BOX OFFICE

Two heavy hitting sequels duked it out for first place, with a superhero musclebound beating out a bunch of animated birds.

While those big budget franchises battled, however, a critically acclaimed horror movie, Oculus, stole some of their thunder.

The star-spangled Avenger hurled his shield at the domestic box office this weekend, knocking 2011's Fast Five from its perch as the biggest April opening of all time (not adjusted for inflation).

Let's not bury the lead: a Darren Aronofsky movie opened at the top of the box office this weekend.

Noah, an Old Testament epic from the auteur, provided Russell Crowe with the biggest debut of his career as a leading man, earning an estimated $44.0 million from 3,567 locations in North America.

A year from now, we'll be talking about the debut of Insurgent, because the much-hyped Divergent just opened strong enough in North America to suggest that Lionsgate's long-term sequel plans stay in place.

While the YA adaptation starring Shailene Woodley had the second-strongest debut weekend of the year so far, Muppets Most Wanted opened to smaller numbers.  And once again, a film aimed right at a Christian audience posted strong numbers, as God's Not Dead opened strong.

Hey marshmallows, the Veronica Mars movie managed to crack the top ten.

Speaking of exceptional motion pictures that show up on the domestic box office toppers despite playing in a minute fraction of the theaters as, say Mr. Peabody & Sherman, Wes Anderson's latest, The Grant Budapest Hotel, also made a huge impression in limited release.

Yes, the big news this weekend concerns films on the back half of the top ten.  Up top, the animated adventures of a genius dog and adopted human jumped from second to first, swapping places with 300: Rise of an Empire and consigning new release Need for Speed to third place.

America got a big dose of shredded abs and speed-ramping this weekend thanks to 300: Rise of an Empire.

After three weeks atop the box office heap, The Lego Movie has finally ceded first place at the domestic box office.

In its place is Liam Neeson's latest turn as a gun-toting harass, Non-Stop, followed in second by the Christian drama Son of God.

3 Days to Kill outpaced its fellow new releases this weekend, debuting in second place on the domestic box office chart.

This year, romance was spelled L.E.G.O.

Even with three eighties remakes and one misguided novel adaptation seeking to take advantage of the holiday weekend, The Lego Movie once again topped the domestic box office.

Of the new releases, About Last Night fared best, while RoboCop couldn't quite find too many moviegoers who'd buy that for a dollar, Endless Love proved somewhat limited, and Winter's Tale failed to attract riders for its winged horse.

Expect a whole  lot more animated movies based on toys over the next few years, because The Lego Movie just opened big.

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