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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


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.


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!

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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.

'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

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

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