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Weekend Wrap-up: Avengers Assemble a New Record Book

May 7th, 2012

Expectations for The Avengers were high, record-breakingly high among some people. However, as high as they were, reality was higher. Records were not just broken, but destroyed beyond recognition. The overall box office was in the top five combined biggest weekends with $258 million, which was 134% higher than last weekend. 134%. It was 55% higher than the same weekend last year. Like I've said before, this kind of year-over-year change usually only happens when there is a misalignment in holidays. The victory erases all of the losses from April, and then some, giving 2012 a $500 million lead over 2011 at $3.58 billion to $3.08 billion. This is an amazing start for the summer and with with roughly 25 million people seeing movies this weekend, upcoming films got a ton of free publicity and added hype.

When Disney announced The Avengers made just over $200 million on Sunday, I thought it was a marketing trick. They were hoping to get 24 hours of publicity for being the first $200 million opener, before the real number of $195 million came out today. I was wrong. Not only was I wrong, the real number turned out to be more than Sunday's estimates. The film opened with $207.44 million, which by itself was the tenth biggest combined weekend of all time. It is the biggest weekend and obviously the biggest opening weekend, biggest May weekend, and the fastest to $200 million. Its opening day was the second largest on record, although one could argue it was the largest opening day, if you separate out midnight showings. It had the biggest second day at the box office, biggest Saturday, biggest third day, biggest Sunday, etc. All of these records were impressive, but the one that a lot of people overlooked was best per theater average for a number one film. Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour had a massive advantage in this area, because it was only playing in 683 theaters. But The Avengers managed a slightly higher average while playing in six times as many theaters.

So where does The Avengers go from here? The 93% positive reviews should help its legs, but the Fanboy Effect will be a killer. Next weekend Dark Shadows is the only wide release. That film is earning some good buzz, but I don't think it will compete with The Avengers for top spot. It should have no trouble breaking the record for fasted to $300 million, while it could be close to $400 million by this time next week.

Think Like a Man added $8.11 million over the weekend for a total of $73.14 million This is more than enough to earn a solid profit and the studio should be more than happy.

The Hunger Games fell less than 50% to $5.59 million over the weekend for a total of $380.61 million after a month and a half. It is closing in on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 on the All Time Chart.

The Pirates! Band of Misfits was right behind with $5.50 million over the weekend and $18.67 million after two. This is not a good run at the box office, but it has performed better internationally and I suspect it will do better on the home market.

The Lucky One grabbed the final spot in the top five with $5.37 million and now has $47.78 million after three weeks of release.

The sophomore class as busy this week with The Five-Year Engagement the best of the rest earning $5.03 million over the weekend. That was down 53%, about on par with the rest of the top ten, and lifted its running tally to $19.13 million. Safe fell 66% to just $2.68 million over the weekend for a total of $13.08 million after two. The domestic box office is less important than its home market numbers. The Raven was right behind with $2.64 million over the weekend for a total of $12.18 million after two. I was expecting more than that during its opening weekend.


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Filed under: Weekend Box Office, The Avengers, The Five-Year Engagement, Dark Shadows, The Hunger Games, The Lucky One, Safe, The Pirates! Band of Misfits, Think Like a Man