Following the “Avengers” bump, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” looks to continue Marvel’s stellar track record of boffo openings. Next month’s “Captain America” sequel — in theaters April 4 — is on course for an $85 million-$90 million opening weekend.
The superhero pic, which could be the studio’s next billion-dollar film, in on track to beat the first “Captain America,” which opened at $65 million, by at least $20 million.
Although it will likely not even get close to “The Avengers'” $207 million bow or “Iron Man 3″s $174 million debut — the two highest openings of all time — it’s certainly possible to edge past Marvel’s last release, “Thor: The Dark World,” which grossed almost $86 million in its first weekend.
With the exception of the “Iron Man” franchise and “The Avengers,” which went on to earn $1.5 billion worldwide and $623 million Stateside, “Winter Soldier” could be the most successful of Marvel’s films.
Last year, “Iron Man 3″ and “Thor: The Dark World” proved Marvel’s box office dominance in the wake of “The Avengers.” So far, every Marvel sequel (“Iron Man 3″ grossed 95% more than “Iron Man 2″ and “Thor: The Dark World” made 40% more than the first one) has skyrocketed past its predecessor.
Directors Anthony and Joe Russo have said their take is as much a political thriller as it is a comicbook adventure. With the brothers, who are best known for their sitcoms “Arrested Development” and “Community,” helming, the film could draw a more diverse audience than just superhero aficionados and action fans. The duo confirmed Tuesday that they will return to direct “Captain America 3.”
Stars Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and Robert Redford will also help lure a broad cross-section of auds.
Initial responses to the movie have been positive after a press screening Monday, with several critics declaring it Marvel’s best film yet.