Avengers Explodes: Meet the New Box Office Superhero
By John Hamann
May 6, 2012
To recap, here are some jaw-dropping stats to show what The Avengers accomplished at the box office this weekend. Three previous titles reached $200 million in five days. Those are The Dark Knight, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. This feat was accomplished for the first time in 2008. Keep in mind that until 2002, no film had earned $100 million in three days. Ten years and three days after Spider-Man (another Marvel property) achieved that mark, The Avengers upped the ante by doubling the pace with more than $200 million in three days. Thus, we have gone from $100 million in three days, to $200 million in five days, to $200 million in three days in a ten year span. This is the front-loading era in a nutshell. The Avengers has beaten previous record-holder Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 by $31.1 million, or 18.4%.
More remarkably, $200.3 million represents more than the best Iron Man opening ($128.1 million) and the best opening for any of the other members of the Avengers (Thor's $65.7 million) combined. Thor + Iron Man 2 represents $193.8 million worth of opening weekend box office, over $6 million short of The Avengers. Clearly, the sum of Marvel's greatest heroes is greater than its parts.
Finally, BOP is a group of unabashed fans of Joss Whedon. We would be remiss if we failed to note the following: After years of lamenting the fact that Twilight, a cheap Buffy the Vampire Slayer knockoff, is more successful than anything Whedon has created up to now, the tide turned this weekend. Not only has Whedon's latest directorial effort, The Avengers, earned $57.5 million more than the most popular Twilight opener (New Moon), but The Avengers also earned more on Saturday ($69.7 million) than the original Twilight made in its opening weekend ($69.6 million). That sound you hear is Whedon (rightfully) having the last laugh.
I find it almost ridiculous to look at the other films in the top ten this weekend, as they are a sorry crew compared to The Avengers. Finishing second this weekend is the Screen Gems/Rainforest Films hit, Think Like A Man, now enjoying its third weekend in release, its first where it is not in the top spot. Think Like A Man earned $8 million in its third frame, and was off 55% compared to last weekend. Think Like A Man had already earned $65 million before entering the weekend, and last weekend dropped 48%, so this is drop A) cannot be attributed to the Avengers; B) is not a failure in any form. Let's remember that Think Like A Man is a $12 million film (compared to The Avengers' budget of $220 million), so at this point in its release, Think has already earned more than six times its production budget domestically (Avengers would have to earn $1.3 billion stateside to claim the same). Think Like A Man has a gross so far of $73 million, and is almost as impressive as The Avengers, but on a much smaller scale.