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Weekend box office: Captain America: Civil War leads, Money Monster solid

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Zade Rosenthal; Atsushi Nishijima

Though Money Monster debuted to a solid $15 million gross over its first three days of release, the race for the weekend box office throne wasn’t even close as Captain America: Civil War led for the second week in a row with an estimated $72.56 million.

Dipping 59 percent from its $179 million debut, Civil War fell slightly harder than its predecessor, The Winter Soldier (59 percent to 56 percent, respectively), but after 10 days of release, the third installment is already the top earner ($295 million domestic and counting) among the Captain America film series. Comparably, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, which also featured an ensemble cast of Marvel superheroes, similarly slipped 59 percent from its $191 million premiere in 2015, though Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice plunged over 69 percent after its $166 million opening in March.

Accounting for Civil War‘s most recent weekend gross, the film now stands at $940 million globally, which brings the Marvel Cinematic Universe past the $10 billion mark after releasing 13 films over the last nine years.

Despite losing 174 screens, Disney’s The Jungle Book ensured the studio held the top two spots at the box office for the second weekend in a row, adding an estimated $17.76 million to its domestic total, pushing the adventure picture past the $300 million mark after five weeks in release. As of May 15, The Jungle Book has grossed an estimated $840 million worldwide.

Following a lukewarm critical reception (but a sustained standing ovation at its Cannes premiere on Thursday) Sony’s Money Monster premiered in third place, marking star Julia Roberts’ highest opening weekend in over four years with an estimated $15 million from 3,104 screens, finishing just shy of the $18.1 million debut of her Mirror Mirror in 2012. It’s also the highest gross across a weekend frame for director Jodie Foster, whose biggest box-office success as a filmmaker remains Little Man Tate, which grossed $25 million ($34 million, adjusted for inflation) in 1991.

After rising from $8 million to $11 million across its first and second windows, Garry Marshall’s Mother’s Day dove way down to an estimated $3.26 million this weekend for a No. 5 finish, bringing the film’s cumulative total to roughly half of the $56 million opening the director’s first holiday-themed romantic comedy, Valentine’s Day, grossed in 2010. Rounding out the top 5 is Blumhouse’s The Darkness, released under the new BH Tilt label as part of the production company’s ongoing experimental model involving an inexpensive, digital-heavy marketing campaign aimed squarely at attracting die-hard genre fans to select titles. The strategy seems to have paid off, as the film opened at the top end of modest expectations to the tune of $5.19 million (with a 53 percent female, 55 percent under-25 audience base) despite a low C grade on CinemaScore.

May 13-15 weekend box office estimates:

1. Captain America: Civil War – $72.56 million

2. The Jungle Book – $17.76 million

3. Money Monster – $15 million

4. The Darkness – $5.19 million

5. Mother’s Day – $3.26 million

Outside the top 10, in limited release A24’s The Lobster, which debuted at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival before traveling the fall festival circuit with stops at TIFF and the NYFF, scored $188,195 from four screens, with a $47,049 per-screen average. This makes the film the highest specialty opening of 2016 thus far, ahead of both Midnight Special ($38,002 from five screens in March) and Green Room ($29,328 from three screens in April). The Lobster will expand to more theaters throughout the month, opening in wide release on May 27.