OPENING: Heaven Is For Real (SONY) best opener est. $18.9M to $20.1M (3-day) and $26.8M to $27M+ (5-day); Transcendence (WB) No. 4 with $11.5M to $11.8M; A Haunted House 2 (OPRD) $9M to $9.4M in top five; Bears (DIS) hibernating with $5M at No. 9.
UPDATED, SATURDAY, 7:17 AM: Positions have not changed this morning — Captain America: The Winter Soldier is No. 1 three weekends in a row for Disney/Marvel and Rio 2 is in the second spot for Fox, but estimates have been revised slightly. Captain America is now expected to gross $24.5M to $25.4M compared to $23M for the animated sequel Rio 2, which is now lower at $23M+ for the 3-day. It looks like Captain America will cross $200M this weekend or come very close to it at least. And next weekend, the franchise has a strong possibility of holding on to No. 1 for the fourth weekend in a row. If it does so, it will be the first picture since Hunger Games to do so in 2012 and before that The Dark Knight in 2008. There is nothing of circumstance opening next weekend to put the whoa’s on it (competition is the female comedy The Other Woman, the late Paul Walker starrer Brick Mansions, and the horror film The Quiet Ones).
Sony/TriStar’s Heaven is For Real is in the $18.9M to the $20.1M range for the three-day with the 5-day gross now estimated to be $27M+, depending on how much the picture drops on Easter Sunday. Traditionally, moviegoing peaks on Good Friday and then falls off a bit on Easter Sunday as people tend to spend time at home with their families; it is unlike the heavy moviegoing seasons of Christmas or Thanksgiving when the marketplace is flooded with moviegoers of all ages as school kids and college students have long breaks and people can’t wait to get a break from family get togethers. However, faith-based pictures, have been enjoying stronger holds on Sunday. The picture, produced by Joe Roth and TD Jakes with filmmaker Randy Wallace at the helm, was well adapted from the bestselling book of the same name by Wallace and Chris Parker. It was also well executed with an overall A CinemaScore and those 35 and under gave it an A+. The picture opened strong on Wednesday to $3.7 and continued on Thursday with $1.37M so started the weekend with a solid $7M.
Sad news for Warner Bros., Johnny Depp and producer Alcon Entertainment this morning as Transcendence estimates have descended in its opening weekend to $11.5M to $11.8M; can’t beat bad word-of-mouth on a C+ CinemaScore either so this picture will likely drop hard in its second weekend. Estimates for Marlon Wayan’s A Haunted House 2 from Open Road Films have not really changed. The first Haunted House had a much stronger opening weekend last year with $18.1M and went onto gross $40M domestically. This one is opening to half of that, around $9M to $9.4M. Scary. The last opener of this weekend is Disney’s Bears, which is a live-action nature show that could have easily been distributed through the National Geographic channel (it has that kind of feel to it). Narrated by John C. Reilly, the little film is expected to pull in around $5M for the studio. That is a snapshot this morning and here is the updated chart: