OPENING: Heaven Is For Real (SONY) best opener est. $21.5M+ (3-day) and $28.5M (5-day); Transcendence (WB) No. 4 with $11M+; A Haunted House 2 (OPRD) $8.8M rounds out top five; Bears (DIS) hibernating with $4.8M at No. 10 – if it doesn’t get pushed out by holdover Noah.
UPDATED: SUNDAY, 7:18 AM: $200M, as expected, for Captain America: The Winter Soldier today as it parades in with a $26.7M weekend on Easter Sunday and $201M+. It now stands at $586.6M worldwide. This is the 12th Marvel film to cross that threshold. Easter weekend is up 8% over last year at this time. The holy holiday brings a couple of other surprises as the best newcomer of the weekend, Heaven Is For Real, is now expected to have a 3-day gross of $21.5M for a $9,200 per screen, far above any other picture in the Top Ten. And, depending how much of a drop off there is today, it may end its 5-day run with $28.5M. That’s a nice sum for a picture that Sony says has a $12M negative cost (not including marketing). Kudos to filmmakers Randy Wallace, co-screenwriter Chris Parker, producers T.D. Jakes and Joe Roth and its stars Greg Kinnear, Kelly Reilly and Connor Corum. “The film definitely played not only to a faith-based audience but to a mainstream audience as well,” said Rory Bruer, president of worldwide distribution. “The title itself provokes dialogue no matter what you believe. It’s based on a book and the true story of this family, so it makes it all that more compelling.”
The other surprise of the weekend was that Fox’s animated film Rio 2 didn’t get off the ground as everyone expected at the start of the 3-day; it will make about $22.5M this weekend (down 43%) in its sophomore frame for a total cume of $75.3M (according to Fox) although all others have it higher. And the Johnny Depp starrer Transcendence started its slow descent for Warner Bros. and Alcon when it opened to lackluster numbers on Thursday and then received its C+ CinemaScore on Friday when its core audience got a look-see. The pic will make only $11M+ for the weekend. However, in China, it opened bigger than in the U.S. on 2,180 more screens, of course. It grossed $11.4M in China. Right under that is A Haunted House 2, the comedy/horror film that will end up with $8.8M for the weekend. Open Road Films said it was a $4M negative (not counting marketing costs), so perhaps when this finishes its run, it may make a bit of cash. Btw, Open Road is the only distrib. to expect it to gross higher; they are saying $9.1M.
Disney’s Nature film Bears slept through the weekend with only $4.8M and may not make it into the Top Ten as Paramount’s four-week holdover Noah may end up in that spot. If Noah rounds out the box office top ten, there will be three heavenly related films — Heaven is For Real, God’s Not Dead and Noah — this Easter Sunday. Noah is tracking at $4.8M by all distribs but Paramount who has it at $5M. Can’t call it for Noah yet. Draft Day, in its second weekend, dropped only 40% and its cume is hovering around $19.5M for Lionsgate (Summit) after another $5.8M 3-day, stepping around Divergent to come up a notch in the standings. The horror film, Oculus, dropped off 56% in its second weekend; it’s cume is at $21.1M. Here’s the chart: