- - Monday, July 25, 2011

‘Captain America’ knocks ‘Potter’ off box-office perch

You didn’t think Harry Potter would be able to work his magic forever, did you?

Nine days after the U.S. premiere of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2,” the action-packed film fell to No. 2 at the box office, overtaken by “Captain America: The First Avenger.”

According to box-office estimates, “Captain America” grossed $65.8 million during its opening weekend, surpassing expectations by more than $10 million. “Potter” earned $48 million over the weekend.

“Captain America,” a fantasy flick starring Chris Evans, follows the life of a young man who becomes a superhero after being deemed unqualified for military service. The movie also features “Men in Black” star Tommy Lee Jones and “Lovely Bones” star Stanley Tucci.

The success of “Captain America” doesn’t take away from “Potter’s” record-breaking earnings. Last week, the final installment of the J.K. Rowling series debuted with $169.1 million, a box-office record that eclipses the $158.4 million the 2008 Batman flick “The Dark Knight” earned in its debut.

Since reaching theaters nearly two weeks ago, “Potter” has earned $274.2 million. The adventure, which takes viewers through Harry’s last battle with evil Lord Voldemort, remains the No. 1 film overseas, even though it brought in 61 percent less than it did the previous weekend.

Sofia Vergara’s boyfriend sets sights on Senate seat

Nick Loeb, boyfriend of “Modern Family” star Sofia Vergara, is already one of the luckiest men on the planet. Now he’s hoping that luck will extend to a win in the 2012 race for Florida Democrat Bill Nelson’s U.S. Senate seat.

Mr. Loeb, a Republican businessman, ran for the Florida state Senate in 2009 before he dropped out of the race to deal with his divorce.

He now may be ready to re-enter the political arena. When news broke this week that Florida’s state Senate president, a Republican, was dropping out of the race against Mr. Nelson, Mr. Loeb’s ears perked up. He told Roll Call he is considering entering the crowded field of Republican candidates “even more seriously” now.

Mr. Loeb said he is “moderate on some issues and very conservative on others.” One area where he could face trouble with conservatives is environmental issues. He owns an environmental consulting firm and is a staunch advocate for conservation. But he isn’t making any apologies.

“I believe in conservation, which is, at its root from being a conservative, as a Teddy Roosevelt Republican. I believe it’s a national security issue, having fresh air and clean water,” he told Roll Call.

Some in Florida aren’t taking his candidacy seriously, however. Chris Ingram, a Republican consultant based in Florida, said Mr. Loeb is “a glorified playboy who’s got a famous girlfriend and is getting more attention for that than anything else.”

Mr. Loeb disagreed.

“How serious am I? Listen, I’m a serious businessman. I was very serious when I ran before for the state Senate. I raised almost $300,000 in the first quarter and that’s with a $500 [contribution] limit,” he said.

Mr. Loeb, the son of Ronald Reagan’s ambassador to Denmark, joins other big-name Floridians in the Republican primary. They include former Sen. George LeMieux, former Florida House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, and Craig Miller, the former CEO of Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

Compiled by Laura Donovan and Alec Jacobs 2011 The Daily Caller.

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