Joe Johnston’s first venture into the ever-present superhero genre Captain America: The First Avenger was a success not only financially—having earned $65 million its opening weekend—but also critically, particularly by fans. This is a lucky break for the director, whose films don’t always receive the warmest welcome. As expected, it has taken the top of the box office even from worthy rival Harry Potter.

Johnston’s last film The Wolfman is generally regarded with poor taste. Even though it made profit. Just like Jurassic Park 3, also his film. And, of course, his 2004 release Hidalgo, made on a production budget of $100 million, was a domestic failure and barely surpassed that budget by $8 million. With marketing, this film may very well have ended up with a deficit. Fortunately, the majority of Johnston’s films have made profit, and if something makes money in the film industry, then it’s creative and worth doing. Thus Captain America.

Spiderman 3 was released in 2007, and in 2012 a complete reboot of the series is going to release and make millions of dollars. Comic book films have become so popular, that studios can literally make the majority of audiences pay to see the same story over again not five years apart. There’s no need to mention the unapologetic repetition and absurdity of comic book films’ success in cinema today, because it is obvious. Each film has the same formula, and it is unavoidable. The result is, every film is literally 100% predictable. Well, take that back a few notches to account for action sequences, and whatever tone can be scrounged up. However, the lucky break for Captain America is that although the patriotism of the Fourth of July was missed, something even better for it was grabbed: Comic-Con weekend.

The one thing that secures every comic book film’s success is Comic-Con. It gathers the audiences together that will absolutely be sure to watch all the comic book films being released. The superhero genre is a genre like no other in that way; no matter what, its fan-base is built in. And it feels more original than other literature-to-film adaptations because the majority of people aren’t familiar with the original stories of these heroes—they are simply familiar names and faces.

All a superhero film has to do to be successful, is be unique from the rest of its genre, and not the rest of cinema. It’s a studio loophole in generating revenue. But regardless, superheroes account for much of the visual effects used today, and that’s what people are fascinated with. People claim to be above popcorn film and simple tastes, but that doesn’t explain the massive amount of money those movies make anyways. The majority of people are probably lying about being satisfied by jaw-dropping visual effects just to feel superior.

Meanwhile, mediocre Friends with Benefits, the remake of No Strings Attached has done fairly well. As expected. It even surpassed Transformers‘ series conclusion. Supehero films aren’t the only ones getting us to watch the exact same story twice too soon. Up to bat next week includes Screen Gems release Attack the Block, which simply hasn’t reached mainstream enough to go anywhere. I don’t think it was even filmed to be released mainstream.

The Smurfs looks awful in every single way, but do children know the difference? Poor accompanying adults. There are no other kids’ movies out. Crazy, Stupid, Love looks somewhat promising, and general advance reviews seem to be fond of it. It stands a chance to hit hard or fail altogether. Lastly is Cowboys and Aliens, which is facing the same gauntlet as well. I think the idea is simply so absurd that audiences won’t take to it, and Captain America maintains his threshold. After its initially good ratings, people who didn’t see it on opening day may give it a chance.

USAWeekend Box-Office
July 22-24, 2011

Rank Title Weekend Gross
1 CaptainAmerica: The First Avenger (2011) $65.8M $65.8M
2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011) $48.1M $274M
3 Friends (With Benefits) (2009) $18.5M $18.5M
4 Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) $12M $326M
5 Horrible Bosses (2011) $11.7M $82.4M
6 Zookeeper (2011) $8.7M $59.2M
7 Cars 2 (2011) $5.73M $176M
8 Winnie the Pooh (2011) $5.14M $17.6M
9 Bad Teacher (2011) $2.6M $94.4M
10 Midnight inParis(2011) $1.9M $44.9M