BOX OFFICE: ‘Captain America’ 2 soars into rarefied Marvel air

"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" commands the top spot at the box office for a third straight week, proving its might over "Rio 2" and "Heaven Is for Real.” (Reuters)

 

THE QUESTION NOW becomes: Can Captain America pull off the four-peat? Because hero Steve Rogers is now soaring to one place not even Marvel-mate Tony Stark has managed.

The sequel “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” grossed $26.6-million in its third weekend out to again remain the domestic box-office champ, according to studio estimates released Sunday. Each of Iron Man’s three solo films successfully defended a box-office title, but none accomplished a three-peat.

And the second “Captain America” may not be knocked from its perch till May 1, when the second “Amazing Spider-Man” debuts. (Sony’s Spidey film has already grossed $47-million overseas.)

Disney/Marvel’s “Captain America” 2 has now grossed $201.5-million domestically — already more than “The First Avenger” grossed ($176.7-million) in its entire run — and a whopping $586.6-million worldwide, far ahead of its Cap predecessor ($370.6-million).

Edged for the second straight week by the Captain America sequel was Fox/Blue Sky’s Rio sequel. “Rio 2″ grossed $22.5-million domestically, to barely fend off the debut of Sony/TriStar’s “Heaven Is for Real” ($21.5-million). The animated film has now grossed $275-million worldwide.

FUN WITH NUMBERS

* Domestically, “Winter Soldier” cracks the top-20 superhero films ever, and should soon pass Disney/Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World” ($206.3-million) at No. 18.

* Beyond “Thor,” the three Buena Vista/Disney superhero releases that have been bigger in the North American market (not adjusted for inflation) are “The Avengers,” “Iron Man 3″ and “The Incredibles.”

* “Frozen” ($1.129-billion in global gross) passed “Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” and “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” to become the sixth-biggest film ever, according to Box Office Mojo. (To move into fifth, the animated Disney musical would have to pass “Iron Man 3″ at $1.215-billion.)

* “Heaven Is for Real” had the 11th-best domestic debut ever for an Easter weekend opening, according to Box Office Mojo, dating back to 1982. It was one of three Christian-themed films in the top-10 over the weekend, joining “Noah” and “God’s Not Dead.”

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