It will be a close race this weekend between Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and Captain America: The First Avenger. For starters, Potter was extremely frontloaded (means people rushed to see it) last weekend so I’m expecting a heavy drop, that could leave an opening for Cap to take the top spot, but I wouldn’t put money on either of them.
Looking at weekdays, we can see Potter lost some steam so with a bit of math and based on how previous Potter movies performed in the same time slot, I could pinpoint with some accuracy the expected gross this weekend. The only variable that I can’t predict is how 3D will affect things but as it stands, if Potter makes $11 million on Thursday, then it should gross $49 million over the weekend. If 10 million is the Thursday take, then Potter will be somewhere around $44 million. These do seem like small numbers coming after a $169 million opening weekend, but in reality they are as low as Potter will make over the next 3 days. So the sky is the limit, it might gross $45 million or it might as well make $60 million, just that $45m is the more grounded in reality number.
Now Captain America: The First Avenger, opening in 3715 theaters, could be anywhere between $45 and $60 million. Reviews are good (70% on Rotten Tomatoes) and it might take it out of the park and blow my expectations. As it stands, I’m more inclined to take such a retro superhero with a grain of salt. I will watch it and I’m sure I’ll enjoy Captain America quite a lot. On a $140 million budget, Cap needs to gross as much as possible in North America for Marvel to even consider making a sequel. You see, a movie called Captain America is not going to break any records internationally and this needs to make at least $300 million worldwide.
Another new release this weekend is Friends with Benefits, coming in 2926 theaters. Considering this is the 5th high profile R-rated comedy of the past 2 months, you’d think audiences are starting to grow tired of them but you know what they say: “if it’s good, they will come”. Reviews are okay on Rotten Tomatoes (64%) and the previews make it look like a decent date movie so I’m expecting $20 something million, maybe a bit more. Either way this is going to be in 3rd place.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon is up against Horrible Bosses for 4th place, both should finish with around $12 million.
Next week Cowboys & Aliens are going at it, Crazy, Stupid Love is a PG-13 comedy for a change and The Smurfs will be ready to destroy some more childhood memories. Never a dull moment in Hollywood, for all the wrong reasons.