LOS ANGELES — In a battle of the sequels, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” retained its superhero grip at the weekend box office, finishing No. 1 and beating the animated “Rio 2” by a slim margin.
“Captain America” grossed a studio-estimated $41.4 million in its second weekend, down 56 percent from its $95 million opening. The Marvel superhero movie, released by Disney, has a domestic haul of $159 million.
The 3-D sequel is already close to matching the total $176.7 million domestic take of 2011’s “Captain America: The First Avenger.”
Fox’s “Rio 2” drew $39 million in its opening weekend, virtually the same amount that the first “Rio” collected when it opened in spring 2011.
The low-budget horror movie “Oculus” premiered at $12 million to take the No. 3 spot. The Relativity release had an estimated production budget of just $5 million. It received an audience grade of “C” from Cinemascore.
“Draft Day,” starring Kevin Costner, finished in fourth place with an estimated $9.8 million in its opening weekend. The Ivan Reitman-directed movie follows the general manager of the Cleveland Browns as he juggles the NFL draft and a series of personal crises.
In its fourth weekend, “Divergent” saw its box office fall 42 percent to $7.5 million, bringing its cumulative domestic haul to $124.9 million.
Paramount’s “Noah,” the Old Testament-inspired epic starring Russell Crowe, dropped from No. 2 to No. 6 with $7.5 million. The movie has grossed $84.9 million domestically.
“God’s Not Dead,” another faith-based movie, earned $5.5 million over the weekend, bringing its total to $40.7 million. The drama was made for an estimated $2 million.
Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” grossed $4.1 million, taking its cumulative domestic gross to just under $40 million. Disney’s “Muppets Most Wanted” brought in $2.2 million over the weekend.