LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Captain America: The Winter Soldier conquered the North American box office in its debut weekend, becoming the top-earning movie so far this year, industry estimates showed on Sunday, April 6, 2014.
The superhero saga from Disney's Marvel Studios, starring Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson, pulled in a hefty US$96.2 million (S$121 million), box office tracker Exhibitor Relations said.
The 3-D, US$170 million sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger outearned this year's previous box office winner The Lego Movie, which in February grossed US$69 million in its first weekend.
Biblical epic Noah, meanwhile, was the box office runner up in its second weekend, with US$17 million in ticket sales. The action drama reunites Russell Crowe with Jennifer Connelly, his co-star from 2001's A Beautiful Mind. In third place, with US$13 million, was teen adventure Divergent, the dystopian tale of a young woman in a futuristic society, based on the popular young adult novel of the same name.
Religiously themed God's Not Dead, which tells the story of a college freshman who debates his atheist philosophy professor, climbed one spot to fourth place with US$7.7 million.
In fifth was Wes Anderson's quirky The Grand Budapest Hotel, which earned US$6.30 million.
It was closely trailed by Muppets Most Wanted, Kermit and company's latest outing, which raked in US$6.29 million.
The musical comedy caper was ahead of Mr Peabody And Sherman, based on characters from the 1960s television cartoon Rocky And Bullwinkle, which earned US$5.3 million.
Car-chase action movie Need For Speed, which stayed in eighth place for a second consecutive week, took in US$1.84 million.
Non-Stop, the Liam Neeson action movie set on a long-haul flight, added another US$1.83 million to its earnings to land in ninth.
Rounding out the top 10 with US$1.8 million was action flick Sabotage, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sam Worthington.