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Today in obvious news: 'Avengers' sequel officially in the works

Shocking exactly no one, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced today during a conference call with shareholders that a sequel to The Avengers is officially in development. The film will follow the 2013 releases for Iron Man 3 and Thor 2, and the expected 2014 release of Captain America 2. 

No other news about the sequel was given, but that won’t stop fans from wild speculation about the possible storyline, especially given a post-credit scene that (SPOILER ALERT) appeared to indicate who the sequel’s villain will be. As for whether director Joss Whedon would return, the filmmaker has noted that he would want Avengers 2 to be “smaller…more personal, more painful.” Of course, given the massive heap of money the movie is making for Disney — over $700 million globally in less than two weeks of release — the notion that its sequel would somehow be smaller may not strike the fancy of Marvel’s Disney overlords.

Read more:
‘Avengers’ ending: What was that [spoiler]? And what does this mean for ‘Avengers 2′?
Assembled! The (spoilerish) backstory behind the after-credits scene in ‘The Avengers’ — EXCLUSIVE
‘Avengers’: Watch EW’s exclusive interview with the trash-talking superhero cast, and puny human Joss Whedon — VIDEO

'Avengers' sets opening-weekend record: But is it the most impressive debut ever?

At the box-office, more is always better, but I admit I was a little disappointed when analysts upgraded the record-breaking opening-weekend haul of The Avengers from $200.3 million to $207.4 million. Two hundred million dollars just sounded better, didn’t it? It had the ring of a record that could last forever — like Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 points scored in a single game.

So as it turns out, The Avengers shattered the previous record — held by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 — by more than $38 million, an enormous sum. Even with the less rounded figure of $207.4, the magnitude of the action film’s domination had the seismic feel of an industry-changing event that forced everyone to stop and marvel.

But is The Avengers the most impressive record-breaking debut of all time? READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'The Avengers' opens even bigger than previously thought, with $207.4 mil

Disney announced today that The Avengers opened even stronger than the studio originally thought. Instead of an estimated $200.3 million, which is the figure Disney reported yesterday, the superhero extravaganza actually debuted to $207.4 million last weekend — or $38.2 million more than the previous opening-weekend record holder, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 ($169.2 million).

The Avengers grossed $80.8 million on Friday (second-biggest Friday after Deathly Hallows — Part 2), $69.5 million on Saturday (best Saturday ever), and $57 million on Sunday (top Sunday ever). The Joss Whedon film became the first movie to reach $150 million in just two days, and the first to cross $200 million in three days. The Avengers has also been a powerhouse in foreign markets, having grossed an estimated $447.4 million overseas in 12 days (since debuting in several territories on April 25). The picture set opening-weekend records in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Central America, Peru, Bolivia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, and United Arab Emirates.

Read more:
Box office report: ‘The Avengers’ scores biggest opening weekend of all time with $200.3 mil
Box office update: ‘The Avengers’ posts second-best opening day ever with $80.5 mil

'Avengers': Watch EW's exclusive interview with the trash-talking superhero cast, and puny human Joss Whedon -- VIDEO


After the credits roll on a movie, it’s always good to sit around with friends and talk about your favorite moments.

When Entertainment Weekly got a conversation going about The Avengers, the friends just happened to be Iron Man, Nick Fury, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye, Black Widow, and the Hulk, or at least the stars who played them — who swear a lot more.

Miniature versions of the heroes as Hasbro playthings were scattered around the table, but they stayed mostly quiet, unless their buttons were pushed. (The stars were more focused on pushing each other’s buttons.) READ FULL STORY

Box office report: 'The Avengers' scores biggest opening weekend of all time with $200.3 mil

Puny Potter. Disney’s The Avengers smashed the opening weekend record by earning $200.3 million this weekend, according to studio estimates.

The prior record was held by last summer’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2, which debuted to $169.2 million. But The Avengers, directed by Joss Whedon, was the perfect storm: a highly anticipated 3-D action movie that combined the superheroes of several prior Marvel blockbusters while managing to stand alone as a well-reviewed, crowd-pleasing film in its own right. Oh, and it had a Hulk.

The $220 million picture started the weekend off with $80.5 million on Friday (the second-best opening day ever after Deathly Hallows — Part 2), and then added an estimated $69.7 yesterday for the biggest Saturday gross on record. If the estimates hold, it’ll become the first movie to reach $150 million domestically in just two days. Disney is projecting $50.1 million for today, which would also be a record Sunday gross if it comes true, beating The Dark Knight‘s $43.6 million Sunday tally. READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'The Avengers' posts second-best opening day ever with $80.5 mil; 'Potter' weekend record in jeopardy

SUNDAY UPDATE: The Avengers scores biggest opening weekend of all time.

ORIGINAL POST: Moviegoers assembled! Disney’s The Avengers debuted to a gargantuan $80.5 million on Friday, including $18.7 million from Thursday midnight showings, according to early estimates.

That gives the $220 million Marvel superhero film the second-largest opening day ever, behind only last year’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2, which earned $91.1 million its first day. It also means that the opening weekend record, also held by Deathly Hallows — Part 2 with $169.2 million, is in jeopardy. Depending on how well The Avengers holds up on Saturday and Sunday, the movie will finish the weekend somewhere between $160 million and $200 million. My guess at this point: a record-breaking $180 million. READ FULL STORY

'The Avengers' earns $18.7 million at midnight showings, slightly less than 'The Hunger Games'


The Avengers is off to a high-flying start at the box office!

The ensemble superhero film grossed an estimated $18.7 million from midnight showings across the country, according to Disney. Of that number, $1.3 million came from 273 IMAX screens.

The Avengers‘ figure slightly trails The Hunger Games, which pulled in $19.7 million at midnight on the way to a $152.5 million opening, but it’s ahead of The Dark Knight, which earned $18.5 million from midnight screenings and $158 million in its debut weekend. Thus, a finish in the $150 million range — as EW is predicting – seems likely.


Assembled! The (spoilerish) backstory behind the after-credits scene in 'The Avengers' -- EXCLUSIVE


Now that The Avengers is in theaters and moviegoers are discovering the secret new scene the cast shot just three weeks ago, it’s time for EW to tell you what we know.

While EW confirmed that, yes, a new scene was being created, we didn’t share everything we knew because, well, … who wants to hear the punchline to a joke before the setup? Now that the movie has opened, and people are discovering the scene for themselves, we can exclusively reveal its backstory.

Read on, but only if you’ve already sat through The Avengers until the end of the credits (or if you’re a joyless, spoiler-craving churl.) READ FULL STORY

Box office preview: Will 'The Avengers' score the largest opening ever?

Can seven superheroes take down a teenage wizard? That’s the question every box-office prognosticator is facing this weekend, as The Avengers smashes into theaters looking to score the biggest opening weekend ever, an honor that currently belongs to last summer’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2, which debuted to an otherworldly $169.2 million.

Part of me simply wants to say The Avengers will gross $170 million so that if it does break the record, I can yell, “Toldja!” But the statistician in me is more concerned with getting this prediction right, and the indicators for this being the biggest opening ever are not quite in place. It’ll be huge, don’t get me wrong — I’m forecasting the second-largest debut to date, behind only Deathly Hallows — Part 2. And The Avengers could grab the record. It may be very close. This all makes for an incredibly exciting weekend. But when it comes to that over-under bet, I’m opting for under. Here’s why:


Movie Talk: Owen and Lisa debate 'The Avengers': Great fun? Or empty fun? -- VIDEO


EW movie critics Owen Gleiberman and Lisa Schwarzbaum have distinctly different takes on The Avengers, which comes out this Friday, but they agree on the movie’s overall success as a fun, thrilling ride. While Gleiberman compares the depth of the film’s characters to the classic 12 Angry Men, Lisa says the Joss Whedon-helmed bonanza is another example of comic book movies-as-commodity — going so far as to say the characters’ banter makes her “depressed.”

Check out their full back-and-forth criticism in the video below:

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