Monday Morning Quarterback Part I

By BOP Staff

July 25, 2011

Centers are sweet.

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Star Spangled-y Goodness!

Kim Hollis: Captain America: The First Avenger opened to $65 million. What do you think of this result?

Edwin Davies: This is an immensely solid result, but not much more. I'm intrigued by how weirdly identical it is to Thor's opening weekend total. Not a great result, but by no means a bad one, so I imagine we'll see this one fall just short of $200 million when all is said and done.

Brett Beach: Edwin, I would take "weirdly identical" and change it to "slight over-exaggeration - wink wink - in the estimate [editor's note: the film was estimated at $65.8 million] to allow for the Captain to claim, even for a day, the title of Best Opening Weekend for a Comic Book Film of Summer 2011" (whew!). And that's fine because I was blown away, expecting superhero fatigue to set in at this point even as I was thinking that Timberlake-Kunis might ride the R-rated wave and beat out Kutcher-Portman. I have been following along year-to-date the comments on this movie's commercial viability from my more comic book knowledgeable fellow BOP'ers (i.e. all of you) and wondering if they would hold water. Hats off, gents and ladies. True, these aren't Iron Man numbers, but they ended Marvel's summer with a solid win.


Bruce Hall: I'm mildly surprised, especially now that I've seen the film. Not only are these not Iron Man numbers, but quality wise this movie was no Iron Man either, despite the good will it's getting from audiences. But when you consider the fact that we've just about exhausted the A, B and C list of super hero titles, this is more than enough to justify Marvel's recent cross pollination strategy. A few months ago I wouldn't have been surprised if you visited me from the future to tell me that Captain America opened to $40 million. But after seeing some promising trailers and hearing some positive advance feedback, it looked like Marvel might have another solid winner on their hands. And sure enough, they did. Reports of the death of the comic book movie have been slightly, if not greatly exaggerated.

Shalimar Sahota: I personally don't see Captain America as that strong of a comic book character. Also, those underwhelming trailers don't really help, though going with the Spider-Man approach of a scrawny kid becoming a hero is still a good way to sell it. Also, being the final comic book movie of the summer comes the thought that maybe audiences have had enough already. So to earn $65 million is, to me, a tremendous result. That they were able to take down Harry Potter as well is just the icing on the low fat cake for Marvel Studios.

David Mumpower: Brett was exactly right about the exaggerated estimate. The actual has the movie with $700,000 less, meaning that Thor wins modest bragging rights here. I want to circle back to Shalimar's statement in just a moment, but what I would note first is this. Marvel has taken a pair of relatively one-dimensional characters in Thor and Captain American and translated them into $130 million worth of opening weekend box office. Last week, BOP debated the upside of The Avengers in terms of whether it could break Harry Potter's record. I believe this is unlikely yet I have to acknowledge Marvel movies have almost universally opened better than they should. Punisher is the only character excluded from this list although X-Men: First Class may qualify as well.

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