From The Hollywood Reporter –
Winning over critics and moviegoers alike, Marvel and Disney’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier grossed $37 million from 3,938 theaters on Friday, the biggest day ever for the month of April, not accounting for inflation. The superhero sequel is expected to earn $93 million-plus for the weekend, also an April best.
Overseas, where it opened ahead of its North American launch, the $170 million tentpole has already earned $132.2 million and should finish Sunday with a whopping global total of $270 million or more — only $100 million behind the $370.6 million earned by Captain America: The First Avenger in its entire run. So far, Captain America 2 is pacing 40 percent ahead of the first film, which debuted in May 2011.
Universal’s 2011 Fast Five was the previous record-holder for the best single day in April ($34.4 million). It likewise holds the record for top April opening ($86.2 million), a milestoneCaptain America 2 will eclipse.
Captain America 2, directed by brothers Anthony and Joe Russo, nabbed an A CinemaScore across all demos, as well as stellar reviews from critics.
The follow-up is also benefiting from the post-Avengers glow. Like the first Thor, Captain America: The First Avengerlaunched to roughly $65 million domestically in July 2011. But the wild success of 2012’s The Avengers has seen fortunes rise for the Iron Man and Thor franchises.
Returning Chris Evans in the title role, as well as Avengersstars Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson, Captain America 2 picks up two years after Avengers left off. Captain America and Black Widow (Johansson) discover there is a secret conspiracy within S.H.I.E.L.D. and fight to stop it, along with The Falcon, played by Anthony Mackie. (Some critics have described the film as an intriguing espionage tale, versus never-ending action.) The villainous Winter Soldier is played by Sebastian Stan.
The superhero sequel is on course to score the top April opening of all time domestically. It will finish the weekend with at least $270 million in global ticket sales.