LOS ANGELES (AP) — Captain America continues to vanquish box office foes, triumphing in ticket sales for the third consecutive week and dominating over megastar Johnny Depp's new movie.
"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" added another $26 million to its coffers, according to studio estimates Sunday, while Depp's sci-fi thriller, "Transcendence," opened in fourth place with $11 million.
Directed by longtime Christopher Nolan cinematographer Wally Pfister, the Warner Bros. film is Depp's third consecutive box office disappointment. He played Tonto in last summer's "The Lone Ranger" — one of the biggest flops of 2013 — and starred in 2012's comedy-horror dud, "Dark Shadows."
"As we approach the summer movie season, box-office drawing power becomes more about the concept of the movie rather than its star," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak. "It may not have been so much (about) Johnny Depp, but audiences right now like brands that they know."
That doesn't bode well for original ideas, such as "Transcendence," penned by first-time screenwriter Jack Paglen.
Twelve sequels are expected this summer alone, Dergarabedian said.
Another new movie, the religious-themed "Heaven Is for Real," debuted in third place over Easter weekend, while another sequel, "Rio 2," held on to the second spot.
Faith-based films are performing well, with four releases in the domestic top 20.
"The Winter Soldier" set a box-office record as the biggest April release ever when it opened with more than $96 million domestically. Starring Chris Evans as comic book hero Capt. America and Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, the Disney release has earned more than $200 million to date in North America — the 12th Marvel film to do so.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Rentrak. Final domestic figures will be released on Monday:
1. "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," $26.6 million.
2. "Rio 2," $22.5 million.
3. "Heaven is for Real," $21.5 million.
4. "Transcendence," $11.2 million.
5. "A Haunted House 2," $9.1 million.
6. "Draft Day," $5.9 million.
7. "Divergent," $5.75 million.
8. "Oculus," $5.2 million.
9. "Noah," $5 million.
10. "God's Not Dead," $4.8 million.
Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.