Captain America beat Harry Potter to be No. 1 at North America box office

17:17, July 25, 2011      

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It's a win-or-lose fight between the world's first able-bodied avenger and a boy wizard as the summer's latest superhero film "Captain America: The First Avenger" debuted as the No.1 across North American theaters while "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II" was reduced to an underdog with its power being dwindled this weekend.

As Paramount's latest bid to tap into superhero theme, "Captain America: The First Avenger" premiered on Friday at 3,715 locations in the United States and Canada, and is on track to gross 65.83 million U.S. dollars in ticket receipts, which effectively broke previous superhero flick opening record held by "Thor" (65.7 million U.S. dollars) and eclipsed "X-Men: First Class" (55.1 million U.S. dollars) and "Green Lantern" (53.2 million U.S. dollars) by a big margin. The World War II actioner, which is based on the Marvel Comics character Captain America and tells how a sickly man from Brooklyn was transformed into super soldier Captain America to help the war effort, has won over droves of moviegoers as it got an "A-" from CineraScore. More than half of the audience is male and 58 percent is over 25 years of age, according to distributor Paramount Pictures. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes also gave it a 72-percent positive rating.

The solid showing has been helped by a permeative promotion drive which was launched by Paramount Pictures before the Marvel/ Disney/Paramount picture hit the screen, catering to patriotism among the American audience. Flyers can be seen on Superbow ground, TV and radio programs. And 30 U.S. military bases have also screened the film, according to reports. The film is directed by Joe Johnston and stars Chris Evans ("Not Another Teen Movie," " Fantastic Four") in the title role.

The last installment on the Harry Potter franchise, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II," now second week in screen, could not hold on to its record-breaking feats which was achieved when it debuted 10 days ago, and ceded its crown to " Captain America." It took in only 48.07 million dollars this weekend, a huge drop of 72 percent from the last week. The Warner Bros. flick has amassed 274.2 million dollars in North America so far.

Opening in third place is "Friends With Benefits," a Sony/ Screen Gems romantic comedy starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis, which grossed 18.5 million dollars in ticket stubs, a performance which fell short of the studio's last project "No Strings Attached" (19.7 million U.S. dollars) which featured Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher. Sony said that 62 percent of the moviegoers were female, and 56 percent were 25 or older. CinemaScore gave the rom-com a "B+."

Rounding out the top five most popular films of the North America box office are:

"Transformers: Dark of the Moon," Paramount/DreamWorks, 12 million dollars this weekend, and 325.8 million dollars in four weeks; "Horrible Bosses," Warner Bros./New Line, 11.72 million dollars this weekend, and 82.4 million dollars in three weeks.

Source: Xinhua
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