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Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Rio 2 will likely face a close race to the top spot of the weekend box office as both are projected to earn close to $46 million.
For Friday, studio estimates have both films earning north of $10 million, with The Winter Soldier barely winning out with likely earnings of $13.2 million. Variety reports Rio 2 will probably earn up to $12.5 million.
If the animated bird adventure manages to earn anywhere close to the projections, it will have exceeded the first film's opening weekend, which was $39.3 million, back in 2011. Rio 2 is already doing well in the international box office with $60 million, and that doesn't count some of the larger overseas markets where it begins to rollout this weekend.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Rio 2 earned $375,000 from late Thursday showings and though it had a strong Friday, it could have an even better Saturday and Sunday as parents and kids flock to the theater.
Draft Day and Oculus both also open this weekend at the box office and estimates have the film earning around $12 million each. Neither will compete for the top two spots, but could have a decent opening, especially horror film Oculus which was cheap, costing only $5 million.