Friday, July 22, 2011

Midnight movie math: Captain America: The First Avenger scores $4 million at 12:01am, setting the stage for a dynamite $61-88 million opening weekend.

Captain America: The First Avenger grossed $4 million at midnight alone, scoring the fifth-biggest midnight gross of the year, behind Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides ($4.6 million), Transformers: Dark of the Moon ($8 million in midnight tickets, plus $5.5 million in advance-night showings), The Hangover II ($10 million on a Wednesday night), and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part II ($43.5 million).  So Captain America has the biggest midnight haul for a non-sequel in 2011.  As you know if you've been following all summer, most genre movies that aren't insanely anticipated (IE - not a Harry Potter film or a Twilight sequel) do between 4.5% and 6.5% of their opening weekend at those12:01am showings.  That puts Captain America: The First Avenger on a course for at least $61 million, with as much as $88 million over the next three days.  Predicting how front loaded it will be in relation to the midnight gross is merely an educated guess at this point.  One would presume that the strong reviews, World War II setting, and recognizable grown-up actors (Tommy Lee Jones, Stanley Tucci) would bring out certain audience segments not otherwise inclined to check out yet another comic book film.  So the % we're dealing with is probably closer to the 5.2% of Pirates 4 than the 6.4% of Green Lantern.  For now, let's call it at 5% and predict a $80 million opening weekend for Captain America: The First Avenger.  Obviously we'll know more in about 12 hours.

Scott Mendelson    

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