19 April 2014 9:17 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Disney-Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” eked out a small lead over Fox’s “Rio 2” at the Friday box office. The superhero pic looks to win the weekend in this year’s second three-peat (after “The Lego Movie”).

The “Captain America” sequel earned $9.6 million, just over the animated movie’s $9.2 million, which should keep growing as kids hit theaters over the Easter weekend.

Warner Bros.’ new entry “Transcendence” was no match for the epic battle of the sequels, the second tightest race of the year following last weekend’s close showdown. The Johnny Depp-starrer came in at a disappointing fourth place with $4.8 million, making it the actor’s fourth flop in a row. Another newcomer, Sony’s “Heaven Is for Real” exceeded expectations by rising to $7.9 million.

With a cume of $184.5 million, “The Winter Soldier” overlapped its predecessor, “The First Avenger,” which hauled in $176.7 million domestically in its lifetime. »


- Maane Khatchatourian

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