Marvel Studios has quickly silenced the critics who said the company could not launch two new superhero franchises within the same summer. Just two months after hammering "Thor" into the public consciousness, "Captain America: The First Avenger" debuted over the weekend to an estimated $65.8 million. That's almost exactly what "Thor" grossed (the God of Thunder found $65.7 million over is first three days), but may be more impressive as "Cap" had to deal with the still potent "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Pt. 2."
Joe Johnston's mostly WW II-era adventure also benefited from a reported A- cinemascore and mostly positive review. It's also the biggest opening of Chris Evans career. The big question mark is how the picture played overseas. It had an OK debut in Italy, but rolls out in 23 international markets this upcoming weekend.
Debuting in third was the Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis romantic comedy "No Strings Attached" with $18.5 million. That's significantly lower than the summer's other R-rated comedy hits, "Horrible Bosses," "Bridesmaids" and "Bad Teacher," and just behind the similarly-themed "No Strings Attached." That Ashton Kutcher/Natalie Portman comedy opened to $19.6 million back in January.
This Friday's releases include "Cowboys and Aliens," "Stupid, Crazy, Love" and "The Smurfs."
Box office actuals will be released on Monday.
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