'Captain America' Dominates Strong April at the Box Office
by Ray Subers
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
May 2, 2014
Thanks to an impressive performance from Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the domestic box office totaled $771 million in April. That's a 22 percent increase from last April, and is a mere $22 million shy of the 2011 record.
Going in to the start of the Summer season, year-to-date box office is at $3.18 billion, which is up nine percent from last year. Captain America: The Winter Soldier earned $228.5 million in April, which represents nearly 30 percent of total box office for the month. The superhero sequel opened to an April record of $95 million, then played well throughout the next three weeks. Within the next week it should pass My Big Fat Greek Wedding ($241.4 million) to become the highest-grossing April release ever.
The movie could ultimately earn around $260 million, which is a significant step up from Thor: The Dark World ($206.4 million). Disney has already scheduled a third outing for May 6th, 2016. Rio 2 ranked second in April with $98.3 million. Its opening was almost identical to its 2011 predecessor, though its 20-day total lags by $7.8 million. Ultimately, Rio 2 should earn over $125 million. Heaven is for Real was a surprise hit this month. The faith-based drama was the biggest new release over Easter weekend, and earned an impressive $55.9 million through the end of April. It has already topped God's Not Dead ($53.8 million), and will pass Son of God ($59.6 million) on Saturday, May 3rd. If you're including Noah—which is debatable—that makes four faith-based movies over $50 million in 2014.
Speaking of Noah: the Darren Aronofsky epic was the top March holdover with $51.1 million. The movie fell hard in its second and third weekends, though, and is on pace to barely creep past $100 million. It has at least done solid international business ($220 million and counting).
Another March release, Divergent, earned $44.3 million during April. The movie held up surprisingly well for a young-adult adaptation, and was still in the Top 10 in its sixth week. It's earned over $140 million total, and could wind up close to $150 million. Three sequels are on the calendar for March 2015, 2016 and 2017.
The final winner this month is The Other Woman, which earned a very good $31.3 million through its first six days. The comedy should gross at least $65 million by the end of its run.
The rest of the new releases were fairly unimpressive. Supernatural horror movie Oculus and football drama Draft Day are both on track to fall just shy of $30 million. Meanwhile, Brick Mansions opened under $10 million, and Bears is on pace to be one of the lowest-grossing Disneynature documentaries yet.
The month also delivered three big bombs. Transcendence, which cost a reported $100 million, earned just $19.9 million through its first 13 days. It could close below $25 million, which is a fraction of recent Johnny Depp disappointments Dark Shadows and The Lone Ranger.
Meanwhile, A Haunted House 2 grossed $14.9 million in its first 13 days, which is less than the original Haunted House made in its first weekend. Finally, The Quiet Ones had the worst debut yet this year for a movie opening at over 2,000 theaters.
Even with strong results from April, this wound up being the lowest-grossing Spring since 2009. Still, it was only a bit off from last Spring, and overall business remains positive going in to the Summer season. Assuming Summer isn't a complete disaster, it seems like 2014 could be the first year that the domestic box office winds up above $11 billion.