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Box Office: ‘Captain America’ Celebrates an All-American Superhero Victory

He might not be the richest Avenger. It’s pretty hard to compete with the billions upon billions Tony Stark living on, but Captain America does hold the 2011 title. At least for opening weekend numbers. Captain America: The First Avenger topped Thor by just over $100,000 to have the biggest opening for a super hero movie this Summer. Yeah, that’s a pretty in-depth quantifier that only puts it in contention with three other movies, but when those movies are Thor ($65.7m opening), X-Men: First Class ($55.1m opening), and Green Lantern ($53.1m opening), you can go ahead and hand out the bragging rights. Of course, The First Avenger came nowhere near the opening numbers for either of the Iron Man movies, and Marvel and Disney may start moving towards pimping Robert Downey, Jr. in their Avengers marketing if they want next Summer’s film to have massive numbers.

Thor wasn’t exactly a monster success for Marvel. It ended up bringing in $180.1m in domestic box office, another $265.9m in foreign sales. With a similar budget (between $140-150m), Marvel is probably hoping Captain America has better longevity than the God of Thunder. Their foreign sales probably won’t be comparable, so long-term domestic receipts are where they are most likely to make their money. It’s possible. With good word of mouth, the idea of seeing The Avengers teaser post credits, and with Cowboys and Aliens the only tent-pole blockbuster left this Summer, Captain America could keep its numbers high for at least a few more weeks.

But Harry Potter? What the hell happened? Down 71.6% from last weekend? Knocked out of the #1 spot? And I hear it’s just not working out with Ginny Weasley. Okay, that last part can’t be backed up with any facts, but Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 had a huge drop here its second weekend out. A lot of that can be chalked up to the lack of midnight showings Friday morning. That brought an additional $43.5m to its single-day take last Friday, $43.5m that couldn’t even be considered a factor here in its second weekend.

Still, Deathly Hallows Part 2 is finding its way onto several box office charts, usually sliding in for the #2 slot behind The Dark Knight. With this drop, it could take the film a bit longer to find its way to the #1 spot for 2011. Transformers: Dark of the Moon is still going relatively strong four weeks out. But barring another massive drop for its third weekend, it’s only a matter of time.

Weekly Midnight in Paris report: It actually went up this weekend, finding its way once again onto the top 10 charts. We’ll just say right now whatever Woody Allen has coming out next is going to be viewed as a disappointment. It’s just how the business operates.

Here’s how the weekend broke down:

  1. Captain America: The First Avenger – $65.8m NEW
  2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 – $48m (-71.6%) $274.1m total
  3. Friends with Benefits – $18.5m NEW
  4. Transformers: Dark of the Moon – $12m (-43.7%) $325.7m total
  5. Horrible Bosses – $11.7m (-34.1%) $82.4m total
  6. Zookeeper – $8.7m (-29.4%) $59.2m total
  7. Cars 2 – $5.7m (-31.9%) $176.4m total
  8. Winnie the Pooh – $5.1m (-34.6%) $17.5m total
  9. Bad Teacher – $2.6m (-49.5%) $94.3m total
  10. Midnight in Paris – $1.8m (+1.2%) $44.8m total

We didn’t get our second $200m weekend in a row like we had hoped. $179.9m is still a strong number, on the high end for Summer 2011 which had several $125-150m weekends. It’s all Harry Potter‘s fault. He dropped the ball here. What a dud that movie is.

He’ll be able to make it up to all of us next weekend, though. He and Captain America will have Cowboys, Aliens, Smurfs, and Ryan Gosling looking awesome – kind of a redundant statement – to compete with, though. My money’s on the aliens. Not the cowboys and never on the damn Smurfs.

We’ll be back on Thursday night to see how the weekend is shaping up.

Jeremy's been writing about movies for a good, 15 years, starting with the film review column of his high school newspaper. He stands proud as the first person in his high school to have seen (and recommend) Pulp Fiction. Jeremy went on to get a B.A. in Cinema and Photography with a minor in journalism. His experience and knowledge of film is aided by the list of 6600 films he has seen in his life (so far). Jeremy's belief is that there are no bad films, just unrealized possibilities. Except Batman and Robin. That shit was awful.

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