Captain America: The Winter Soldier continued its patriotic juggernaut at the box office on Easter weekend, topping domestic revenue numbers for the third weekend in a row with $26.6 million, putting the Marvel Films comic-book epic over the $200 million mark domestically.
Overseas, the Captain America sequel also proved as mighty as the superhero’s shield, becoming the 12th Marvel movie to top $580 million worldwide. Its take stood at $586.6 million including all overseas markets.
And in a big weekend for Marvel Comics superhero sequels, the new Spider-Man flick, Amazing Spider-Man 2, pulled in $47 million in overseas markets, with two weeks to go before the movie’s May 2 U.S. opening. The number gives Amazing Spider-Man 2 the biggest overseas opening weekend of 2014 so far.
The Spider-Man franchise is still controlled by Sony Pictures, since the studio rebooted the superhero series with 30-year-old British-American actor Andrew Garfield in the title role, after three highly successful entries starring Tobey Maguire.
The original three Spider-Man films grossed over $2 billion worldwide, giving Sony good reason to keep the rights to the character and not let them revert to Marvel Studios, which is why Sony started an entirely new Spider-Man series just five years after the first trilogy ended.
Spider-Man does big business in overseas markets. Of the $752.2 million raked in by the first entry in the new Sony Spider-Man series, 65 percent came from foreign countries. But Sony is going to need those other countries to deliver for Amazing Spider-Man 2 in a big way. The film had a staggeringly high reported budget of $255 million, with another $190 million poured into marketing.
Back on the domestic front, Captain America 2 received a surprising challenge from an unexpected quarter. After the recent success of the faith-based film God’s Not Dead, a new religiously themed movie, Heaven Is For Real debuted to $21.5 million on the weekend. But the movie, which is an adaptation of a true story about a four-year-old boy who said he went to heaven and back during a surgical procedure, opened on Wednesday.
Counting the extra two days, Heaven In For Real, which stars Greg Kinnear and is directed by Randal Wallace — best-known for Braveheart — finished with $28.5 million, putting it on par with the Captain America sequel, which plays on may more screens.
The religious film’s per-screen average of $8,895 for the weekend actually topped Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which earned $6,800 per screen.