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Weekend Wrap-Up: Avengers Begin New Century Club

May 15th, 2012

For the first time ever, a film earned more than $100 million during its sophomore stint. The Avengers again led the way at the box office and again broke records. It wasn't all good news as Dark Shadows missed modest expectations and the overall box office slid 34% from last weekend to $171 million. That is still 22% higher than the same weekend last year, while 2012's lead over 2011 grew to 17.5% at $3.83 billion to $3.26 billion. I don't know how long The Avengers can keep 2012 ahead in the year-over-year comparison, but it sure is helping build up its lead in the short term.

Almost exactly ten years to the day since Spider-man became the first film to earn $100 million during its opening weekend, The Avengers became the first to earn $100 million during its sophomore stint. With $103.05 million over the weekend, it smashed the previous record by $25 million, or more than 33%. Records shouldn't fall by that large of a margin. Additionally, the film became the fastest to $300 million, shaving a day off the previous record and with $373.07 million after just ten days of release, it is on pace to reach $400 million before the weekend begins, which would be another record. Given its reviews and the general lack of monster competition this coming weekend, the film should have little trouble getting to $500 million domestically, while it is reportedly already over $1 billion worldwide. (We will talk more about that when final international numbers are in on Wednesday.)

To put this into perspective, had The Avengers made $103.05 million during its opening weekend, Marvel would have been able spin that number into a success. Sure, it would have been below the hype, but it would have meant a $250 million domestic total and a $600 million worldwide total. That's more than enough to pay for its combined budget before you take into account the home market and the obvious merchandizing boom for the franchise.

Dark Shadows missed the low end of expectations opening with just $29.69 million. This is actually not bad compared to Tim Burton's career average, but well back of his more recent releases. Its weakness at the box office can partially be explained by the large number of Tim Burton / Johnny Depp films. Before the weekend, almost as many people were joking about how many times they've worked together as were seriously discussing the film. But it was also partially explained by the reviews. A Tomatometer score of 42% isn't fatal for a wide release, but it certainly won't help its legs. On the positive side, it does appear to be performing better on the international scene, so breaking even remains a possibility.

Think Like a Man added $5.82 million over the weekend and now has a total of $81.43 million. At this pace, it should earn close to $100 million, but it might not quite get there without a small push by the studio, and I'm not sure the studio will be willing to do that.

With $4.51 million over the weekend, The Hunger Games has a total of $387.01 million and remains the biggest hit of the year, at least for a couple more days. This will be the last weekend in the top five for the film, but since it was released close to two months ago, that's a good run. Also, the film still has a small chance at $400 million, depending on how well it can hold onto its theater count and if it can get a boost from Memorial day.

The Lucky One remained in fifth place with $4.11 million over the weekend for a total of $53.79 million after four weeks of release. This is twice what it reportedly cost to make and more than than original expectations, so the studio should be happy with the result.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, The Avengers, Dark Shadows, The Hunger Games, The Lucky One, Think Like a Man