News

Weekend Report: 'Captain' Three-peats, 'Heaven' Rises Over Easter Weekend

by Ray Subers
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
 

 
April 20, 2014

Among new releases, faith-based drama Heaven is for Real destroyed Johnny Depp's Transcendence this weekend. Still, it couldn't match Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which held on to first place for the third weekend in a row.

The Marvel sequel added $25.6 million this weekend, which represents a light 38 percent decline. It reached $200 million on Sunday, and should pass Thor: The Dark World in the next few days.

Playing at 2,417 locations, Heaven is for Real earned an excellent $22.5 million this weekend. Add in its Wednesday and Thursday grosses, and the faith-based true story has already grossed $29.6 million.

Along with Son of God and God's Not Dead, this is the third faith-based hit in 2014 so far (you could include Noah as well, but that doesn't easily fit in to this paradigm). The success of these movies is a reminder that Christians represent a huge portion of the population in the U.S.: according to a Pew Research survey, around 37 percent of Americans attend a weekly religious service.

Sony targeted their marketing towards Christian audiences, and placed an emphasis on calling ahead for group ticket sales. It doesn't hurt that the book upon which the movie is based is quite popular, and has a story that is both inspirational and faith-affirming (see the title).

The Heaven is for Real audience was 62 percent female and 51 percent over the age of 35. They awarded it an "A" CinemaScore, which suggests word-of-mouth will be strong. Ultimately, it should wind up higher than Son of God ($60 million).

Rio 2 took third place with $22.2 million. Its 44 percent drop was much steeper than the first Rio's 33 percent dip on the exact same weekend in 2011. Through 10 days, the animated sequel has grossed $75.05 million.

In fourth place, Transcendence bombed with $10.9 million. That's a fraction of recent Depp movies like Dark Shadows ($29.7 million) and The Lone Ranger ($29.2 million). It's also below legendary sci-fi bombs like Stealth ($13.3 million), The Island ($12.4 million) and In Time ($12.1 million).

While it's abundantly clear that Depp's star power has faded in recent years, the failure of Transcendence can't be hung exclusively on his shoulders. Marketing presented some interesting ideas about the future of technology, but was sorely lacking in the story department. It also strangely highlighted director Wally Pfister—a name few would recognize—while leaving executive producer Christopher Nolan out. The nail in the coffin came in the form of particularly nasty reviews (20 percent on Rotten Tomatoes).

The movie's audience was 56 percent male and 56 percent over the age of 25. They didn't like it much more than critics, and it wound up with a "C+" CinemaScore. Considering the toxic environment surrounding this movie right now, it would be surprising if it got past $30 million.

A Haunted House 2
took fifth place with $8.8 million. That's less than half of the first movie's $18.1 million debut.

The original Haunted House was the first horror spoof in many years, and was able to take the first digs at the Paranormal Activity franchise. In comparison, A Haunted House 2 is the third horror spoof in the past 15 months, and didn't seem like it covered any new ground. The audience awarded the movie a "B-" CinemaScore, and a steep drop from here is likely.

Bears
opened outside the Top 10 with $4.8 million. That's the worst start yet for a Disneynature movie. It should get a slight boost on Earth Day (Tuesday the 22nd), but overall this is a miss.

Around-the-World Roundup


Two weeks ahead of its U.S. debut, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opened in 14 foreign markets and earned an estimated $47 million. According to Sony, it was roughly on par with the first Amazing Spider-Man across the same bucket of territories.

It took first place in the U.K. ($15 million), Mexico ($11.1 million), Germany ($6.2 million) and Australia ($5.2 million), and lagged behind a local hit in Spain ($3.9 million). Next weekend, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 expands in to Italy, Japan, Russia, South Korea and many more markets. Ultimately, it needs to at least match its predecessor's $490 million total.

Rio 2
was actually the highest-grossing movie overseas this weekend with $47.3 million. Its only new market was Italy, where it opened in first place with $2.36 million. To date, the animated sequel has earned around $200 million.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
added $35.3 million this weekend. It opened to a weak $2 million in Japan; none of these movies do particularly well there, though. In comparison, Captain America's top market is China with $98.4 million. So far, Captain America has earned $385 million overseas, and should eventually top Thor: The Dark World ($438 million).

Over Easter weekend, Biblical epic Noah added $21.6 million overseas. It's now Paramount's biggest movie ever in Brazil with $22.9 million. Its new total is $197.4 million.

Divergent
reached South Korea ($2.2 million) and Brazil ($2.1 million) this weekend. Overall, it earned $18.1 million for a total of $75.3 million. It has two major markets (Spain and Japan) still to come.

Transcendence
opened to $11.4 million in China, which is slightly higher than its U.S. haul. While that sounds good, it's still a bit disappointing: the movie received a 3D conversion exclusively for China, and Johnny Depp did a press tour there.

The sci-fi thriller also opened to $1.1 million in Italy; next weekend, it expands in to Australia, Germany and the U.K.

Frozen
hit what's likely to be its final milestone this weekend. The movie held first place in Japan for the sixth-straight weekend, and has now earned an incredible $104.1 million there. In the process, it passed The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and Transformers: Dark of the Moon to move up to sixth place on the all-time worldwide chart. It's also now the highest-grossing animated movie overseas with $729.3 million.

Discuss this story with fellow Box Office Mojo fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @boxofficemojo, and follow author Ray Subers at @raysubers.

Forecast:
• 'Transcendence' to Trail 'Rio,' 'Captain America' Over Easter


Last Weekend
• 'Captain America' Wins Close Fight with 'Rio 2'


Easter Weekend in Past Years:
• 2013 - Audiences Re-Enlist With 'G.I. Joe' Over Easter

• 2012 - 'Hunger Games' Three-peats, Passes $300 Million Over Easter
• 2011 - 'Rio' Edges Out 'Madea' Over Easter
• 2010 - Kraken Gets Crackin' Over Easter
• 2009 - 'Hannah Montana' Rules Easter Roost
• 2008 - 'Horton' Hatches Easter Win
• 2007 - 'Grindhouse' Dilapidated Over Easter Weekend
• 2006 - 'Scary Movie 4' Cracks Easter Record
• 2005 - 'Guess Who' Dines at Top Spot


Related Charts

• Weekend Box Office Results
• 2014 Yearly Box Office
• All-Time Domestic



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