After taking a dip in June, the box office rebounded in July to nearly $1.4 billion. That not only set a new July gross record, but a new benchmark for any month, beating the previous high of $1.32 million from July 2010 by close to six percent. July 2007 is the only other month to see a gross of over $1.3 billion, and the seven highest-grossing months of all time are all July's.
In terms of estimated attendance, July 2011 was mid-pack with almost 175 million tickets sold, which was slightly more than last year but off from the recent high of nearly 190 million in July 2007.
With ten days of July play, Captain America: The First Avenger ranked a distant third with $117.4 million. It was followed by Horrible Bosses ($96.3 million) and June holdover Cars 2 ($91.2 million). This was the first time since 2006 (and the last Cars) that an animated movie didn't at least make the Top Three for the month, while Horrible Bosses was the first time an R-rated comedy made the Top Five since Wedding Crashers in 2005.
Three new movies were presented in 3D, Deathly Hallows Part 2, Captain America and The Smurfs, but June holdover Transformers: Dark of the Moon still grossed the most in the format and had the highest 3D share (58 percent). Deathly Hallows Part 2 had the largest 3D release ever (over 3,100 locations), but saw only 43 percent of its business from 3D. Captain America's 3D was under 40 percent, while The Smurfs was at 48 percent (though from just one weekend). With more movies in 3D and more 3D showings, July 2011's 3D premium gross exceeded July 2010's by two thirds.
Overall, this summer's season-to-date total gross is now running four percent ahead of last year, but 2011's $6.32 billion January-July tally was down over five percent from 2010 through the same seven-month point. At an estimated 793 million, 2011's attendance through July rated the lowest since 1996.