Box Office Barometer 7-25-11: A Look Back At Captain America’s Casting Rumors


Captain America opened this weekend to a healthy $65.8 million.  This figure is one of the reasons that Disney bought Marvel for $1 billion: they can pump out movies for better-than-average returns.  Accordingly, the actors themselves are not as important as the title of the comic, a sentiment that’s backed by Grantland.  Since the role for Captain America was seemingly cast every five minutes, let’s take a look at the actors who were up for the role, and whether they were left better-or-worse for not landing it.

 

JOHN KRASINSKI

This was an interesting choice.  It’s very hard in Hollywood to be cast against type once one becomes established (look at Will Ferrell).  Despite the previous statement that actors are interchangeable, it should be clarified that different TYPES OF actors are interchangeable (with few exceptions).  Therefore, landing this role would have been more of a coup for Krasinski than it was for Disney.

Better-or-Worse? Worse

Krasinski has the star power and he just needs the right vehicle for him.  He was marketed as the lead actor for Something Borrowed even though he was only the third lead.  Now, he’s starring alongside Drew Barrymore in Everybody Loves Whales, a movie described as “A small town newspaper reporter writes about three California gray whales trapped in the Arctic Circle in that unites a Cold War-era United State and USSR in an effort to rescue them.”  At least that’s better than his return to his Away We Go roots with Nobody Walks, a movie described on IMDb as “A family takes in a young artist into their home.”  Riveting.

 

CHRIS PINE

Pine was in the failed Smokin’ Aces, but rebounded incredibly as Captain Kirk in Star Trek.  He has since positioned himself as an actor that works with Denzel Washington and Tony Scott, Tom Hardy and Reese Witherspoon, and Olivia Wilde and Elizabeth Banks.  He’s even reached the “You’re famous enough to voice a character in an animated movie” status.

Better-or-Worse? Better

Chris Pine already landed his tentpole with Star Trek.  Had he landed Captain America, he would have become the John Krasinski of action movies.   Star Trek affords him the artistic freedom to make films like Welcome to People, rather than setting himself up for the next Expendables movie.

 

MIKE VOGEL

Vogel’s name, nor his work will generate much interest.  He was briefly in Cloverfield, which once again was more about concept than star power.  He was on a show called Miami Medical, which apparently was on CBS last year.  He was a convincing asshole in Blue Valentine, but once again that was a bit part.

Better-or-Worse? Worse.

Vogel would not have been propelled to star status, but it would have allowed him to stop making effective-but-small parts.  He will oddly enough be featured in What’s Your Number with Chris Evans as Anna Faris’s ex-boyfriends.  He has recently been brought in to retool ABC’s Pan Am, which should lead to his true calling as a successful television actor.

 

JOHN CENA

Better-or-Worse? We are left for worse!  Just look at the chops we missed out on:

 

GARRETT HEDLUND

Hedlund headlined TRON: Legacy, another Disney tentpole.  Despite its negative reviews, Hedlund wasn’t detracted, but nor was he complimented.  Nobody knows he was in Country Strong, but he gets credit for causing Kevin Bacon to go on a vigilante spree in Death Sentence.

Better-or-Worse Worse

Had he landed Captain America, he could have positioned himself to be the next Ryan Reynolds/Jeremy Renner: actors who are cast for every major starring role.  Instead, he is starring in On The Road, the Beat Generation movie that doesn’t involve James Franco.

 

RYAN PHILLIPE

An actor who’s best known for marrying and divorcing Reese Witherspoon.  He played a prototypical action star in MacGruber, but that can’t be a good sign when his film counterpart was Val Kilmer, who went on to make Gun with 50 Cent.  He’s worked with Clint Eastwood and Robert Altman, but he’s never been a headliner.

Better-or-Worse? Better

Although Captain America would have been the best movie in his career, he would have had to endure countless articles questioning his casting, questions which would not have been answered this weekend.  The role would have stretched his career too thin that his next part would have been a supporting role in 50 Cent’s Knife.

 

BOX OFFICE RESULTS [from Deadline]

1. Captain America 3D (Marvel/Disney/Paramount) NEW [3,715 Runs]
Friday $25.7M, Saturday $21.9M, Weekend $65.8M

2. Harry Potter/Deathly Hallows Pt 2 3D (Warner Bros) Week 2 NEW [4,375 Runs]
Friday $14.6M, Saturday $18.4M, Weekend $48M (-72%), Cume $274.1M

3. Friends With Benefits (Screen Gems/Sony) NEW [2,926 Runs]
Friday $6.8M, Saturday $6.5M, Weekend $18.5M

4. Transformers 3 3D (Paramount) Week 4 [3,375 Runs]
Friday $3.5M, Saturday $4.7M, Weekend $12M, Cume $325.7M

5. Horrible Bosses (New Line/Warner Bros) Week 3 [3,104 Runs]
Friday $3.6M, Saturday $4.5M, Weekend $11.7M, Cume $82.4M

6. Zookeeper (MGM/Sony) Week 3 [3,215 Runs]
Friday $2.7M, Saturday $3.4M, Weekend $8.7M, Cume $59.2M

7. Cars 2 3D (Disney) Week 5 [2,668 Runs]
Friday $1.7M, Saturday $2.8M, Weekend $5.7M, Cume $176.4M

8. Winnie The Pooh (Disney) Week 2 [2,405 Runs]
Friday $1.6M, Saturday $2.2M, Weekend $5.1M (-35%), Cume $17.5M

9. Bad Teacher (Sony) Week 5 [2,035 Runs]
Friday $825K, Saturday $1M, Weekend $2.6M, Cume $94.3M

10. Midnight In Paris (Sony Classics) Week 10 [621 Runs]
Friday $508K, Saturday $900K, Weekend $1.8M, Cume $48.8M

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