Weekend Wrap-Up

Marvel's Avengers Sink Universal's Battleship

By John Hamann

May 20, 2012

Black Widow has a contemplative moment amidst the destruction.

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After showing superior opening might at the box office and following that up with a superb second weekend, Marvel's The Avengers is now showing off a new trick – legs. After weekends of $207 and $103 million (three weekends ago I would have said that was downright impossible), one might think The Avengers had nowhere to go than down, but here it is still impressing with its box office playability. The Avengers had new villains on the scene this weekend in the form of Battleship and The Dictator, trying to score some of those millions away from Marvel and Disney. However, like last weekend with Dark Shadows, Marvel's The Avengers simply slapped them away, as it took another assault at the box office record book this weekend.

Our number one film at the box office, and now for the third consecutive weekend, is Marvel's The Avengers. The Disney release continued its epic rollout and world dominance, taking in another $55.1 million from 4,249 venues. While off a slightly larger than expected 47%, let's remember what The Avengers accomplished last weekend. In its second frame, The Avengers earned more than $100 million, giving it the 19th biggest weekend ever, despite already being in release for seven days.


Of the films that have opened to $100 million or more, only six were able to keep their second weekend drops better than 50%. Iron Man dropped 50% in its second weekend from an opening of $102.1 million. Shrek 2 opened to $108 million and then used strong word-of-mouth to reduce its second frame drop to a tiny 33%. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith opened to $108.4 million and then must have used the force to keep the drop down to 49%. Toy Story 3 opened to $110.3 million and fell 46% in weekend two. Spider-Man started a lot of this craziness, opening to $114.8 million, and fell only 38% in its sophomore frame. Lastly, there is Alice In Wonderland, which opened to $116 million, and fell only 46% in weekend two. That means that only six of the 22 films (28%) that have had weekends higher than $100 million have fallen less than 50% in their second weekends. Marvel's The Avengers joins that club in a very odd way, as this is its third weekend rather than its second.

One record that Marvel's The Avengers won't be claiming is biggest gross for weekend three. That one will remain with Avatar, as the James Cameron flick used a well-timed New Year's frame (New Year's Eve was a Thursday) to propel its third weekend gross into the stratosphere. Avatar earned $68.5 million in its third frame. The Avengers third weekend gross of $55.1 million is now second, followed by Spider-Man's $45 million. The Avengers did become the fastest film to reach $400 million, a mark it reached on Thursday, day 14 of its assault on the box office. The Dark Knight did it in 18 glorious days in 2008, while it took Avatar 23 days to do the same. It took Spider-Man, Titanic, and The Phantom Menace more than two months to reach $400 million, while The Avengers did it in two weeks. My how the world has moved on.

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