‘Captain America 2′ Breaks April Box Office Records [Updated]

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Captain America 2 Box Office Records Captain America 2 Breaks April Box Office Records [Updated]

Before Captain America: The Winter Soldier even hit theaters it was confirmed that directors (and brothers) Anthony and Joe Russo would be helping plan out the story for Captain America 3 and again directing. It was a display of confidence from Marvel Studios and its key decision-maker Kevin Feige, but an unsurpising one considering the critical response to the film.

Early reviews of Captain America 2 labeled it one of the studio’s best and now that it’s out, it’s certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, with numbers comparable to Iron Man and The Avengers, Marvel’s two strongest scored films to date. And like fellow Marvel sequel Thor: The Dark World, the second Captain America film is serving as a test for the studio, releasing in theaters outside of the traditional key summer blockbuster dates. And it’s working.

Thor 2 opened in November, and thanks to the boost of brand recognition from The Avengers, hit $85.7 million domestically on opening weekend. Captain America: The Winter Soldier, already having broke advanced ticket sales records for the month of April, is on track to potentially beat that number – an interesting switch since the original Thor outsold Captain America: The First Avenger two years ago (both opened summer 2011).

Captain America The Winter Soldier Mondo Poster Rich Kelly Captain America 2 Breaks April Box Office Records [Updated]

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Mondo Poster by Rich Kelly

On Thursday, the day before opening wide in North America, 82% of all ticket pre-sales on Fandango were for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and the numbers beat out any other April release in the company’s 14-year history. According to BoxOffice.com, the opening weekend forecast for Cap 2 is around $94 million, with some estimates putting it near $100 million. The current record-holder for April openings is Fast Five which earned $86.2 million in the final April weekend of 2011 (on week before the summer movie season officially begins).

While the weekend isn’t quite over yet, we do have some numbers for comparison. Studio estimates have The Winter Soldier earning $10.2 million on its early Thursday evening screenings, beating last year’s Man of Steel ($9 million) and Thor 2 ($8.8 million). It doesn’t quite come close to the big summer mega hits Iron Man 3 ($15.6 million) and The Avengers ($18.7 million) though.

On Friday, the film broke an April box office record, bringing in $37 million from 3,938 theater screens across North America, approximately 80% of them in 3D. By comparison, previous record holder Fast Five earned $34.4 million in its top single-day. With over $100 million already made overseas where the film opened first, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is expected to have earned $270 million worldwide by the end of the weekend. Marvel has another big hit on their hands.

It’s no surprise then that Captain America 3 will begin shooting next year for an expected May 2016 release, where it’s currently sharing a weekend with big competitor Batman vs. Superman from DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. One of the films is expected to move and while Marvel Studios president of production Kevin Feige went on record starting that Marvel Studios has no plans to change dates, the April success of Captain America 2 could mean its followup sees its date pushed up to a similar weekend in 2016.

Captain America The Winter Soldier Mondo Poster Rich Kelly Variant Captain America 2 Breaks April Box Office Records [Updated]

Variant Poster

We spoke with Feige at the Captain America: The Winter Soldier junket a few weeks ago where we asked about the non-summer release dates of Marvel’s Phase 2 films (Thor 2 in November, Cap 2 in April, and Guardians of the Galaxy in August) and he explained that they’re seeing if their theory of releasing good movies is more important than the date itself.

“Well, there are two things: one, Sony had a Spider-Man movie on that first weekend in May, and we also want to try to expand that summer season, frankly. There are so many movies every weekend, and we started to look at other films that had done extremely well in March, extremely well in April, and really of the belief that if you put out a good movie, a good product, you can put it out any time of the year. We will test that in three weeks.”

Of course, the release tests serve another purpose as well. With Sony planning to release Spider-Man films annually and Fox recently announcing 1-2 X-Men/Fantastic Four films per year, the amount of weekends and spacing between these tentpole releases is running out for Marvel-branded films, especially with Marvel Studios releasing two per year with talk of potentially expanding to three-four in the future.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Thor: The Dark World prove that Marvel Studios can succeed with releasing a pair of summer films and releasing them in the spring and fall. Is it a sign of things to come?

Like the posters above? The prints are by artist Rich Kelly and became available April 4th (day of film’s release) at MondoTees.com and sold out in less than a day!

[Update: The total weekend estimate has Captain America: The Winter Soldier earning $96.2 million in its domestic opening with its worldwide total already at $303.3 million. It’s the largest April opening of all-time.]


More: Marvel Plans Ahead All The Way To 2028


Captain America: The Winter Soldier is produced by Kevin Feige, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, from a screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, and stars Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp and Hayley Atwell, with Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is now in theaters, Guardians of the Galaxy opens August 1, 2014The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 17, 2015, and unannounced films for May 6 2016, July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie and TV news!

Sources: BoxOffice.com, Fandango, THR

Follow Rob Keyes on Twitter @rob_keyes
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  1. By the way, just a small gripe, but I believe the correct quote is “On your left” and not “To your left”. On your left signifies that you’re passing on someones left if you’re both going in the same direction, which he did… multiple times. To your left indicates you want someone to move to their left, which never happened. So, grammatically, “To your left” makes no sense, and I’ve seen it written repeatedly on here.

    • have seen the movie probably not

  2. Saw the movie on Friday and was very glad. The script is very good, making the movie flow so nice. The character relationships are a nice touch as well. Good twist to the plot regarding Shield although a part of my wanted the Skrulls to do that instead 😀 It was a very good movie. I saw it in 3D and while not fantastic it wasn’t bad either.

    Oh, there are many tidbits in the movie if you don’t pay attention. Check out his book shelf :)

    • My brother is the only one of us to have seen Stark’s face and name when they targeted the people. I couldn’t pick anyone out myself.

  3. SR Im sorry, but the moment Cap 2 is released worlwide, I want to post a comment about the plot on ANY Cap 2 note. not just where is “SPOILER-free”.

    Cause, I mean… Come On!

  4. Grillo was awesome in this movie. Give him his just due, boost him, and continue his story. You know what I mean.

    Pass this on to the appropriate people.

  5. First of all, cap 2 was amazing and a lock for a top 3 MCU film. I think it sets up a lot of interesting subplots for AOS where they can hunt down me members of shield that were apart of Hydra. As for the whole Cap 3 vs. worlds finest, I personally go to the first showing of every big movie at my local movie theater and I would go to the midnight showing of cap 3 and a 3 am showing of batman superman. I would see both on the first night as a die hard, but I would see marvels first out of loyalty to the fantastic universe they have put together. Worlds finest would trounce cap in the international markets, so I do think that marvel should want to move it to another date. However don’t discount the reaction from bat fleck which could harm bvs. One thing I wouldn’t discount would be marvel ponying up big time to RDJ, and announcing Iron Man 4 for that release date at comic con this year. We would all see an awesome DC presentation, and then Marvel would drop that bomb on us at the end of the night. Unlikely but it could happen

  6. Kang the Conquerer and Beyonder prime need to appear as villains in the next Captain America film, then cross over to the Avengers. He’s one of the most powerful SOB’s out there and could easily match Thanos.

  7. It’s kind of sad that only CBM can make this kind of money while other action movies bomb.

    • Back in my day of reading comics, this statement would have been unheard of, lol. So glad this time has finally come.

  8. + action, even though sometimes it didn’t make much sense
    – logic holes
    – plot holes
    – script is simple, nothing i didn’t know from the trailer

    Overall its not bad, its definetely a good light movie but IM1 is still the best of Marvel.

    • When you say script did you mean plot?

      Either way, there are moments that you can’t say you knew cause of preview.

      -Like Black Widow undercover as the old lady at the end…

      -The whole algorithm of zola and tricking BW and Cap into going to the bunker

      -Agent Carter still being alive and with alzheimers

      -Bucky saving cap

      – Agent Hill going to apply with Stark Industries

      – The Stephen Strange namedrop

      I feel like I could keep going here.

    • By the way, what plot holes?

      I didn’t think there were any…

  9. Ill probably see it considering its rating on RT. but i’ll say it again and again, I’m just not rly a fan of johansson as black widow.