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Hong Kong Box Office: August 4 Recap

Captain America finished off the superhero year in style as it pulled off a victory over The Smurfs and may have possibly taken the opening weekend title released by a superhero film this year from X-Men: First Class. It also finished off the superhero year 4/4 as all 4 comic book films opened to #1. With actuals reporting a 1.2m OW, it staved off some stiff competition from The Smurfs. It finished just ahead of Thor's opening weekend admissions but was well behind the admissions of X-Men: First Class, which did not have the benefit of 3D.

  Thor X-Men: First Class Green Lantern Captain America
Thursday 20,466 32,105 15,032 25,949
Friday 22,338 33,129 16,560 24,473
Saturday 37,071 64,048 27,952 37,240
Sunday 39,375 63,745 25,488 33,602
Total 119,250 193,027 85,032 121,264

Opening weekend admissions for the 2011 comic book superhero movies. Note: Captain America's admissions do not include the 2D version.

On Thursday, it led all releases with a 25k start. It declined 6% on Friday due to the summer holidays as well as superhero movie frontloadedness. It went up 52% on Saturday but fell a noticeable 10% on Sunday, where it was the only film in the top 5 to drop more than 3% from Saturday. The gap between itself and The Smurfs widened from Thursday-Saturday but shrunk on Sunday. It did not have a holiday boost like Thor or X-Men: First Class had so drops in the following weeks should be relatively normal for a superhero release. For now, I'm thinking this will take in around 2.74m total.

The Smurfs tried to replicate Mr. Popper's Penguins success but it never even came close. It started off with 15k admissions opening day but fell a steep 13% on Friday which caused the gap to increase to 11k. Saturday saw it rose sharply by 83% but that was due to the kids appeal and a correction for Friday's massive fall. Even with the huge increase on Saturday, the gap widened to a further 13k. Sunday was its best day as it went up 14% and closed the gap between Captain America and itself to 6,000 admissions. While the weekend increases were strong, Friday's poor hold meant that couples were skipping this in favour of other films and that it will need to rely on kids to push its gross past 2m. In comparison with the other family friendly flick stuffed with cute things, Mr. Popper's Penguins doubled the 3D admissions for The Smurfs and surged over the weekend while The Smurfs saw standard family movie increases on Saturday/Sunday.

  Mr. Popper's Penguins The Smurfs
Thursday 28,289 15,089
Friday 30,289 13,140
Saturday 56,921 24,059
Sunday 59,544 27,443
Total 175,043 79,731

For the weekend, it is looking like it will start with $700,000. At this point, things are not looking good for the blue guys as Cars 2 officially opens next weekend so I think a 1.7m total is in order. A mediocre start to the potential franchise here.

Kung Fu Panda 2 relinquished the crown after two weeks on top to Captain America but could not escape a 60% drop in its 3rd weekend. The heavy declines over the weekend could mostly be attributed to the direct competition from The Smurfs although there was another reason that this along with Harry Potter fell sharply on Saturday and Sunday. It's due to the 2D version having success over the 3D version at a few locations causing theaters to cut the 3D version in favour of 2D. Worthy of noting, it increased a miniscule 13% on Saturday from Friday which was one of the worst increases for a family film in a while. That small increase caused it to fall 66% week-to-week and put its chances of 5m at risk. A $450,000 weekend would take it to $4,250,000.

Harry Potter held slightly better than Panda but also suffered a similar fate as it fell big over the weekend after modest drops on Thursday/Friday. The slightly better holds can be attributed to IMAX where it's been holding steady for the past 2 weeks with 2 showtimes on the weekend (Cars 2 having the others). It was also the only other film besides Captain America to fall on Sunday from Saturday in admissions. A weekend take of $425,000 would push it to about 9.1m and closer to the 10m mark. Outlook unfortunately does not look great as theaters are shedding this next week to make room for Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes and the first official weekend of Cars 2. 10m looks unlikely at this point and it will need another push from theaters to pass that milestone.

Cars 2 was the only "holdover" to have a good drop as it fell around 35% from its first weekend of preview screenings. It lost showtimes this weekend which seem to be a good sign for next weekend. That drop would bring it to a $130,000 weekend and a previews total of $330,000 in 4 days.

Love Is The Only Answer had a great hold last week but it should have suffered from screen cuts this weekend. A 45% drop would see it with a total of about $710,000.

Transformers: Dark Of The Moon got slashed in around half the theaters this weekend so it should have a steep 70% drop. That fall would put it at over 10.8m. At this stage, 11m looks dicey as it looks to have another round of cuts in about 60-80% of the remaining theaters next weekend.

  Weekend adm.     Aug 4-7
Rank Title LW TW % chg
1 Captain America: The First Avenger 3D -- 121,264 --
2 Smurfs (3D Cantonese) -- 79,731 --
3 Kung Fu Panda 2 (3D Cantonese) 136,835 55,294 -59.6%
4 Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 (3D English) 95,770 42,766 -55.3%
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