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Whisper Numbers: Captain America targets Harry Potter

Paramount releases its second Marvel superhero film this summer with Captain America: The First Avenger [CAPAM] starring Chris Evans [CEVAN], who previously put on the spandex as The Human Torch in the Fantastic Four series. While that’s a distant memory for moviegoers, this summer’s three previous superhero films, Thor, X-Men: First Class and Green Lantern, are still fresh on their minds. That could lead to some attrition from the broader general audience. The PG-13 rated film also got a late start on the marketing front relative to its brethrens. However, comic fans will still turn out for what is the final lead-up to next summer’s The Avengers [AVNGR]. Early reviews are excellent, which could bring out older males that enjoy an old-fashioned action adventure set during World War II. Thor’s $65.7 million opening during a less competitive slot may be out of reach, but the poorly received Green Lantern’s $53.2 million should be attainable. In a close battle with Harry Potter for first place, Captain America could knock out $59 million from 3715 locations.

With its fanbase saturating the box office, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 [HPOT8] set the new record for biggest opening weekend ever. The higher debut however means the final film will be headed for a harder fall the second time around. Previous Potter films have dropped more than 60% during their second weekend. Deathly Hallows, Part 2 is expected to tumble even further, perhaps even more than 65%, which would result in roughly $56 million.

Justin Timberlake [JTIMB] and Mila Kunis [MKUNI] topline Sony’s Friends with Benefits [FWBFT], the second R-rated romantic comedy this year about a couple having sex with No Strings Attached. That Ashton Kutcher [AKUTC] and Natalie Portman [NPORT] film debuted at $19.7 million in January. With a summer release date, Friends with Benefits should get a boost from a bigger movie-going crowd. In addition, the appealing Timberlake and Kunis have both been promoting tirelessly, which should overcome the similarities between the two films. Friends with Benefits could even rub off the success of the 4-week-old Bad Teacher also starring Timberlake. Opening in 2926 theaters, Friends with Benefits may gross $25 million.

With new competition from Captain America on top of Harry Potter, Transformers: Dark of the Moon [TFRM3] is poised to drop about 50% to $11 million in its fourth frame.

That’s the whisper from the trading floor.



Tag(s): CAPAM, CEVAN, AVNGR, HPOT8, JTIMB, MKUNI, FWBFT, AKUTC, NPORT, TFRM3

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By Box Office Whisperer on Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 04:10 PM 3621 views

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