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Weekend Estimates: Captain America Neck-and-Neck with Thor for Superhero Honors

July 24th, 2011

After last week's fireworks, this weekend was another good one for the industry thanks to a better-than-expected opening for Captain America: The First Avenger. The superhero movie is set to gross about $65.8 million at the box office this weekend, which is almost exactly the same as Thor's $65.7 million opening back in May. Captain's estimate does rely on a slightly better Sunday than Thor, so it might not quite top the list of superhero opening weekends in 2011, but the difference will basically be a rounding error. What was billed as a potentially close race for top spot this weekend turned in to a very one-sided battle, with Deathly Hallows dropping a steep 72% from its massive opening to an estimated $48.1 million. $274 million after 10 days is still a best for the franchise, however.

In third place, Friends with Benefits posted a very respectable $18.5 million, also basically in line with its obvious comparison opening: the $19.7 million debut of No Strings Attached in January. The close contest most likely reflects the fact that romantic comedy audiences are interested more in the attractiveness of, and chemistry between, the leads than in how original the plot is.

In limited release, Sarah's Key and Another Earth both enjoyed excellent opening weekends with Sarah averaging a little over $20,000 and Earth averaging a little under $20,000. Myth of the American Sleepover also performed well for IFC Films with an estimated $8,700 in a single theater.

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II, Captain America: The First Avenger, Friends with Benefits, Elle s'appelait Sarah, Another Earth, Myth of the American Sleepover