"Captain America" Bests "Potter" at Box Office

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Paramount Pictures
    Chris Evans stars in the Marvel comic book adaptation "Captain America: The First Avenger," which opened July 22, 2011.

    The superhero comic book adaptation beat out the wizard kids' book adaptation at the box office this weekend.

    "Captain America: The First Avenger" grossed an estimated $65.8 million this weekend—which just might make the movie a bigger comic superhero hit than this summer's "X-Men" offering and "Thor," also both comic superhero flicks.

    The returns bode well for the $140 million Chris Evans vehicle.

    And they bode very well for the main event in the Marvel comic series' Hollywood future: next summer's even bigger "The Avengers," to be distributed by Walt Disney Co.—which recently acquired Marvel.

    The results came as a bit of a surprise to studio heads. Don Harris, executive vice president of distribution for the film's distributor Paramount Pictures, said they were "well beyond what anyone was expecting."

    Meanwhile, this weekend, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" fell from its record-shattering takings last weekend to earn $48 million at the North American box office—a 72% drop from its opening.

    But "Potter" still topped the international box office this weekend.

    Selected Reading: The Wall Street Journal, The Hollywood Reporter, Today