‘Captain America’ Latest Superhero to Open at Number One!

How appropriate that the week of the massive Comic-Con convention in San Diego that a superhero takes the weekend.  In a box office battle, newcomer and the latest superhero to enter the Summer Movie Sweepstakes, Paramount’s Captain America: The First Avenger challenged returning champion Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 from Warner Bros. and came out on top.  Superheroes have certainly made their mark at the box office with “Thor,” X-Men: First Class, Green Lantern and even Green Hornet all debuting to number one this year.  Captain America has carried on the tradition with a solid $65.8 million debut in first place.  This is a nearly identical opening to Paramount’s Thor which debuted with $65.7 million to kick off the summer season back in early May.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 in its first weekend made box office history setting a new record for the best all-time debut in North America with $169.2 million and smashing international, worldwide and IMAX records as well.  A 72% drop gives the global juggernaut $48.065 million in its second weekend of release (including $5.5 million in IMAX with a per-screen avg. of $20K) and has conjured up a domestic total of nearly $275 million after just 10 days of release.  Potter 7.2’s global performance this week pushed the total gross of the eight films over the $7 billion mark and further solidifies Potter as the biggest franchise in movie history.

If four R-rated summer comedies are good (think Bridesmaids, The Hangover Part II, Bad Teacher and Horrible Bosses), then five are better with Sony’s Friends with Benefits starring Justin Timberlake and the red hot Mila Kunis becoming the fifth adult-oriented edgy comedy to hit theaters since the start of the season.  “Friends” hooked up with the date crowd in this platonic meets erotic tale to the tune of $18.5 million this weekend.  

Global juggernaut “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” from Paramount showed a certain R-rated comedy who’s boss this weekend.  With worldwide totals approaching the $800 million mark this Optimus-Opus was primed for a fourth weekend gross of $12 million.  The film became the first film released in 2011 to cross the $300 million mark and will be north of $325 million by the end of the weekend.

Warner Bros.’ R-rated comedy “Horrible Bosses” had a solid second weekend hold of just 37% and the film continues to generate strong word-of-mouth in its third weekend on the unemployment line.  The buddy revenge fantasy will likely collected $11.7 million against a mere 34% drop on its way past $80 million in total domestic revenue by Sunday night.

This is the second consecutive “up” weekend as the summer movie season of 2011 moves ahead of 2010’s revenues and attendance by 2.20% and 0.67% respectively.

Next week we expect another strong weekend with three wide release newcomers including Universal’s Cowboys & Aliens, Warner Bros. Crazy, Stupid, Love. and Sony’s The Smurfs in 3-D.

Weekend Box-Office

Top Movies – For Weekend of July 22, 2011 (Estimates)

    Movie     Weekend Gross     Total to Date

1     Captain America: The First Avenger (PG-13)     $65.8M     $65.8M

2     Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (PG13)     $48.1M     $274.2M

3     Friends With Benefits (R)     $18.5M     $18.5M

4     Transformers: Dark of the Moon (PG13)     $12.0M     $325.8M

5     Horrible Bosses (R)     $11.7M     $82.4M