'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' smashed through the weekend box office to come away with quite a respectable $96.2 million. It broke the record for highest April opening gross by quite a bit, $10 million more than the previous record held by Fast Five, which made $86 million. The First Avenger opened with $56 million, and [Thor: The Dark World](movie:206462) made $85 million. While [Iron Man 3](movie:24391) made $174, it had the advantage of a well-established, popular franchise. Iron Man made $102 million on it's opening week, so Winter Soldier is in good company.
The film jumped 47% up from the original First Avenger, an unexpectedly large jump. This is a greater jump in profits than Thor/Thor 2 (31%), Iron Man/Iron Man 2(25%) and Iron Man 2/Iron Man 3 (36%). A jump like this is comparable to many breakout franchises such as X-Men/X2, which had a 57% jump in profits, or Transformers, with a 54% jump. An increase like that is exactly what franchises hope for, and is the kind of increase upcoming sequels like [Dawn of the Planet of the Apes](movie:322904) and [The Amazing Spider-Man 2](movie:508593) most likely need. With a popularity increase such as that, [Batman vs. Superman](movie:711870)'s competing release date with [Captain America 3](movie:994409) might yield some interesting results for the two films.
Worldwide, The Winter Soldier has made $303 million so far, quite a respectable sum.If the film's popularity functions as expected, we should be looking at final domestic earnings in the $250 million range. If no strong competition appears, it could work it's way up to the $300 million range, but at this point it's all speculation.
Overall, I'm not surprised Cap's doing well in theaters so far. Given how popular Marvel is now, as well as how much I enjoyed the film, I'd say it well deserved its respectable figures. It remains to be seen how the film will rank in comparison to Iron Man 3, Thor 2, [Ant-Man](movie:9048), but if most viewers enjoy it as much as I did, you can bet on a strong finish for this film. You can check out my review of The Winter Soldier here: