Friday Report: 'Captain America' Leads, 'Harry Potter' Bleeds

by Brandon Gray
Captain America: The First Avenger

July 23, 2011

Despite being the last to strike, the most famous superhero of Summer 2011's comic-book onslaught delivered the best opening salvo of the bunch, while the wizard wunderkind's last stand fell prey to the adage, "the bigger they are, the harder they fall."

Captain America: The First Avenger made an estimated $25.8 million on approximately 7,100 screens at 3,715 locations, edging out fellow Avenger Thor's $25.5 million to top the summer's superhero launches. In terms of estimated attendance, though, Captain's first day was comparable to G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra but less than Fantastic Four and X-Men among past July Marvel Comics kick-offs. Captain's run included 2,511 locations presenting the movie in the 3D illusion, and 3D accounted for 40 percent of the gross. Distributor Paramount Pictures' exit polling indicated that 64 percent of the Captain's crowd was male (about the same as Thor) and 57 percent was 25 years of age and older (skewing younger than Thor's 72 percent).

If Captain America sees a trajectory like past comparable movies, its weekend would land in the $63-68 million range.

Plummeting 84 percent from last Friday's record, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II was a distant second with an estimated $14.6 million. The Friday-to-Friday fall was far more severe than past opening weekend record breakers The Dark Knight (65 percent), Spider-Man 3 (71 percent) and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (67 percent) and by far the worst yet for a Harry Potter movie. However, that spoke more to the fan frenzy of opening day than to the fans' reaction to the movie, and, with a whopping $240.7 million tally in eight days, Deathly Hallows Part 2 was still the fastest-grossing Potter yet, topping Deathly Hallows Part I's $190.8 million eight-day run. In fact, Deathly Hallows Part 2 posted the second highest-grossing eight-day opening ever, behind The Dark Knight's $261.8 million, and it ranked fifth in estimated attendance.

Meanwhile, Friends with Benefits got off to an estimated $6.8 million start on around 3,500 screens at 2,926 locations. That was a tad less than fellow "friends-with-benefits" sex comedy No Strings Attached's $7.3 million back in January.

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Related Stories:
Forecast: 'Captain America' Could Top the Mighty 'Potter'
'Potter' Posts Third-Biggest Seven-Day Gross Ever

Related Charts:
Grosses for Friday, July 22, 2011
All-Time 8-day Day Openings
'Harry Potter' Franchise

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