Marvel Studios’ Captain America: The Winter Soldier announced itself with an estimated $96.2m debut through Buena Vista that rewrote the record books for April opening weekends.

The debut couples with the $207.1m international running total for a powerhouse $303.3m global tally after 10 days to confirm the first blockbuster of the year, one month before the official start of summer season.

To make Disney executives’ day even better, the studio’s films have already grossed more than $1bn worldwide in 2014 as the total reached $1.211bn.

There were more Imax records too as the film generated $9.6m from 346 screens for a new April mark. The global take of $16.1m was also good enough for a new April record and beat Oblivion’s $7.62m for an early $19.4m running total.

Chris Evans stars in Winter Soldier opposite Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L Jackson, Robert Redford, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier boosted box office for the top 12 by 22.8% over the previous weekend and by 21% over the same session in 2013.

Paramount and Regency Enterprises’ Noah ranks second and stands at $72.3m after two weekends, while Summit’s Divergent in third place has amassed $114m through Lionsgate after three.

God’s Not Dead continued to be arguably the left-field performer of the year-to-date and climbed one place to number four in its third weekend after adding 580 for 1,758 sites. The $7.7m weekend take elevated the running total to $32.5m through Freestyle Releasing.

Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel is also cooking up a storm and climbed 268 venues to 1,263 and generated $6.3m for $33.4m after five sessions through Fox Searchlight.

Mr. Peabody & Sherman in seventh place crossed $100m in its fifth weekend through Fox as $5.3m boosted the score to $102.2m.

Jason Bateman’s Toronto 2013 hit Bad Words ranks number 11 through Focus Features and expanded by 232 to 1,074 sites and stands at $5.9m after four weekends.

A 24 opened Jonathan Glazer’s highly regarded Under The Skin starring Scarlett Johansson on $140,000 from four for a mesmerising $35,000 average. Lionsgate released the Halle Berry schizophrenia drama Frankie & Alice on $350,000 from 171 sites.

Cesar Chavez produced by Mexico’s Canana Films stands at $4.6m in 14th place after two weekends through Pantelion, the joint venture between Lionsgate and Mexico’s Grupo Televiso.

SPC’s The Raid 2 from Gareth Evans expanded by 19 to 26 sites in the second weekend, adding $143,000 for $364,000. Zeitgeist Film’s The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came To Eden debuted on $5,900 from a single theatre.

Searchlight released the dark comedy Dom Hemingway starring Jude Law in four theatres for $32,000.

This week’s wide releases are Fox’s Rio 2, Summit’s Kevin Costner football drama Draft Day through Lionsgate and horror film Oculus through Relativity Media.

Estimated Top 10 North America Apr 4-6 2014
Film (Dist) / Est wkd gross / Est total to date

1 (-) Captain America: The Winter Solider (Marvel Studios-Buena Vista) WDSMPI $96.2m –

2 (1) Noah (Paramount-Regency Enterprises) Paramount Pictures International $17m $72.3m

3 (2) Divergent (Summit-Lionsgate) Lionsgate International $13m $114m

4 (5) God’s Not Dead (Freestyle Releasing) $7.7m $32.5m

5 (6) The Grand Budapest Hotel (Fox Searchlight) Fox International $6.3m $33.4m

6 (3) Muppets Most Wanted (Buena Vista) WDSMPI $6.29m $42.1m

7 (4) Mr. Peabody & Sherman (DreamWorks Animation-Fox) Fox International $5.3m $102.2m

8 (7) Sabotage (Open Road) QED International $1.9m $8.8m

9 (8) Need For Speed (DreamWorks-Buena Vista) WDSMPI/Mister Smith $1.836m $40.8m

10 (10) Non-Stop (Universal) StudioCanal $1.827m $88.1m