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Box office update: 'Captain America 2' brings in a heroic $9.57 million on Friday

Apparently, it’s hard to keep a good soldier (and movie!) down: Captain America: The Winter Soldier brought in an estimated $9.57 million for Disney/Marvel on Friday night, keeping it in the top spot for its third week in release. The movie — directed by Joe and Anthony Russo and starring Chris Evans as the ever-likeable Steve Rogers — has been well-received by critics and audiences (it has an A Cinemascore) and is on pace to cross the magic $200 million mark this weekend. READ FULL STORY

Box office preview: Johnny Depp's 'Transcendence' heads for an Earth-bound debut

Johnny Depp is back in theaters this weekend for the first time since last summer’s The Lone Ranger — but his $100 million sci-fi thriller Transcendence isn’t the only movie with a shot at the box office crown. There’s strong competition from both last week’s champ Captain America: Winter Soldier and the animated Rio 2, which could get an additional boost from kids who aren’t school-bound on Good Friday. The inspirational Heaven Is for Real and the profane A Haunted House 2 are also in the running.

Here’s how the weekend could go: READ FULL STORY

Box office brief: Will Christian audiences turn out for 'Heaven Is for Real'?

It’s no secret that Christian-themed films have the potential to be box office gold, but even though faith-based audiences are starved for more material, it doesn’t always pan out the way studios might hope.

While Paramount’s expensive and provocative Darren Aronofsky-directed Noah continues to climb the steep slope toward domestic profitability and Mark Burnett and Roma Downey’s Son of God failed to reach Passion of the Christ heights (after seven weeks in theaters it still hasn’t even made Passion‘s opening weekend numbers), the independently released God’s Not Dead came out of nowhere and stunned the major studios with its mighty box office ascent. The $2 million film, now playing in 1,860 locations, has made nearly $41.5 million in just four weekends in theaters.

Now, TriStar Pictures is rolling out its drama Heaven Is for Real on Wednesday in 2,400 locations. Based on the best-selling book by Pastor Todd Burpo about his real-life encounter with the divine, Heaven Is for Real tells the story of his young son, who claims to have visited Heaven during a near-death experience. Greg Kinnear portrays the pastor in the adaptation, and newcomer Connor Corum plays his son Colton. Despite the heavy religious bent, analysts believe that the film will play to both faith-based and mainstream audiences and predict a $20 million five-day opening for the $12 million film. READ FULL STORY

Box office report: 'Captain America' fights off competition with $41.4 million weekend

Captain America: The Winter Soldier warded off newcomers this weekend and remains king of the hill with $41.4 million in its second weekend of release. The Marvel actioner dropped just 56 percent from its opening weekend and the film’s domestic total now stands at $159 million — close to 90 percent of the lifetime gross of the original, thank you very much — with global receipts already pushing $476.7 million. READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'Rio 2' wins by a beak on Friday with $12 million

In the first true horse race of the year, the family-friendly Rio 2 narrowly flew past Captain America: The Winter Soldier to take the Friday top spot. Rio 2, the tropical fantasy about birds, friendship, and primary colors, also beat out its predecessor’s opening numbers. Rio — the first movie I ever took my young daughter to, incidentally — earned $10.2 million when it opened on Friday back in April 2011. This bodes well for the Fox/Blue Sky Studios 3D animated movie’s chances of besting the original’s $39.3 million opening weekend haul.

Captain America, which torched the competition last weekend with $95 million, was forced to settle for a close second with $11.9 million. Meanwhile, the new horror flick Oculus, which scared up $4.9 million, fended off the crinkly-eyed advances of Kevin Costner in his sports flick wheelhouse Draft Day for third place.

Rounding out the Top 5 is the YA chest-and heart-thumper Divergent, which rallied for $2.4 million in its fourth week of release. READ FULL STORY

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

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: READ FULL STORY

Box office report: 'Captain America' soars with $96.2 million weekend

 

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is yet another piece of evidence that Marvel’s formula for its behemoth superhero film franchise is exactly what audiences want.

The sequel to the 2011 original starring Chris Evans as the Super Soldier grossed an estimated $96.2 million this opening weekend, setting a record for best April opening and earning an “A” CinemaScore from its audiences. READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'Captain America' supersizes Friday's box office with $37 million

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is proving that a big shield is enough to conquer the box office, pulling in an estimated $37 million Friday night. The PG-13 film from Joe and Anthony Russo is already outpacing 2011’s original Captain America, which earned $25.7 million its first full day in release. The movie has also already nabbed $75 million from its international release and could get close to $100 million here in North America. READ FULL STORY

Box office preview: How high will Marvel's 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' fly?

Comic book season is upon us, and there’s no turning back.

Disney and Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the (lucky?) first one out of the gates. As has become standard for Marvel releases, the question is not whether it will open at No. 1 (there aren’t even any other movies opening wide this weekend!), but just where it will fall on the golden brand’s sliding scale of successes and super-successes. Modern Marvel cinematic universe adaptations have opened anywhere from $65 million (Captain America: The First Avenger) to $207 million (The Avengers).

Here’s how things might play out, and let us know your predictions in the comments. READ FULL STORY

'Frozen' becomes the highest-grossing animated film of all time

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Disney’s animated megahit Frozen is officially the highest-grossing animated film of all time. After opening in Japan — its final market — this weekend, its total sales now reach $1.072 billion.

The tally bumps the fairy tale over Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3, which held the top spot since 2010, when that film grossed $1.063 billion. It is the first billion-dollar title from Disney Animation studios; domestic receipts of $398.4 million and $674 million internationally earned Frozen that distinction. In 27 territories, it is now the No. 1 Disney or Pixar film, which helped buoy it into the Top 10 of all films globally at the box office.

Frozen has also enjoyed critical success since opening in the U.S. in late November. Inspired by Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen, the 3-D fantasy won Academy Awards for best animated film and original song. Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, the film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on March 18.

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