Transcendence Bombs; Marvel Is For Real
By John Hamann
April 20, 2014
Welcome to Easter at the box office, where Johnny Depp tries to rise from the grave that was built with the dirt from Dark Shadows, The Rum Diary and The Lone Ranger. Alas, his career is only buried deeper with Transcendence, a bad film whose title belies its box office and quality.
What a wild and wacky Easter weekend it is at the box office. For new openers we have Transcendence, the poorly marketed and poorly written sci-fi flick with Johnny Depp. Also debuting is Heaven Is for Real, the bland, faith-based film that is selling an Easter weekend product to an audience that has already bought in. Finally, our other two openers include A Haunted House 2, another cheaply-made creation from the Wayans family, and Bears, another nature documentary from Disney. This weekend should have been an easy win this weekend for Johnny Depp and Transcendence, but when your title is defined as “having continuing existence outside the created world” or “exceeding or surpassing in degree or excellence,” your film better be pretty damn good. Let’s just say it isn't The Matrix.
With the movie theater Easter egg hunt for new films only turning up bunny turds, audiences relied on the old faithful for their movie fix over the holiday weekend. Captain America: The Winter Soldier took the #1 spot for a third consecutive weekend, as it has completely dominated the month of April. The Marvel release earned another $26.6 million over the Friday-to-Sunday portion of the weekend, dropping only 36%. Considering the sequel is in its third frame, and is already over $200 million domestic, this is a seriously good hold, Easter weekend or not. Thor: The Dark World earned $14.2 million in its third weekend, and the original Captain America earned $13 million in weekend three. The third weekend for The Winter Soldier was actually quite close to Iron Man 2, which earned $26.4 in its third weekend, but opened $33 million higher at $128.1 million than Captain America 2 at $95 million. On a percentage basis, every Marvel release except the original Iron Man dropped more than 46% in their respective third weekends (Iron Man fell 38%).
Now the question becomes where The Winter Soldier is going to finish. Domestically, the good Captain crossed the $200 million mark today, its 17th day of release. That’s the same amount of time it took Fast & Furious 6, and one day slower than the original Iron Man, but both of those films had summer release dates. The Winter Soldier has now pulled in $201.5 million domestically, and looks to be on its way to at least $250 million at the North American box office. With another good hold, it could approach $275 million. Also , it appears another Captain America repeat could be in the cards next weekend, as the main competition will be the Cameron Diaz comedy The Other Woman. Then, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens on May 2nd, and will easily push the five-weekend-old Captain America to the side. Still, superhero movies could finish one-two that weekend.