‘Rio 2′ Soars Past ‘Captain America’ on Friday, Eyes $45 Million Weekend Box Office Win

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Families lift kids film past Disney superhero sequel, which is on $41 million pace; “Oculus” beating “Draft Day” for 3rd

The singing parrots of “Rio 2″ plucked Friday from “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” at the box office, and are poised to end the No. 1 run of Disney’s Marvel superhero sequel after just one week.

The computer-animated 3D family musical from Fox’s Blue Sky Studios brought in $12 million Friday and received an “A” CinemaScore, which projects to $45 million weekend. “Captain America” brought in $11.9 Friday and is on track for a $41 million second weekend.

It’s close enough that “Winter Soldier” could still rally for a win, but “Rio 2″ has a clear edge because it will get a big family boost on Saturday and even Sunday, with many youngsters out of school for Easter vacation. The animated film is in 3,948 theaters, the superhero saga is in 3,938.

The weekend’s two other wide openers, the horror movie “Oculus” and Kevin Costner‘s football tale “Draft Day,” were battling for third place and on track for $12 million and $11 million three-day totals, respectively.

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The big first day for “Rio 2″ puts it on course to top the $39 million put up by the original on this same weekend in 2011, and that one went on to earn $143.6 million domestically and a strong $341 internationally. “Rio 2″ has already taken in more than $60 million from abroad and is expanding into 55 markets this weekend, including China and Mexico.

Bruno Mars, Kristen Chenowith, Andy Garcia and Rita Moreno have joined the voice cast of the film, which included Anne Hathaway, Jessie Eisenberg, Leslie Mann, Jamie Foxx and Tracy Morgan. Director Carlos Saldanha returned as well.

The drop for “Winter Soldier” was 68 percent from its first Friday, which included Thursday screenings. That’s likely to level off Saturday and Sunday, and a fall-off of around 58 percent from its April record $95 million first weekend looks likely. That would be on par with the declines of “Iron Man 3″ (58 percent) and “Thor: The Dark World” (57 percent).

The Chris Evans-Scarlett Johansson superhero saga is up to nearly $130 million domestically and more than $330 million worldwide.

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Mike Flangan’s “Oculus” ran third Friday with $4.9 million from 2,648 theaters and that total included $475,000 from Thursday midnight shows. Horror movies tend to be front-loaded, so it could drop on Saturday and Sunday, but it will double its production budget, which was under $5 million. It received a “C” CinemaScore, but that’s typical as the genre’s fans are tough; “The Purge,””Paranormal Activity 4″ and “Cabin in the Woods” all got the same score.

Flanagan (“Absentia”) directed “Oculus” from a screenplay he wrote with Jeff Howard. Katee Gillan (“Doctor Who”), Brenton Thwaites (“Maleficent”) and Katee Sackhoff (“Battlestar Galactica”) star.

Relativity Media acquired the R-rated supernatural thriller for $2.5 million after the Toronto Film Festival last year, and is releasing it association with Blumhouse Productions and WWE Studios. Trevor Macy and Marc Evans of Intrepid Films produced with MICA Films, which co-financed.

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The Ivan-Reitman-directed football drama “Draft Day” took in $3.5 million Friday and received a “B+” CinemaScore. That should help the film play over the next few weeks leading up to NFL’s May 8 draft day, which has become a big event for football fans anxious to see which teams nab the top college stars.

Jennifer Garner, Denis Leary, Frank Langella, Ellen Burstyn and Chadwick Boseman (“42″) co-star in the PG-13-rated “Draft Day,” which was in 2,781 theaters for Summit Entertainment.

Summit’s young-adult sci-fi tale “Divergent” was fifth with $2.3 million Friday, which puts it on pace for a $7.3 million fourth week that would lift its domestic total to nearly $125 million.

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Paramount’s Biblical epic “Noah” was beating out the low-budget faith-based drama “God’s Not Dead” for sixth.

Darren Aronofsky‘s Old Testament tale brought in $2.3 million Friday and is heading for a third week in the $7 million range for Paramount. That would bring it up to $85 million domestically and it should rise to $200 million worldwide this weekend.

Freestyle Releasing’s faith-based indie “God’s Not Dead,” which was made for $5 million, is about to top $40 million domestically in its fourth week. It dropped just 32 percent from last week and brought in nearly $1.6 million Friday, and is looking at $5.5 million three-day total.

Fox Searchlight’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” added another 204 theaters in its sixth week and took in $1.1 million from 1,467 theaters. That projects to a $3.8 million three-day total that would lift the domestic total for Wes Anderson’s ensemble comedy to nearly $40 million.

The Weinstein Company’s “The Railway Man,” an R-rated drama starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth, opened in four theaters and took in a strong $18,078.