Box office preview: Captain America takes on 'Rio 2,' 'Oculus,' and 'Draft Day'

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Image Credit: Zade Rosenthal

Last week, Captain America flew into competition-free skies and collected a cool $95 million across its first three days in theaters. The Marvel super-sequel won’t be so lucky in week two, as it goes up against three vastly different genres (a sports pic, a horror film, and an animated romp), but The Winter Soldier will still dominate the weekend.

Here’s how things might play out:

1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier – $45 million
The first Captain America dropped a steep 60 percent in its second weekend in theaters in 2011, but this is a post-Avengers world and the game has changed for our non-Iron Man Marvel fellows. Thor: The Dark World is a more apt comparison, but even that fell 57.3 percent in its second weekend in theaters. Cap 2 is performing better overall, though, thanks to solid reviews and a fairly open marketplace. It will probably drop more in the 55 percent range. As of April 9, it had netted nearly $113 million domestically and $207 million in international.

2. Rio 2 — $38 million
Anne Hathaway and Jesse Eisenberg lead the voice cast for the animated sequel, which has added buzzy talent like Bruno Mars, Kristin Chenoweth, and Rita Moreno to tell the story of Blu, Jewel, and their kids as they try to adjust to life in the Amazon. Fox is releasing the 3-D Blue Sky Studios production in 3,948 locations. According to Fandango, Rio 2 is outselling The Croods and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 at the same point in those sales cycles. With a reported $103 million budget and middling reviews (55 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), analysts expect the film to open in the high $30 million range, putting it in line with the first, which opened at $39.2 million in April 2011 and went on to gross more than $485 million worldwide.

3. Oculus — $13 million
Relativity picked up the micro-budget ($5 million) horror after it premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival to generally positive reviews. Starring Doctor Who‘s Karen Gillan, Oculus tells the story of a pair of siblings whose lives were probably ruined by a supernatural force. When they were children, Tim killed his dad who’d just killed his mom and spent the next decade in a mental institution. After Tim is released, he (having aged into Brenton Thwaites) and his sister (Gillan) go hunting for the mirror that they believe housed the malevolent spirits. It’s set to hit 2,650 theaters Friday. Analysts predict an $11 million to $13 million opening, which could be a little low considering the dearth of decent horror films on the market at the moment. Still, though the numbers seem low, compared to the budget, it’s exactly how these movies should be opening.

4. Draft Day — $12 million
After a few significant supporting roles in the past couple of years, Kevin Costner returns to a leading role and his sports roots in Ivan Reitman’s football drama Draft Day about the general manager of the Cleveland Browns as he seeks to restructure the team. Lionsgate’s Summit Entertainment is releasing the film in 2,781 locations, and marketing has been heavily focused on sports fans and developed a rare relationship with the NFL, hosting event screenings for about two dozen teams — including a Cleveland premiere. But reviews aren’t great (47 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), and analysts are predicting a modest low-teens opening.

5. Noah — $8 million 
Don’t be surprised if Noah falls another 50 percent as it enters its third weekend in theaters. Paramount’s edgy Bible tale will hit $100 million by the end of its run, but with a price tag of $125 million it’s not quite the blockbuster they needed domestically. Thankfully for the studio, Noah is performing quite well internationally — it’s already made more than $100 million from 46 territories.

In limited release, David Gordon Green’s grim tale of Texas despair Joe, starring Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan, opens in 48 theaters. Entertainment One is releasing Cuban Fury, starring Nick Frost, Rashida Jones, and Chris O’Dowd, in 79 theaters. The Railway Man, a WWII drama about a British Army general who confronts his torturer and stars Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman, opens in four locations — as does Sony’s Only Lovers Left Alive, a Jim Jarmusch vampire drama starring Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton.

Check back in to EW.com this weekend for estimates and analysis, and chime in with your own predictions in the comments!


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