Weekend Box Office: ‘Avengers’ Blows ‘Battleship’ out of the Water

Nothing too surprising went on at the box office this weekend. For the third consecutive weekend, ‘The Avengers’ dominated. Not only has the film added another $55 million to its domestic run, it nabbed the worldwide all-time #4 spot with $1.18 billion and the domestic #6 spot with $457 million (which will be bumped up to #4 by next weekend as it passes both the original 1977 ‘Star Wars’ and ‘The Phantom Menace’). The geek shall indeed inherit the Earth.

Until now, ‘The Avengers’ hasn’t had any serious competition since it debuted, and the opening of ‘Battleship‘ didn’t make too much of a dent in its run either. After a strong international overseas run that began over a month ago, Universal expected ‘Battleship’ to open domestically between $35 and $40 million. The expensive marketing campaign didn’t seem to sway the box office in a better direction. A $25.3 million opening for a $209 million movie is not a good thing.

Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest comedy, ‘The Dictator‘, got a two-day jump on the week’s other openers. Between Wednesday and Thursday, the film earned an impressive $7 million. Add that to the $17.4 million weekend, and ‘The Dictator’ has already made $24.4 million domestically. Overseas, the movie opened to $30.3 million, which puts it overall 26% above the run of ‘Borat‘. The Hollywood Reporter notes that these numbers show it potentially passing $100 million worldwide.

Dark Shadows‘ dropped to the #4 spot with $12.7 million, but still managed to push ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting‘ to the #5 spot. The clich√©-filled pregnancy comedy only wrangled $10.5 million. Does this less-than-good opening reflect the fact that Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz don’t have the draw they once did, or did it fail simply because the content looked repulsive? Or both?

Fox Searchlight’s ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel‘ hasn’t expanded to more theaters (it’s still on only 178 screens), but positive word-of-mouth bumped the geriatric comedy up 21% in attendance and two whole spots up the chart. The $3.25 million weekend brought its limited three-week haul to $8.2 million, and actually gave it the highest per-screen average ($18,258) for any movie this weekend.

On 55 screens, Brandon Routh’s Native American sports drama ‘Crooked Arrows‘ earned $280,000. The Hugh Dancy/Maggie Gyllenhaal vibrator period piece ‘Hysteria opened with $40,800 on just five screens. Cannes winner ‘Polisse‘ earned $17,700 on three screens. Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black’s ‘Virginia‘ had the worst per-screen average of all the new limited openers at $1,260. On five screens, ‘Virginia’ only brought in $6,300.

Top 10:

1. ‘The Avengers’ (Buena Vista) – $55,057,000

2. ‘Battleship’ (Universal) – $25,300,000

3. ‘The Dictator’ (Paramount) – $17,415,000

4. ‘Dark Shadows’ (Warner Bros.) – $12,770,000

5. ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ (Lionsgate) – $10,500,000

6. ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ (Searchlight) – $3,250,000

7. ‘The Hunger Games’ (Lionsgate) – $3,000,000

8. ‘Think Like A Man’ (Screen Gems) – $2,700,000

9. ‘The Lucky One’ (Warner Bros.) – $1,765,000

10. ‘The Pirates! Band of Misfits’ (Sony) – $1,450,000


  1. So weird that ‘Battleship’, a movie that annoyingly screams American bravado, “Let’s get them, we’re AMERICANS DAMMIT!” did crappy here but well overseas.

    There’s a reason why they worked in a way to fit the Japanese into this movie. All about international box office bucks.

    • JM

      Considering its budget and genre, ‘Battleship’ has to be considered an international failure too.

      In every market it’s making 1/3 what they hoped for.

      The headline here is incorrect. It would be more precise to say…

      ‘Battleship’ Misfired, Sunk Itself.

  2. The only way this movie had a chance was to release it 2 weeks before Avengers, not 2 weeks after. Avengers is still gonna be pulling in millions even after Battleship is long gone.

    I’m pretty sure once Memorial Day hits Avengers will have a big jump in attendance again.

    I know I want to see it again.

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