Captain America sets record for April opening
LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK
CAPTAIN America: The Winter Soldier, the sequel to Marvel's 2011 film about the red, white and blue superhero, smashed its way to US$96.2 million (S$121 million) in weekend ticket sales, setting a new record for an April release and speeding past last week's winner, Noah.
In the process, it also validated the strategy of the film's distributor, Walt Disney, to ramp up its pipeline of films featuring baddie-bashing superheroes made famous in Marvel Comics.
Captain America, which stars Chris Evans as a scrawny World War II reject given super powers from an experimental serum, easily exceeded the previous record holder, racing movie Fast Five, which opened with US$86.2 million in ticket sales in 2011.
Since Disney bought Marvel for US$4 billion in 2009, Marvel characters have starred in some of Hollywood's biggest hits. Iron Man 3 was last year's second-highest-grossing film with domestic ticket sales of US$409 million, according to Box Office Mojo.
In 2012, Marvel's The Avengers was the third-biggest film in Hollywood history, with US$623.4 million in domestic sales and US$1.5 billion worldwide.
Captain America is "a safe bet" to pass US$250 million, said Box Office Mojo.
Noah, starring Russell Crowe as the biblical figure, was second with US$17 million in ticket sales from Friday to Sunday.
Dystopian action film Divergent was third with US$13 million.