"Noah" stormed the box office over the weekend, debuting at #1 domestically with $44 million. As Russell Crowe enjoyed his biggest opening ever in a lead role, Arnold Schwarzenegger suffered his lowest since leaving office as California's governor. Schwarzenegger's ultra-violent "Sabotage" flopped harder than "The Last Stand" and "Escape Plan," opening at #7 with just $5.3 million
Despite controversy regarding the film's relation to its source material, "Noah" received a 75 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes and made roughly $10 million more than most industry watchers expected. About 14 percent of the domestic gross for "Noah" came from IMAX screenings. Darren Aronofsky's Biblical epic opened a week earlier overseas, where it has now made more than $51 million thus far.
"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" also opened a week ahead of its North American debut, grabbing $75.2 million. Coming on the heels of "Marvel's The Avengers," "Iron Man 3" and "Thor: The Dark World," Chris Evans' latest turn as the noble super-soldier is certain to overtake its predecessor, "Captain America: The First Avenger." Cap's inaugural adventure made $370.5 million around the world back in 2011.
"The Muppets" reboot landed in theaters the same year as the first "Captain America." While "Muppets Most Wanted" didn't debut nearly as well as its predecessor, it did better in its second weekend, collecting $11.4 million for a two-week total of $33.2 million (plus another $7.5 million overseas).
Any executives at Disney who may be disappointed with "Muppets Most Wanted" at the box office can surely sooth their sadness with this news: "Frozen" is now the biggest animated film of all time. The Mouse House of course owns Marvel and Pixar, but "Frozen" is Walt Disney Animation Studios' first billion-dollar blockbuster and the division's first Academy Award winner for Best Animated Feature. After kicking off with the biggest Thanksgiving debut of all time last year, "Frozen" had the longest consecutive run in the top 10 in over a decade. "Frozen" passed "Toy Story 3" over the weekend, with over $1.07 billion worldwide.
Disney owns six of the top 15 biggest movies (seven if "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace" counts): "Marvel's The Avengers" ($1.5 billion); "Iron Man 3" ($1.2 billion); "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" ($1.06 billion) and "On Stranger Tides" ($1.04 billion); "Toy Story 3" ($1.06 billion); and "Frozen."
Whether Cap will join his fellow Avenger, Iron Man, on that list remains to be seen, but "The Winter Soldier" will certainly dominate the coming weekend.