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Box office update: 'Men in Black 3' earns $18 million on Friday; 'Avengers' holds strong

After 10 years away from the big screen, the alien-hunting Men In Black (Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, and now, Josh Brolin) are back on top of the box office.

Men In Black 3 ended The Avengers‘ 21-day reign in first place with an $18 million Friday, which puts the $230 million action-comedy on track for a four-day weekend take of $72 million. Sure, that number sounds strong, but don’t be deceived — the sequel cost an egregious amount of money and should have had a bigger built-in audience than this. READ FULL STORY

Box office preview: 'Men in Black 3' set to invade theaters, finally dethrone 'The Avengers'

Will Smith is back!

After three years away from the big screen, the bankable star of blockbusters like I Am Legend, Independence Day, and Hancock has returned with Men In Black 3, a 10-years-later sequel in the lighthearted alien franchise.

The original Men In Black earned $250.7 million in 1997, and in 2002, Men In Black II found $190.4 million. Now, MIB 3 is poised to bring in another boatload of money — finally unseating The Avengers from the box office throne.

Also entering theaters is horror flick The Chernobyl Diaries, which won’t make nearly as much as MIB 3 (but didn’t cost nearly as much, either).

Check out my weekend box office predictions — which are for the regular three-day weekend, rather than the extended Memorial Day holiday frame — below: READ FULL STORY

Box office report: 'The Avengers' crushes 'Battleship' and 'The Dictator' with $55.1 mil

Once again, it was all about The Avengers at the box office, as three new releases failed to even approach the Marvel superhero blockbuster’s third-weekend gross of $55.1 million, according to studio estimates.

The movie dropped 47 percent — an admirable hold for a picture that’s putting up such huge numbers. By the end of Sunday, The Avengers will have made an estimated $457.1 million domestically, passing $450 million in a record 17 days. (The previous record holder, The Dark Knight, reached that milestone in 27 days.) Meanwhile, The Avengers also passed Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest to become Disney’s biggest movie ever both domestically and worldwide. It now sits in fourth place on the all-time worldwide chart, behind only Avatar, Titanic, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2.

The Avengers‘ continued dominance meant fewer moviegoers for Battleship, which sunk on arrival with only $25.3 million. That’s the worst domestic opening ever for a movie with a reported budget of at least $200 million. (Universal spent $209 million on the PG-13 picture.) It’s also a smaller debut than this year’s other notorious flop, John Carter, which started out with $30.2 million. To the dismay of Tim Riggins fans everywhere, Taylor Kitsch has now starred in two of the year’s biggest bombs. READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'The Avengers' wins again with $15.3 mil on Friday; 'Battleship' flounders with $9 mil

Three new movies confronted The Avengers this weekend, and the Hulk smashed them around as if they all starred Loki.

The Marvel superhero phenomenon dropped a mild 48 percent for $15.3 million on Friday. That means it’ll easily win its third weekend in a row with around $55 million, bringing its domestic tally to $457 million or thereabouts. It should pass $450 million on Sunday, becoming the fastest movie to do so in only 17 days. (The Dark Knight pulled off the same feat in 27 days.) Also, The Avengers will pass Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest today to become Disney’s highest-grossing film ever.

The Avengers‘ good news spelled bad news for Battleship, which debuted to a dismal $9 million on Friday. That puts the board game-inspired action film on pace for a $26 million weekend — a result that Universal clearly didn’t have in mind when it green-lighted the $209 million picture. By comparison, the year’s other big expensive flop, Disney’s John Carter, mustered a slightly better $30.2 million its first weekend. Both movies starred Taylor Kitsch, whose young career is getting off to an incredibly unfortunate start. READ FULL STORY

'The Avengers' Tom Hiddleston on Woody Allen and 'Midnight in Paris': 'It was a surreal dream'

If you’ve seen The Avengers – and surely, that’s most of you now considering the film recently crossed the 1 billion dollar mark worldwide — you are familiar with Tom Hiddleston as Loki, the bad guy who managed to steal a whole lot of scenes from a bunch of A-list superheroes.

But Hiddleston has had quite a year in addition to Avengers. Since introducing his villainous supervillain character last May in Thor, the Brit has appeared in Steven Spielberg’s War Horse, played opposite Rachel Weisz in the critically acclaimed Deep Blue Sea, and been the spitting image of F. Scott Fitzgerald in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. He found out he had won that latter role when he received a letter from Allen himself. “It was three sentences long,” Hiddleston told EW. “Dear Tom, I’m making a movie in Paris this summer. I attached some pages. I’d love for you to play the role of Scott.” READ FULL STORY

Box office preview: Will 'Battleship' sink 'The Avengers'?

Three new wide releases will attempt to dethrone the almighty Avengers this weekend: the board-game-meets-alien-invasion action flick Battleship, the ensemble pregnancy comedy What to Expect When You’re Expecting, and the latest outrageous comedy from Sacha Baron Cohen, The Dictator.

Nice try, guys. The Avengers should finish No. 1 for the third weekend in a row, and will break a couple more box-office records in the process. Here are my predictions: READ FULL STORY

Box office report: 'Avengers' smashes 2nd weekend record with $103.2M, passes $1 billion worldwide

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Of course Tony Stark wasn’t satisfied with just one weekend of headlines!

After its record-demolishing $207.4 million debut last weekend, The Avengers easily stayed atop the box office in its second frame, soaring to $103.2 million (a drop of only 50 percent) over the Friday-to-Sunday period. That figure crushes the second weekend box office record, which was formerly held by Avatar with its $75.6 million sophomore frame.

Incredibly, The Avengers‘ 50 percent drop is the smallest second-weekend decline of any film that achieved one of the Top 10 opening weekends of all time. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 fell by 72 percent after its $169.1 million debut. The Dark Knight dipped 53 percent after its $158.4 million start. The Hunger Games and Spider-Man 3 both sank by 62 percent after their debuts of $152.5 million and $151.1 million, respectively. Those sorts of drops are just expected when dealing with gargantuan openings like these, but Avengers started much higher and fell by much less — a clear indicator of positive audience reception.

The superhero ensemble, which has grossed $373.2 million total domestically, also broke a slew of other records this weekend as well. Not only did The Avengers score the best second Friday ($29.1 million), Saturday ($43.1 million), and Sunday ($30.9 million) in box office history, but it became the fastest film to ever pass $300 million on Saturday, its ninth day of release (The Dark Knight accomplished this in 10 days). And today, on its 10th day in North American theaters, Avengers became the fastest film to ever pass $350 million, zooming by The Dark Knight‘s record of 14 days.

The only 2012 release that has earned more money than The Avengers is The Hunger Games, which has grossed $386.9 million after eight weekends in theaters. By this time next week, though, Avengers will have blown right by Katniss & Co. as it continues its ascent to at least $500 million, a milestone that is an absolute lock at this point. With remarkable word of mouth (the movie earned an “A+” CinemaScore grade), Avengers should continue to see modest drops in the weeks to come, and I won’t be surprised if it marches right past the $600 million mark.

Internationally, the film continue to impress, and after 19 days, it has grossed $628.9 million. That’s far more than the international totals of its predecessors: Captain America ($192 million), Iron Man ($266.7 million), Thor ($268.3 million), and Iron Man 2 ($311.5 million). Disney estimates that today The Avengers will pass the $1 billion mark globally.

Johnny-Depp-Shadows

Image Credit: Peter Mountain

Way back in second place was Warner Bros.’ $125 million TV adaptation Dark Shadows, which lacked bite with just $28.2 million in its debut. The Tim Burton/Johnny Depp collaboration paled in comparison to their last picture together, Alice in Wonderland, which started with $116.1 million on its way to a $334.2 million finish — and more than $1 billion worldwide. Dark Shadows has no chance of reaching those heights, and it’s unlikely to reach $100 million domestically given its lackluster “B-” from moviegoers surveyed by CinemaScore. Audiences were likely turned off by ads that emphasized the vampire film’s quirky, offbeat humor — based on a 1970s gothic soap opera that most consumers never knew existed. In a world of Paul Blart Mall Cops and The Hangovers, quirky doesn’t really sell at the box office.

The rest of the Top 5 was made up of holdovers. Think Like a Man stuck around in third place, dipping just 22 percent to $6.3 million and lifting its total to $81.9 million. The Hunger Games fell by 21 percent in fourth place, taking in another $4.4 million. With $386.9 million total, Hunger Games has outgrossed every Harry Potter movie domestically (internationally, the franchise still has lots of room to grow). In its fourth weekend, The Lucky One scored another $4 million, a nice 24 percent drop. The Zac Efron romance has taken in a solid $53.7 million so far.

Two limited releases also made waves this weekend. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which stars Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, and Bill Nighy, checked in with $2.7 million after debuting in just 178 theaters — good enough for eighth place. Hotel earned a blazing $14,888 per-theater average, second only to The Avengers‘ $23,721 average. Meanwhile, Eva Mendes’ dramedy Girl in Progress started off much slower with $1.4 million from 322 theaters and an unexciting $4,193 per-theater average. Thanks to the lack of new releases in theaters, that was enough for a 10th place finish.

1. The Avengers – $103.2 million
2. Dark Shadows – $28.2 million
3. Think Like A Man – $6.3 million
4. The Hunger Games – $4.4 million
5. The Lucky One – $4.0 million

Check back next week to find out whether Universal’s Battleship has a chance against The Avengers, and follow me on Twitter for up-to-the-minute box office updates!

More on EW.com:
Box office update: ‘Avengers’ easily holds off ‘Dark Shadows’ with $29.1M Friday
Box office preview: Can Johnny Depp escape the ‘Dark Shadows’ of ‘The Avengers’?

Box office update: 'Avengers' easily holds off 'Dark Shadows', scores gigantic $29.1 million Friday

Sorry, Captain Jack, but Captain America isn’t ready to give up the top spot at the box office yet!

In its second weekend in theaters, The Avengers is still breaking records — this time, it’s headed for the best second weekend in box office history. The superhero ensemble film took in a gargantuan $29.1 million on Friday, which should lead to a weekend in the $95-105 million range — far more than current record holder Avatar, which earned $75.6 million in its second frame.

Tonight, on its ninth day of release, The Avengers will cross the $300 million mark (it’s made $299.1 million so far), and on Sunday it will soar past $350 million. No film has ever reached those milestones faster. READ FULL STORY

Box office preview: Johnny Depp won't be able to escape the 'Dark Shadows' of 'The Avengers'

Only one new wide release hits theaters this weekend — Tim Burton’s adaptation of the gothic soap opera Dark Shadows — but the $125 million vampire film, which stars Johnny Depp, Eva Green, and Michelle Pfeiffer, isn’t looking at a Twilight-size debut.

That’s partly due to The Avengers, which will still be a force to be reckoned with in its second weekend and could be the first film to earn over $100 million in its sophomore frame.

Here’s how the Top 5 might shake out.
READ FULL STORY

'The Avengers' sequel: Should another female join the superhero squad?

Now that it’s officially on, The Avengers sequel will have some Hulk-sized footprints to follow, and Marvel Studios will have to figure out which — if any — of the superheroes from its larger universe should feature in the follow-up.

It’s too soon to say definitively, but if writer-director Joss Whedon remains at the helm, he would like to see Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow get a sister on the squad.

In EW’s exclusive roundtable interview with Whedon and his hero cast, we discussed why there are so few female action heroes in the movies, and why they hope that will change in the next movie. READ FULL STORY

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