He doesn’t fly. He doesn’t shoot beams out of his eyes. He doesn’t even have a cool shield to deflect negative outbursts in the comments section. He’s Captain Reject Report, and besides doing a modest job predicting the box office each week, he doesn’t really do much of anything. Not like that Captain America or the First Avenger, who I’m pretty sure are the same person. You never really see them in the same place at the same time. But they’re both bound to have a movie out this weekend that does blockbuster business. Will Captain America be able to put out the steam driving Harry Potter? We’ll look into that further below. Captain America might not be able to. The First Avenger? That’s another story entirely. Captain Reject Report? Not a chance in hell.
For nigh on four years, Marvel has been prepping fans for The Avengers movie, the superhero team-up picture that will combine the strengths of Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, and Captain America. While that movie isn’t hitting this weekend, the last brick in the road to it lands. Captain America: The First Avenger blasts its way into more than 3500 screens this weekend, and it’s outlook for the first three-day haul looks good. Of course, you can go by more than just the Avengers movies to determine what it’ll make, but probably don’t need to.
Chances are slim it’ll match the $98.6m Iron Man debuted with in 2008 let alone the $128.1m Iron Man 2 brought in last Summer. Captain America‘s opening looks to be more in the range of Thor ($65.7m) or The Incredible Hulk ($55.4m). It will likely beat out both of these, though it won’t be lucky enough to top $70m. For the most part, Captain America is still viewed as B-team superhero, and Chris Evans, comic book regular as he is becoming, is no Robert Downey Jr. Even without the record breaking numbers Iron Man or Iron Man 2 made, the reportedly $140m Captain America will have quite the stellar weekend full of all kinds of pomp and circumstance. Here. on July 22. If only there were a more patriotic day in July on which they could have released this movie. Oh, well.
You know who doesn’t hope this movie succeeds? Albert Pyun. His own Captain America movie from 1990 wasn’t exactly the barn-burner. But don’t take my word for it. See the trailer for yourself:
Even more of a triple threat than Albert Pyun is Justin Timberlake. At least that’s what I’ve heard about the guy. With Friends With Benefits, he takes on his first starring role alongside Mila Kunis. The R-rated comedy seems to be in the right Summer, though the star power might not catapult the film’s opening numbers to the likes of The Hangover, Bridesmaids, or even Bad Teacher. Bad Teacher opened with $31.6m and is very close to topping $100m domestic. You read that right. Still, Friends With Benefits seems the perfect candidate for a high teens opening. No Strings Attached opened with $19.6m earlier in the year, so we’ll just take that number and whittle it down a bit. Natalie Portman is kind of a bigger draw than Kunis. So says the mass audience. I don’t say that. They say that.
But really, neither Captain America nor Justin Timberlake’s abs seem to be a match for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2: Hufflepuff’s Revenge. Even if the film drops 60% from last weekend, it will still have a high $60m second weekend. That percentage is pretty high, especially with this being such a beloved cap to a beloved franchise. Expect Deathly Hallows Part 2 to make roughly another $80m this weekend, which will bring it very close to beating out Transformer: Dark of the Moon as the biggest movie of 2011. You know Michael Bay has never had the biggest movie of any year? Kind of makes the Neil Miller in all of us shed a tear, doesn’t it?
Train of thought. Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Cybertron entering Earth’s atmosphere. Another planet appearing just above our planet. Another Earth. See? Everything comes back to Britt Marling, something I’ve been saying all year. The indie sci-fi movie stars Marling as a woman who finds herself at a cross-roads in life just as a duplicate Earth has appeared in our Solar System. Robert Levin put the film at the top of his best of Sundance 2011 list. That’s good enough for me. Another Earth opens in New York and L.A.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 – $78.8m (-53.4%)
Captain America: The First Avenger – $66.4m NEW
Friends With Benefits – $19.2m NEW
Transformers: Dark of the Moon – $8.9m (-58%)
Horrible Bosses – $10.4m (-41.1%)
Zookeeper – $7.3m (-40.4%)
Cars 2 – $4.4m (-47%)
Winnie the Pooh -$5m (-35.5%)
Bad Teacher – $2.8m (-45%)
Larry Crowne – $1m (-58.7%)
What’s that? Two weekends in a row that top out over $200m? I know. The chances are like that snowball in hell, right? Still stranger things have happened. I mean Bad Teacher is about to break $100m domestic. Did I mention that already? The numbers could fluctuate. Even with estimates $12m apart, Captain America could wind up taking the top spot from Potter. It’s pretty uncertain this weekend. One thing is a certainty, though. Captain Reject Report? He just locked his keys in the car.
We’ll be back on Sunday to go over the weekend numbers.
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