(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.
The superhero saga from Disney’s Marvel Studios, starring Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson, pulled in a hefty $96.2 million, box office tracker Exhibitor Relations said.
The 3-D, $170 million sequel to “Captain America: The First Avenger” outearned this year’s previous box office winner “The Lego Movie,” which in February grossed $69 million in its first weekend.
Biblical epic “Noah,” meanwhile, was the box office runner up in its second weekend, with $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 $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 $7.7 million.
In fifth was Wes Anderson’s quirky “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” which earned $6.30 million.
It was closely trailed by “Muppets Most Wanted,” Kermit and company’s latest outing, which raked in $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 $5.3 million.
Car-chase action movie “Need for Speed,” which stayed in eighth place for a second consecutive week, taking in $1.84 million.
“Non-Stop,” the Liam Neeson action movie set on a long-haul flight, added another $1.83 million to its earnings to land in ninth.
Rounding out the top 10 with $1.8 million was action flick “Sabotage,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sam Worthington.