Box Office: 'Rio 2,' 'Captain America: Winter Soldier' Remain in Close Race Friday

Zade Rosenthal/Marvel

The animated sequel and the superhero actioner are likely to both earn north of $40 million for the weekend.

Newcomer Rio 2 and holdover Captain America: The Winter Soldier are in a close race for the top spot at the box office, according to early returns, with both films likely to earn north of $40 million domestically. The animated film and the superhero actioner are on their way to grossing in the $10 million to $12 million range for Friday.

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Sequel Rio 2, directed by Brazilian filmmaker Carlos Saldanha, is likely to take in nearly $12 million Friday (including $375,000 from Thursday-night shows). The family film will do stronger business on Saturday as parents take their kids to the theaters for the weekend. Opening in 3,948 locations, the Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios project stars the voices of Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway.

The 3D animated film opens exactly three years after the first movie took in $39 million on its first weekend domestically and went on to earn a massive $484.6 million worldwide.

Rio 2's major competition comes from Marvel and Disney's Captain America sequel, starring Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson. The film, which should earn around $10 million Friday, made history last weekend when it debuted to $95 million, the top April opening of all time in the U.S.

The two other newcomers this weekend are Kevin Costner-starring football film Draft Day and horror movie Oculus, which are both looking toward a three-day domestic gross between $11 million and $14 million.

From Summit Entertainment, Ivan Reitman's drama Draft Day stars Costner as the general manager of the Cleveland Browns who attempts to land the No. 1 draft pick after a 13-year losing streak.

Opening in 2,781 theaters this weekend, Draft Day also stars Jennifer Garner, Denis Leary, Frank Langella, Sam Elliott and Sean Combs. Reitman's company, Montecito Pictures, produced the $25 million film with OddLot Entertainment.

Relativity is releasing Oculus, costing just $5 million to make, in association with Jason Blum's Blumhouse, MICA Entertainment and WWE Studios. Teaming for the first time, Relativity and Blumhouse acquired U.S. rights to Oculus at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival for $2.5 million.

The supernatural horror title stars Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites, Rory Cochrane and Katee Sackhoff.

Twitter: @Beccamford