|1||Captain America: The First Avenger||$1,350,000|
|3||Kung Fu Panda 2||$539,000||-51%|
|4||Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2||$464,100||-49%|
|6||Cars 2||$125,000 (sp)||-38%|
Captain America looks to complete the box office grand slam as it tries to go 4/4 with superhero movies opening at #1 this year. It'll have some stiff competition from The Smurfs though as it looks to attract audiences that turned out for Mr. Popper's Penguins. Captain America is the last of the superhero movies being churned out before the release of The Avengers next summer and is looking to one up its fellow comrades by dethroning X-Men: First Class for the biggest superhero opening of 2011. Fatigue has not set in from the onslaught of superhero movies yet and openings here have been more or less consistent. All of the other 3 superhero films benefited from 3D grosses and this should be the most profitable as the character is well known here and marketing has been very strong. Pre-sales so far have been very good with it outselling The Smurfs in the majority of theaters even with Smurfs having advanced ticketing for 2 weeks. The 2D version should help to bring in a few more eyeballs allowing it to push past Thor's and X-Men: First Class's openings. An opening of $1.35m should result given the strong pre-selling and 2 versions. It doesn't have quite the appeal of Kung Fu Panda 2 or Harry Potter but strong support from superhero fans will carry this over the 1m mark.
The Smurfs will take charge of the kiddie market this weekend as it looks to steal away audiences from Kung Fu Panda 2 and provide some counterprogramming with Captain America expecting to take charge. It will be quite the counterprogramming movie as it looks to entice kids that came out for Mr. Popper's Penguins. Smurfs pre-sales so far have been acceptable but they are not selling as fast as Captain America's. This movie also doesn't have the appeal that Kung Fu Panda 2 does so some couples might skip out on this one. Originally contemplating that this wouldn't break 1m after its move to August 4, I reconsidered after Mr. Popper's Penguins opening weekend gross. This is the type of movie that will play very well to kids but also to couples, albeit not to the extent of Kung Fu Panda 2 or Toy Story 3. With 3D charges, this should be able to gross more than Mr. Popper's Penguins unless if a meltdown occurs on the weekend. I'll predict a somewhat pessimistic 1m on this one. This number can certainly go higher if weekend numbers are strong. We could see Smurfs overtake Captain America in admissions on Saturday/Sunday.
Other openers such as Crayon Shin-chan: The Storm Called Operation Golden Spy and The Warring States won't do much. The last Shin-chan movie opened to just $66,000 in 21 theaters but this time it has a lot more competition with 5 other kids films in release (including Doraemon, Mr. Popper's Penguins) so theaters might not even show this due to the amount of saturation that has been met. Also, according to a fellow KJ poster, Corpse, he says that the 2010 film was the 30th anniversary of the series so this film should come in slightly weaker due to no milestone being broken. A $40,000 weekend sounds reasonable. The Warring States is only playing in a handful of theaters and should come in with about $6,000.
Kung Fu Panda 2 will relinquish control of being king at the box office to Captain America after spending 2 weeks on top. Its run so far has been disappointing to say the least and scheduling this week does not do it any favours. It will need very strong weekend numbers to avoid dropping less than 50% but The Smurfs + Cars 2 taking weekend showtimes will prevent it somewhat from doing so. Scheduling has so far favoured Harry Potter over Kung Fu Panda 2 at most places which means Kung Fu Panda 2 should see a bigger drop even though it's been playing better. Thursday and especially Friday looks to be its weakest days as most theaters are not giving this peak hour showtimes and instead leaving it for Captain America/Smurfs/Wu Xia and Harry Potter. Continued strong morning shows support and afternoons should prevent a huge drop even with the direct competition. A 51% drop would give it another weekend over $500,000 and about 4.5m total in 18 days.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is currently seeking the magic 10m number although it will be fairly difficult to achieve. It is still about 1.6m away after last weekend and will need very strong holds from this weekend onwards to have any shot. The problem though is that last weekend, it did not have a great hold, just ok. This weekend, theaters are being very nice and even playing this on the biggest screens over Captain America and The Smurfs during peak hours. It is not holding great though so 10m total is a toss up at this point. It should be able to avoid a 50% drop with its favourable scheduling but the weekend and 10m will hinge on its Saturday/Sunday. Last Saturday/Sunday, it played somewhat strongly but with the inclusion of another kids flick, theaters will be hard pressed to schedule this over the 3 kids films, Captain America and possibly Wu Xia, where they have to fulfill movie arrangements. A 49% drop will bring it to a 25-day total of about 9.2m.
Wu Xia will be the only non 3D release in the top 5 this weekend but it will be tough to gain any momentum as the 2 new openers will combine to make over 1.5m in business alone. Typically, martial arts flicks fall hard in its 2nd weekend and I don't see any difference here. The Lost Bladesman fell 72% in its 2nd weekend but it had a holiday on its opening Monday as support so the 2nd weekend drop is hugely inflated. I don't see Wu Xia falling close to that % number but it should be line with other drops of this type. -58% would give it about $215,000 for the weekend and about $850,000-$900,000 which would keep it slightly behind The Lost Bladesman.
Cars 2 will spend another weekend on the sidelines as it will have special screenings on Saturday/Sunday for a second time. It will be interesting to see how well it does normally because it won't be getting advanced ticketing treatment in its 2nd unofficial weekend. Also, smaller screens will play a role in deciding how big it drops but I think theaters will still give this the 2nd or 3rd biggest screens this weekend. How well it drops this weekend will have an incredible impact next weekend when theaters decide how many screens to give to Cars 2. Should it have a great drop, it will be beneficial for next week and should help secure it with a #1 spot. For now, I think word-of-mouth won't matter too much. It should be able to drop fairly light even with Smurfs coming out. -38% would give it a total of $325,000 in previews and $125,000 for the weekend.
Transformers 3 will be the odd man out as half the theaters are cutting this completely so a heavy drop is expected. It will pass 11m this weekend regardless but Toy Story 3's total looks untouchable.