Brazilian filmmaker Carlos Saldanha's Rio 2 is expected to gross $40 million to $45 million in its North America debut, putting it in a close race with holdover Captain America: The Winter Soldier for the top perch at the box office.
The 3D animated family film hopes to parrot the success of Rio, which grossed $484.6 million worldwide and launched a new franchise for Saldanha, Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios.Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway return as the voice leads in the sequel, which opens exactly three years after the first movie took in $39 million on its first weekend domestically.
This time out, parrots Blu (Eisenberg) and Jewel (Hathaway) and their three offspring strike out on a trip to the Amazon rainforest with their owners, Linda (Leslie Mann) and Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro). The voice cast also sees the return of will.i.am, Jamie Foxx, George Lopez, Tracy Morgan. New voice cast members include Andy Garcia, Bruno Mars, Kristin Chenoweth and Rita Moreno.
Disney and Marvel's Captain America 2 made history last weekend when debuting to $95 million, the top April opening of all time in the U.S. Through Wednesday, the superhero tentpole has grossed $113 million in North America and easily north of $350 million worldwide. As with Rio 2, the Marvel sequel is expected to take in between $40 million and $45 million this weekend domestically.