News

'Captain America' shoots down 'Harry Potter'

Superhero movie "Captain America: The First Avenger" triumphed at the U.S. and Canadian box offices with $65.8 million in weekend ticket sales as the magic faded from the final "Harry Potter" film's record-breaking debut.

The strong opening for "Captain America" topped expectations in its battle against the hugely successful "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2," which saw its massive opening-weekend audience from last week shrink by 72 percent.

The final installment in the popular "Potter" series took in $48.1 million over its second weekend in domestic (U.S. and Canadian) theaters, plus $121.3 million internationally, distributor Warner Bros. said Sunday.

Romantic comedy "Friends with Benefits" starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis, took the No. 3 spot over three days with $18.5 million domestically, a solid start for a film that cost about $34 million to produce, according to Sony Pictures studio.

"Captain America" drew a 64 percent male audience to the film set in the 1940s, about a scrawny, bullied orphan transformed into a muscular superhero thanks to a serum developed by the government. He is the latest Marvel comic book character to hit the big screen before the superheroes join forces in next year's film "The Avengers."

The success against the "Harry Potter" finale "was well beyond what anybody was expecting," said Don Harris, executive vice president of distribution for Paramount Pictures, which released "Captain America." The film drew positive reviews and "had a retro look to it" that appealed to moviegoers even after a summer filled with superhero flicks, he said.

For the eighth and final "Harry Potter" movie in the series about a British boy wizard battling against evil, sales dropped sharply, as expected, after avid fans had rushed to see the movie when it debuted. The film broke records around the world including best opening weekend ever in the domestic and international markets.

  • Slideshow Photos

    Best and worst superhero costumes

    Captain America's costume is based on a WW II airman's suit. But other comic-book movies have featured capes, cat suits, and, weirdly, Bat-nipples.

  • Best and worst superhero costumes

    of

    Old-fashioned 'America'

    In the 2011 film "Captain America," Chris Evans' costume is meant to resemble a World War II airman's jumpsuit, director Joe Johnston told Entertainment Weekly. It's modest and practical, a far cry from the tight Spandex sported by many heroes. Evans told MTV News the costume was "not comfortable" but that the redesigned version he wears in "The Avengers" is more more modern and "looks fantastic."

    Paramount Pictures / Paramount Pictures
  • Best and worst superhero costumes

    of

    Costume of the gods

    "Thor" isn't just a superhero, he's a Norse god, and his armor and cape reflect that. The L.A. Times reported that Chris Hemsworth was so afraid he wouldn't look strong enough to play the role that he worked out too much -- and for a while, his costume was too tight. He reportedly backed off on the workouts and his costume was altered to fit.

    Paramount Pictures / Paramount Pictures
  • Best and worst superhero costumes

    of

    Cold as ice

    January Jones looks breathtakingly cold as Emma Frost in 2011's "X-Men: First Class." Jones told MTV her favorite costume from the film involved a fur cape.

    20th Century Fox / 20th Century Fox
  • Best and worst superhero costumes

    of

    Not easy being 'Green'

    In 2011's "Green Lantern," part of Ryan Reynolds' glowing costume was CGI-generated, a decision which did not delight fanboys.

    Warner Bros / Warner Bros
  • Best and worst superhero costumes

    of

    I am 'Iron Man'

    Anyone could be inside Robert Downey Jr's "Iron Man" costume, but it's still recognized as one of the cooler hero costumes in recent years. You may also see it at your doorstep come October -- it's a popular Halloween choice.

    Paramount Pictures / Paramount Pictures
  • Best and worst superhero costumes

    of

    Regular Joe

    Some superheroes don't really need Spandex. Seth Rogen pretty much just donned a mask to play 2011's "Green Hornet."

    Columbia Pictures / Columbia Pictures
  • Best and worst superhero costumes

    of

    Does whatever a spider can

    We're used to seeing Spider-Man in red, white and blue, but in 2007's "Spider-Man 3," Peter Parker's suit mysteriously changes to black, bringing out the dark side of the hero.

    Sony Pictures / Sony Pictures
  • Best and worst superhero costumes

    of

    Bluer than blue

    In 2000's "X-Men," Mystique's blue skin sets her apart from the other heroes.

    20th Century Fox / 20th Century Fox
  • Best and worst superhero costumes

    of

    Most embarrassing costume ever?

    Yes, that's George Clooney in the costume on the left, starring in 1997's "Batman & Robin." For some reason, the costume sported visible nipples, one of the oddest choices in superhero costuming ever. In the photo at right, Michael Keaton wears a more traditional batsuit in 1989's "Batman."

    Warner Bros. / Warner Bros.
  • Best and worst superhero costumes

    of

    Mrow!

    Some of the more notable comic-book costumes for women are that of slinky, sexy "Catwoman." Here, Michelle Pfeiffer plays her in 1992's "Batman Returns," while Halle Berry shows a little more skin in 2004's "Catwoman." Obviously, the costume designer took the words "cat suit" to heart.

    Warner Bros. / Warner Bros.
  • Best and worst superhero costumes

    of

    A classic

    Few superhero costumes stand the test of time as well as that worn by the late Christopher Reeve in 1978's "Superman."

    Warner Bros. / Warner Bros.

The film's total ticket sales now stand at $274.2 million in domestic theaters and $560.4 million internationally, for a combined total of $834.6 million.

Other top films for the weekend were big-budget Hollywood film "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" at No. 4 with $12 million, and adult-oriented comedy "Horrible Bosses" at No. 5 with $11.7 million.

"Captain America" and "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" were released by Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom Inc. Warner Bros., a unit of Time Warner Inc, distributed "Deathly Hallows - Part 2" and "Horrible Bosses." "Friends with Benefits" is from Screen Gems, a unit of Sony Corp.

TOP