at over $200M worldwide.

Nothing else was remotely close.  Second place goes to NOAH (Paramount/Regency), which is likely to fall by at least 65% from last Friday to $5M.  That will moderate a bit over the course of the weekend, but Noah will still drop 55-60% from last weekend to $16-17M, now heading for perhaps $110M in the US. DIVERGENT (Summit/Lionsgate) also took a hit, down more than 50% from last Friday to $4M and an eventual US total around $140M.

GOD’S NOT DEAD (Freestyle), THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL (Fox Searchlight) and BAD WORDS (Focus/Universal) continued their expansions into wide release, and all have hit the point of diminishing returns.  God’s Not Dead grew its theatre count by 50% but fell 10% Friday-to-Friday to $2.1M, with an $8M weekend and $50M US total on the way.  Grand Budapest widened by one-third and fell 25% to $1.8M, with a $6M weekend and $45-50M US total ahead.  Bad Words continued to fizzle, increasing its theatre count by about 30% but falling 35% to $500K, heading for a $1.5M weekend and $10M total.

SABOTAGE (Open Road) dropped off the map, down by two-thirds to $600K on Friday and perhaps $2M for the weekend.



About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."