Weekend Box Office: The Avengers Continues To Break Records, Nets $103 Million For Second Weekend

Crash Override and a tumor named Marla.

Okay, so last week Marvel’s The Avengers completely obliterated the record for a three-day weekend opening. The total was so big that early estimates by studio Walt Disney were lower than predicted. Considering its record-breaking $207 million, what would the movie do for an encore? Well, it has already boosted the sales of shawarma thanks to Tony Stark. And unlike Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, which saw its attendance drop by more than 70% in its second week of release, The Avengers only fell by 50%. As a result, it easily scored the largest second weekend in film history (by nearly $30 million). It’s $103 million earnings this past weekend make it the first film to finish two straight weekends with nine figures. Worldwide it has joined that exclusive club of billionaire earners. It didn’t beat Avatar‘s record of reaching that milestone in 17 days, but 19 days ain’t half bad. If the momentum keeps like this, Joss Whedon’s superhero team film could very well become the third highest-grosser of all time behind James Cameron’s $2 billion behemoths.

In terms of box office, the only likely contenders to compete with The Avengers‘ earnings are The Dark Knight Rises and The Hobbit. A mark against The Dark Knight Rises is that it will not have the added surcharge benefit of being presented in three dimensions. But The Hobbit is likely to confuse viewers with its multiple variations of presentation. I can only imagine the scenario where a family of four has to decide if they want to see The Hobbit in 2-D at 24 fps, 2-D at 48 fps, 3-D at 24 fps, or 3-D at 48 fps. It’s enough to make you lose your mind and rock yourself back and forth in the fetal position saying “My precious” over and over.

Placing second this weekend was Warner Bros.’ Dark Shadows from Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. Now I can understand people being outraged by the cost of John Carter and its pathetic box office gross, but Shadows somehow cost $150 million and made less than $30 million its opening weekend. Sure, Johnny Depp is loaded, having made a King’s Ransom from those Capt. Jack Sparrow movies, so he can flirt with side and passion projects until the next big payday comes. But what’s Tim Burton’s excuse? He may be very well off, getting some back-end profits of Alice in Wonderland‘s billion dollar gross, but considering his last crop of films he appears creatively bankrupt. With the exception of Corpse Bride, his recent titles have been adaptations of fairy tales, Broadway musicals, and classic movies (depending on your definition of classic when discussing Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory). Scott’s review pretty much matched my own thoughts. Actually, I became so bored after Barnabas’ stranger in a strange world situation and implied fellatio action via Helena Bonham Carter’s doctor character that when the final fifteen minutes arrived I wasn’t sure I was watching the same movie. Seriously, who the hell was Dark Shadows for anyway? Fans of Depp? Fans of Burton? Fans who still remember watching the original soap on ABC some forty-plus years ago? Fans of the ’90s TV revival that flopped? Seriously, did some suit at Warner Bros. see Depp and Burton on the prospectus and say “GREEN LIGHT THIS BITCH!”? Still, while it may not light the box office on fire here, overseas it should do well. They are in love with Depp and made his co-star vehicle with Angelina Jolie (The Tourist) a hit.

Coming in third is one of the box office surprises of the year, Think Like a Man. Passing the $80 million mark versus only costing $12 million to produce, the romantic ensemble is another winner for Screen Gems, which has already had a pair of hits in Underworld Awakening and The Vow. Rounding out the top five were the Nicholas Sparks’ weepie The Lucky One and The Hunger Games, the latter of which has made $623 million worldwide.

Audiences could care less about Jason Segel and Emily Blunt’s Five Year Engagement and Aardman’s animated Pirates! Band of Misfits has to play second fiddle to a bunch of leather in spandex, as more kids are going to see The Avengers. Honestly, have you seen the aisles at Target lately? Lanes filled with Avengers toys and tie-ins.

Popping into the top ten with its expansion to 178 screens was The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. It had the the second-best per-screen average in the top 10 behind The Avengers. Already a hit overseas, as counterprogramming to the summer blockbusters that will clog theaters weekly, Hotel could make upwards of $15 million in the U.S. to bring its overall total to $90 million, thus insuring that Tom Wilkinson, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, and Bill Nighy get steady employment. More counterprogramming appeared in the form of Lionsgate’s Girl in Progress as Eva Mendes playing an unfit mother to newcomer Cierra Ramirez. Perfect for Mother’s Day, right?

In terms of arthouse and extremely limited release, Bobcat Goldthwait’s God Bless America played at 13 locations to the tune of $28k. And the horror flick The Road (no relation to Cormac McCarthy’s novel) was able to scare $61k from viewers as it played on 50 screens.

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Source: Box Office Mojo