Weekend Box Office: ‘Avengers’ Crush Opening Weekend Record

There was no doubt that Marvel’s superhero team-up movie would open very strong, but I don’t think that anyone predicted it to shatter the previous $169 million opening weekend record set by ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2‘ by more than $30 million. Sure, the movie has been performing very well overseas for the last two weeks, but a $200 million opening still seemed unimaginable.

The Avengers‘ was expected to earn $172.5 million, which would barely pass that ‘Harry Potter’ finale, but the actual $200 million figure is pretty mind-blowing. The film also took the top honors for highest superhero midnight opening with $18.7 million. (The previous record-holder was ‘The Dark Knight‘ with $18.5 million.) In just three little days, ‘The Avengers’ has grossed more domestically than ‘Captain America‘, ‘Thor‘ and ‘The Incredible Hulk‘ during each of their theatrical runs.

Currently sitting pretty with a 93% favorable rating on Rotten Tomatoes, this is one title that the critics seem to love just as much as general viewers. Audiences were comprised of both older and younger moviegoers, 50% above age 25 and 50% below. 60% of the audience was male, and 52% of the opening totals came from 3D showings. While I previously thought that ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ could take back the highest-grossing opening weekend record, I don’t believe that’s possible without the added 3D surcharge that ‘The Avengers’ had.

The previous #1 movie, ‘Think Like a Man‘, slid down to the #2 spot, adding another $8 million to its $73 million haul. That’s a pretty impressive 17-day total for a $12 million movie. ‘The Hunger Games‘ is also still faring well after seven weeks on the big screen. Finishing in the #3 slot this weekend with $5.7 million, the movie has now grossed $380.7 million domestically. Box Office Mojo notes that ‘The Hunger Games’ is currently in the 14th slot for all-time domestic earnings and should pass ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2’ early this week.

Beyond the $46,057 per-screen average for ‘The Avengers’, also noteworthy was Fox Searchlight’s ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel‘, which opened on 27 screens and pulled in a welcoming $750,000. That averages out to $27,778 per screen. None of the other limited openers even came close. The documentary ‘First Position‘ earned $51,000 on five screens, which isn’t too shabby. What is shabby, however, was the opening of Kate Hudson’s romantic cancer movie ‘A Little Bit of Heaven‘. On 11 screens, it only brought in $9,800. That’s a very weak $891 per-screen average. Ouch. I don’t know which is worse: ‘A Little Bit of Heaven’ fizzling or the fact that Miley Cyrus’ ‘LOL‘ didn’t even make it on the early weekend box office report.

Top 10:

1. ‘The Avengers’ (Buena Vista) – $200,300,000

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

3. ‘The Hunger Games’ (Lionsgate) – $5,700,000

4. ‘The Lucky One’ (Warner Bros.) – $5,510,000

5. ‘The Pirates! Band of Misfits’ (Sony) – $5,400,000

6. ‘The Five-Year Engagement’ (Universal) – $5,100,000

7. ‘The Raven’ (Relativity) – $2,508,000

8. ‘Safe’ (Lionsgate) – $2,470,000

9. ‘Chimpanzee’ (Buena Vista) – $2,395,000

10. ‘The Three Stooges’ (Fox) – $1,800,000

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