The new film, which has received generally favorable reviews, is expected to gross $90 million or more through Sunday, according to those who have seen pre-release audience surveys, almost certainly making it the biggest debut of the year thus far.
A $10.2-million Thursday night result puts "The Winter Soldier" ahead of tentpoles including the
December's "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" launched with $8.8 million on its first Thursday and posted a $74-million opening weekend.
The record for the year's biggest bow is currently held by Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures for
"The Winter Soldier" could also break the record for the biggest April debut ever, not adjusting for inflation. To do so, it would need to outperform 2011's