Captain America: The First Avenger exceeded opening weekend expectations to easily win the race at the box office this weekend with $65.06 million. In the process, the big-budget superhero adaptation from Paramount and Marvel registered the second largest debut among this summer's four superhero adaptations. Thor, also from Paramount and Marvel, opened with a slightly larger $65.72 million back in May. However, it should be noted that with just 39 percent of its grosses coming from 3D, Captain America didn't receive as big of a boost as Thor did from 3D grosses (60 percent), which means it had more opening weekend admissions than Thor did.
Captain America skewed heavily towards male moviegoers (64 percent) and moviegoers over 25 (58 percent). While Captain America skewed towards adult moviegoers, it still skewed significantly stronger towards younger moviegoers than Thor did, which is a bit surprising given the 1940s setting of Captain America. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, Captain America generated the twelfth largest July debut of all-time. Unlike many of this summer's other big-budget tentpole releases, Captain America did not receive a significant international launch to coincide with its domestic launch. The film did open with $2.8 million in Italy and will open in a number of major international markets next weekend.
Warner's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II fell a massive 72 percent from last weekend's recording breaking opening weekend performance to finish in second this weekend with $47.42 million. In comparison, 2009's Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince fell 62 percent in its second weekend, though its second-weekend gross was a much softer $29.46 million. Deathly Hallows: Part II has grossed $273.54 million through ten days of release, which is places it 36 percent ahead of the pace of Half-Blood Prince and already makes it the second highest grossing domestic film of 2011. Deathly Hallows: Part II registered the second largest ten-day start of all-time, behind only 2008's The Dark Knight.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II held up stronger internationally, where it fell 62 percent this weekend. The film grossed $120.2 million from 59 foreign territories, which brings its international total to $559.0 million and worldwide total to $832.5 million. Key international grosses this weekend included $13.7 million in the United Kingdom, $13.3 million in Germany, $10.8 million in France, $8.6 million in Japan and $8.5 million in Australia.
Friends With Benefits debuted in third place as was widely expected, but with an opening weekend take of $18.62 million, the film did open slightly below its rising expectations. The R-rated comedy from Sony starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis opened 41 percent softer than the $31.60 million debut of Sony's recent Bad Teacher, which also featured Timberlake, and 5 percent below the $19.65 million start of the similarly themed No Strings Attached earlier in the year.
On the positive side of things, Friends With Benefits held up well for a romantic comedy (in the summer) as the weekend went on. With an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.74 to 1, the film could hold up fairly well going forward. Friends With Benefits skewed towards female moviegoers (62 percent) and moviegoers 25 and older (56 percent). The film's opening weekend demographic breakdowns were nearly identical to those for Bad Teacher last month.
After taking a significant hit from Harry Potter last week, Paramount's Transformers: Dark of the Moon was able to stabilize a bit this weekend. The 3D blockbuster sci-fi action film took fourth place with $12.05 million, which was down a solid 43 percent from the previous frame. Dark of the Moon has grossed $325.84 million in 26 days of release, which places its current domestic lead over Deathly Hallows: Part II at $52.30 million. Internationally, Dark of the Moon grossed $62 million from 60 territories this weekend, with a record breaking $40 million debut in China driving that figure. With an international total of $556.6 million, Dark of the Moon is now Paramount's highest grossing international film of all-time. The film's worldwide total stands at $882.4 million.
Warner's Horrible Bosses and Sony's Zookeeper both continued to hold up nicely this weekend. Horrible Bosses fell 33 percent to take fifth with $11.88 million, while Zookeeper fell just 29 percent to land in sixth with $8.70 million. Respective 17-day totals stand at an impressive $82.57 million for Horrible Bosses and at a so-so $59.21 million for Zookeeper.
Additional reporting by Phil Contrino.
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