Captain America Sequel: Is $100 Million Opening Weekend In Works?

Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the sequel to Marvel Films' 2011 hit Captain America, reintroducing the World War II-era superhero, looks as if it will significantly outperform its predecessor at the box office as Marvel continues its comic book movie juggernaut — adding to the $5.67 billion Marvel has raked in so far from just seven movies produced under its own banner.

About 25 percent of that staggering haul came from one movie, the 2012 superhero team-up The Avengers, which took in over $1.5 billion worldwide all on its own.

Post-Avengers Sequels Get Boost At Box Office

Captain America was one of the featured Marvel characters in that movie, and though the first film in his solo franchise performed admirably, with a $65 million opening weekend in 2011 and more than $370 million worldwide, the character's increased recognition from The Avengers is expected to propel Captain America: The Winter Soldier to even greater revenue-generating heights.

Marvel has issued sequel films in two other superhero franchises on the back of The Avengers, and both have outdone their predecessors at the box office in their all-important opening weekends. Iron Man 3 picked up $174 million, topping the pre-Avengers Iron Man 2 which made $128 million in its opening weekend.

Captain America in The Avengers
The appearance of Captain America in The Avengers should give a boost to Captain America: The Winter Solider at the box office.

Also in 2013, Thor: The Dark World, a solo outing from another Avengers superhero character, raked in $85.7 million in its opener, a full $20 million more than the first installment in the Thor franchise.

Based on the performance of those two films, most industry observers are prognosticating a baseline of $80 million for the weekend beginning April 4, when Captain America: The Winter Soldier sails into multipexes nationwide.

$100 Million Opening Weekend Predicted

One analyst, Forbes Magazine contributor Mark Hughes, has an even higher figure on his board. He sees the Captain America sequel taking in as much as $100 million in its opening weekend.

"I expect it to enjoy plenty of interest, including some strong repeat viewership that should help boost the final weekend tally," Hughes wrote this week. "$100 million is of course the high end if all the stars align for it, so $90 million is more likely."

But Hughes notes that a $90 million figure would still be a 46 percent improvement on the first Captain America movie's three-day bow.

Considering the fact that its early April opening gives Captain America: The Winter Soldier a jump start on the summer blockbuster season and about a full month before competing movies arrive, Hughes projects a total worldwide gross as high as $700 million for the Captain America sequel.

That would make Captain America: The Winter Soldier the 63rd-highest grossing film of all time.