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: