Captain America: The First Avenger is starting off stronger than anyone (self-included) expected. According to estimates, the patriotic Marvel superhero film grossed a tremendous $25.7 million on Friday, with $4 million of that coming from midnight screenings. Captain America‘s impressive Friday gross puts it well ahead of the first-day totals for X-Men: First Class ($21.4 million) and Green Lantern ($21.4 million), and just a touch above Thor‘s first Friday ($25.5 million) as well. Thus, Cappy should earn a figure in the same range as Thor‘s opening, grossing around $66 million this weekend.
In second place, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—Part 2 plummeted 84% from last weekend’s record-breaking Friday to $14.6 million. Given the up-front excitement and huge numbers for Harry Potter last weekend, this drop doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Still, the magical fantasy should stabilize some over the rest of the weekend and finish with about $49 million by Sunday.
Friends With Benefits nabbed the third place spot with a solid $6.8 million. The Mila Kunis/Justin Timberlake comedy earned about 6 percent less than the $7.2 million that No Strings Attached made on its first Friday in January. Sunday grosses are typically stronger in the summer since kids are out of school and people are on vacation, so I wouldn’t be totally surprised if Benefits edged out Strings by the end of the frame, but right now, Friends With Benefits looks to be headed to a $19 million weekend.
Horrible Bosses continued to exhibit some strong legs at the box office, declining just 33 percent from last Friday to $3.7 million. The revenge comedy should pick up another $12 million this weekend, good for fourth place. In fifth will be Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which earned $3.5 million on Friday and will likely find just over $11 million.
Check back tomorrow for the full weekend report, and follow me on Twitter (@BoxOfficeJunkie) for up-to-the-minute box office news!