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‘Captain America’ Makes Stars and Stripes More than ‘Harry’

Captain America concluded the run of superhero movies in 2011 with a consistent opening rather than a big bang. Nevertheless, its $65.8 million opening was good enough to best Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, which commanded $48 million in its second weekend (having bled more than 70 percent from last week).

Compared with fellow Avenger Thor, Captain America snuck into highest superhero opener of the year over the Asgardian’s $65.7 million start. Among other comparable titles, X-Men: First Class opened at $55.1 million without the help of 3D and Green Lantern opened with the least fanfare at only $53.1 million even with 3D price inflation.

Friends with Benefits launched at a respectable $18.5 million on the heels of its likeable stars and high marks from critics. Your Player Affinity hosts of The Plot Hole movie podcast discussed their opinions of each film’s plots, execution and standing in relation to their sub-genre on Episode 15 (see www.playeraffinity.com/podcast every Tuesday night).

Transformers: Dark of the Moon has reached $325 million domestic, though “Harry Potter” is nipping its heels at $274 million. Overseas, ”Harry” earned $560 million while the robots just fell short with $556 million. Undoubtedly, “Harry Potter” will eclipse “Transformers” within a week. Both movies will predictably finish out as the highest grossing films of the year along with Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

The Top Ten

1.  Captain America - $65.8M (weekend)…$65.8M (gross)
2.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 - $48.0M…$274.1M
3.  Friends with Benefits - $18.5M…$18.5M
4.  Transformers: Dark of the Moon - $12.0M…$325.7M
5.  Horrible Bosses - $11.7M…$82.4M
6.  Zookeeper - $8.7M…$59.2M
7.  Cars 2 - $5.7M …$176.4M
8.  Winnie the Pooh - $5.1M…$17.5M
9.  Bad Teacher - $2.6M…$94.3M
10. Midnight in Paris - $1.8M …$44.8M 

Aside from a certain wizard, the majority on the charts dropped in the 20-30 percent range this weekend. The only exception was Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, which continues its quiet reign in the tenth spot and actually gained attendance this weekend. The small independent picture has now earned $44.8 million.

Next weekend, three movies invade theaters including little blue people. The Smurfs make their big screen debut on 3,200 screens. The little guys will be doing all sorts of smurfy stuff in New York City. Animation has not been a draw this summer however; the smurfs have history in their corner. The largest opener is Cowboys & Aliens starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford. Although marketing has been steady and consistently focused on the big action, the concept is hard to swallow.

Finally, Crazy, Stupid, Love, a Warner Brother’s comedy will take the backseat on 2,900 screens. The film features an all-star cast, however, romantic comedies are not first-place holders in blockbuster season. Look for Cowboys & Aliens to top the weekend in the $30-$40 million range with The Smurfs on its tail in second. The rom-com is anyone’s guess. Make your prediction on Box Office Wizard every Friday right here at Player Affinity.


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