‘Captain America’s’ $68M Beats Still-Strong ‘Potter’ Finale

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The fighting prowess of Marvel’s star-spangled superhero lead a strong charge at the weekend box office, handily deflecting the magic of Harry Potter to second place.

Captain America: The First Avenger finished first at the box office its opening weekend with an estimated $65 million in ticket sales. The visual-effects-loaded movie earned high marks from movie goers and decent marks from critics. The film is the final piece in the puzzle Marvel has been setting up for next summer’s Avengers movie. The film also grossed about $2 million in overseas ticket sales, though the film’s true overseas opening is rolling out in the next few weeks.

Record setter Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 was a super-strong second-place finisher, taking in $48 million in domestic ticket sales in its second weekend of release. So far, the film has grossed an impressive $274 million at home and a whopping $560 million abroad for an impressive 10-day total of about $834 million.

The only other major release of the weekend was Friends with Benefits, which opened in a distant third place with $18 million in ticket sales.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the most-recent entry in the VFX-driven franchise based on the popular toy line and 1980s animated series, pulled in $12 million in its fourth weekend of release. The Michael Bay-directed film has now grossed $325 million domestic and $556 million foreign for a total of $882 million.

In seventh place for the weekend was Disney-Pixar’s Cars 2, with a gross of $5.8 million. The movie has now made $176 million domestic and $173 million overseas for a worldwide total of $350 million.

Right behind it was another Disney animated feature, the 2D feature Winnie the Pooh, with $5.1 million in weekend ticket sales. Pooh has grossed $17 million domestic and about $6.5 million overseas for a $24 million total.

The summer box office war still has a few major battles left to fight, too, with next weekend seeing Sony’s hybrid animated feature The Smurfs set to face off against another comic-book movie, Cowboys and Aliens, directed by Jon Favreau of Iron Man fame.