Captain America: The Winter Soldier’s Box Office & The Month of April

Captain America The Winter Soldier Marvel movie
Captain America: The Winter Soldier

As the opening weekend box office gets counted up Marvel, Disney, every Marvel fan and every news outlet looking to have something to write about (including dopey bloggers like myself) is talking about how Captain America: The Winter Soldier has amassed $96 million in the U.S from its debut weekend. It now stands proudly holding the mantle of the largest domestic debut ever in April. If you’re keeping track of that sort of thing.

It also hauled over $200 million worldwide. Remember when there were all those worries the character wouldn’t work outside America and no one would be interested in watching him? Needless to say it has made a lot of money and is another feather in the cap (no pun intended) for Marvel.

I’m not sure what was the biggest opening movie in April previously. I don’t really keep track of big openings by month. I remember when it used to be all-time records we’d only read about, but now they expanded box office records by month to month so studios get a chance to brag more often and records have more of a chance of being broken.

Pretty soon they’ll broaden this to every week of the year. That will allow movies to have a chance to make history fifty-two weeks out of the year. Headlines will read – ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier has best April 4th to April 6th opening of all time! *Thursday night screenings included’.

Captain America Winter Soldier Chris Evans Scarlett Johansson Black Widow
Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson

This isn’t going to be a review of Cap. So I’m not going to talk about the story, easter eggs or what kind of groundwork it sets up for the Marvel movie universe.

Although I will say I was one of the many who went to see it opening weekend and really liked it. There was a bit too much handheld/shaky cam during some of the action scenes, but I guess that’s the norm today. Overall, I thought it was really good, I would easily recommend it and am anxious to see it again.

I just wanted to take a minute and talk about this April box office thing that’s burning up newswires. As soon as I heard about Cap’s huge success and the fact that this big-budget movie has come out way ahead of the summer movie season I was waiting for a certain topic to be brought up – the sudden realization that April is now proved a valuable time to release big mega movies! Who woulda thunk?

Not to get into the whole history of the summer movie months or how it has evolved through the years, but once upon a time it consisted of the months of June, July and August. Then in 2002 Spider-Man opened in early May and suddenly with its success expanded the summer movie season. Since then May has been included in the slate of big special-effect spectacles for audiences to go see.

Captain America The Winter Soldier Robert Redfor Samuel Jackson Nick Fury
Robert Redford and Samuel L. Jackson

Now with Cap’s success it has enlarged summer even further by confirming to everyone that April can be a beneficial time for big popcorn films as well. Now no one should be surprised that we may be seeing more big event movies nabbing a spot in April in upcoming years.

My friend and I were talking about this Friday night when Cap’s level of success was still uncertain how big it would be. Sadly I should have posted this then to preempt all the online articles about this summer swelling to April idea that appears to be revolutionary to everyone. And believe me they are all over the place today!

I just find it amusing how big movies are pegged as ‘summer movies’. As if that’s the only time audiences will go see them. There are twelve months in the year. I never believed that those three or four months were the only spot big movies could find success in. What, because kids are out of school? Because people are on vacation? Because it’s warmer and people want to chill out in an air-conditioned theater? I never understood the rationale.

I believe if people want to see a movie they will, no matter what time of year it comes out. It’s kind of ridiculous to think they must be ‘summer movies’ to be huge hits and Hollywood and the media have to adjust the definition of the summer movie season just to make it work. Now they realize that audiences will go see a big shiny good movie in April? Really? It took them this long to find this out? What about March? Would they succeed then or is that now the new cutoff point?

I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me that’s gets irritated by this kind of stuff. Anyway, go check out Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It’s a great ‘spring movie’.


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8 Responses

  1. spaceodds says:

    Saw Captain America two weeks ago, it opened in the UK before the US. It was a decent enough film, very entertaining and it striked the right balance between story, character and action. Certainly not as great as The Avengers, but certainly far and away better than Iron Man 2 & 3 (and possibly even 1)

    It's amazing to think how early blockbuster seasons starts these days, in February we've already had The Lego Movie which was a great surprise since it turned out to be a phenomenally better film then expected, and has so far grossed over $400 million worldwide. In the last two weeks, Captain America has opened to strong box office worldwide, before making a big impact in the US, whilst Noah (which I hated) has turned out to be a minor hit internationally with a worldwide gross of $180 million so far. I read an article that Paramount is expecting the grosses to drop by 60% due to Captain America.

    @ Capt. Nemo
    Good theory, who would have thought the box office report would become more important than the actual art of film making? Admire or hate him (I think he was one of the greats) the article just goes to show what a genius Kubrick was in both art and commerce. However there was a price to pay for being attentive to commerce, and in Kubrick's case it was, sadly, the small number of films he directed. Such was his detail to striking the balance between art and commerce, that he not only knew which first run theaters were the best to exhibit his films for profit, but he also knew the layout of pretty much each major theater from London to L.A. I remember I read in a Kubrick biography that when A Clockwork Orange was shown in a New York theater, Kubrick contacted the management telling them a painter would be arriving to paint the corners of the screen black. Also when Barry Lyndon was shown in a theater in Paris, he sent round a carpenter to the theater to take out the first row of seats, just because Kubrick felt that the first row audience would not appreciate the scope and detail of the film. That's not to mention that he sent letters to the projectionist of every theater showing Barry Lyndon in both Europe and the US telling them not only how to project the film on to the screen, but he also told them which music to play before the film starts and during the intermission, and also for how long!

    I wish I was around then, I would've loved to indulged in this experience.

    • Capt. Nemo says:

      I think the operative word was "art."

      Executives these days are more into the commerce rather than the art side of things.

      But, still and all, back when Kubrick did this. It was more of a common sense approach to getting his art out there and to keep himself viable in an industry that rewards super success. Now, it seems that studios want AND EXPECT to break a box office record every year from now to the end of time.

      And they'll do it any way they can. Even slip and slide the summer months just to say they broke a record.

      I once read that "The Dark Knight" was in the end a financial hole because so much effort had been put in to making it the success it was (the fact it had a good story and villain, be damned). And why did they do that, because the studio that made it wanted to be known as "the studio that made The Dark Knight" to attract future investors. So in the end, all they bought was pure reputation.

      I won't be surprised when they extend the summer season back until January. Especially if James Cameron has a few more hits during those months. That seems to be his niche.

      The studios haven't had a good year since 1997. They need to get their eyes back on the ball and make good movies. Not movies that have a lot of pretty lights while being filmed with a shaky camera.

      To end on:

      http://www.the-numbers.com/person/80270401-Stanley-Kubrick#tab=technical

  2. spaceodds says:

    Very true. I also once read that not only The Dark Knight was in the end a financial hole, but also Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix followed the same route. These two films were the biggest films for Warner in 2007 and 2008 respectively, the latter making just over $1 billion at the world wide box office, and still they were considered flops! I mean the profit expectancy has been totally exaggerated, and it aggravates me that even with home media being an extra market, the studios still complain about not making enough money. Just goes to show executives are no different then the fat cats at financial houses.

  3. megasharehd says:

    The best Marvel film to date explores government overreach, the real and perceived threats to national security and how true American values will always win out over false ones.

  4. putlockerhd says:

    I will pay $50 to anyone who can prove that one single audience member worldwide texted "OMG, this plot is fantastic!" at any point during or after the movie.

  5. It needs to seem cool enough that we want to watch it despite its obvious silliness, and viewed through that prism of canny analysis, the craftsmanship of “Winter Soldier” is first rate.

  6. zumvo says:

    Much better than the first in the series. In fact, it was better as action and better as social commentary. If like me you go with few expectations, you will be delighted.

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