UK Box Office

With Easter this year falling three weeks later in the calendar than it did in 2013, cinemas have been slow to emerge out of the March doldrums. But now, finally, a strong crop of commercially appealing titles is kicking fresh life into the market. Topping the official chart is Rio 2, with £2.88m including previews of £703,000 – a significant improvement on the original Rio‘s debut, which was a weak £1.52m including previews of £109,000. Rio went on to a healthy lifetime gross of £13.56m thanks to a sustained run through April 2011 and beyond. With no strong competition coming in against Rio 2 – unless you count animationKhumba: A Zebra’s Tale – the animated sequel may achieve a similar feat of longevity.

Link to video: Anne Hathaway on Rio 2: ‘You’re jumping around like an idiot trying to make it sound good’

The real winner

If previews are left out of the picture, and looking at grosses just for the Friday-to-Sunday play period, the real chart topper is once againCaptain America: The Winter Soldier, with weekend takings of £2.76m. Dropping a mild 34% from the previous frame, the Marvel picture has now grossed £10.93m here, which puts it ahead of the £9.5m lifetime total for the first Captain America.

Link to video: Captain America: The Winter Soldier: ‘A crisis of identity isn’t the best place to start a relationship’

With kids now on holiday for Easter, both Rio 2 and The Winter Soldier should see solid returns every day for the next two weeks. The same can be said for Muppets Most Wanted, which has just posted weekend takings a slim 24% down on its opening session, and has cumed £3.51m to date.

The Winter Soldier is so far running at 78% of the pace set by Thor: The Dark World, indicating a £15-16m total by the end of its run. However, since the Captain America film seems to be decaying at a slower rate than the Thor sequel, it might well improve on that forecast.

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