July 24, 2011


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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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>Based on Friday and Saturday box office (and estimated Sunday numbers), Captain America opens at #1 this weekend with almost $66 million, a slightly higher estimate than we had yesterday.  Friends with Benefits opens at #3 with $18.5 million.  Declining an eye-popping 72%, the final Harry Potter slide to #2 with $48 million.    

The ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Final estimates now show that Captain America: The First Avenger is headed for $193 million, while Friends with Benefits is on pace for $69 million.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 has been adjusted down to $370 million.  Horrible Bosses has been upgraded again to $120 million, and Zookeeper was bumped up again to $83 million.         

Based on Friday and Saturday actual numbers and studio estimates for Sunday, Captain America will average a solid $17,719 per theater at 3,715 theaters (for $65.8 million from Friday-Sunday).  Friends with Benefits opened with an average $6,323 at 2,926 theaters ($18.5 million).   

The second week decline for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (-72%) is staggering, though remember it is falling from the #1 opening weekend of all time so the absolute dollars in play are still significant.  The other declines, however, are quite moderate.   

July 22-24, 2011                    Wknd     vs     Showbuzz
(millions)                         Studio   Last    Domestic
                                    Proj.   Wknd     Final*
Captain America           (Par)     $65.8             $193
Harry Potter 8             (WB)     $48.1   -72%      $370–
Friends with Benefits    (Sony)     $18.5             $ 69
Horrible Bosses            (WB)     $11.7   -34%      $120
Transformers 3         (Par/DW)     $12.0   -44%      $372

Zookeeper                (Sony)     $ 8.7   -29%      $ 83
Cars 2                    (Dis)     $ 5.7   -32%      $193
Winnie the Pooh           (Dis)     $ 5.1   -35%      $ 34
Bad Teacher              (Sony)     $ 2.6   -50%      $103
Midnight in Paris        (Sony)     $ 1.9   + 1%      $ 50

Note: The table above summarizes the weekend as of Sunday.  The first column (on which the table is sorted) displays the “studio projection” for each film, based on the Friday and Saturday actual numbers (and a studio-supplied estimate of Sunday).  The second column is the percent decline from the prior weekend.  The final column is a preliminary estimate of the ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Total Gross for the film’s complete run in North America.  A “++” indicates the Domestic number has been upgraded; a “–” indicates a downgrade.  


Captain America vs Thor

Captain America and its estimated $65.8 million opening weekend is looking like it will edge out the reigning superhero champ this summer, Thor, by a mere $100,000.  Captain had a slight edge Friday, while Thor had the better Saturday (although both movies declined on their second day).  The studios are forecasting a better Sunday for Captain America than Thor — but it really could go either way.  Precise and final figures for bragging rights will be available Monday.     

(millions)          Friday    Saturday    Sunday  Opening Wknd
Thor                $25.5      $23.3      $16.9      $65.8
Captain America     $25.7      $21.9      $18.2      $65.7

Total Box Office Volume

The Top 12 Films this weekend are looking like $183 million total, up 18% from the same calendar weekend last year when Salt and Ramona & Beezus opened.  The full week (Monday through Sunday) looks like it will be up 11% from the same week last year.  

Top 12 Films: Weekend #29

2011  $183  (
+14% vs 2007-10 average; +18% vs 2010) 

Avg   $161  
            Movies Opening That Weekend
2010  $155  Salt $36, Ramona & Beezus $8    

2009  $142  G-Force $32, The Ugly Truth $28, Orphan $13
2008  $174  Step Brothers $31, X-Files: I Want to Believe $10
2007  $172  
The Simpsons Movie $74, No Reservations $12Next Weekend

Next Weekend
To see the original Weekend Predictions click here.  International numbers will be posted as soon as possible, and Monday we will have official numbers for the Friday-Sunday domestic grosses.

About the Author

Mitch Metcalf
MITCH METCALF has been tracking every US film release of over 500 screens (over 2300 movies and counting) since the storied weekend of May 20, 1994, when Maverick and Beverly Hills Cop 3 inspired countless aficionados to devote their lives to the art of cinema. Prior to that, he studied Politics and Economics at Princeton in order to prepare for his dream of working in television. He has been Head of West Coast Research at ABC, then moved to NBC in 2000 and became Head of Scheduling for 11 years.