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'The Avengers' Crosses $1 Billion Worldwide, Continues To Shatter Records


Even with another prominent new release hitting theaters, "The Avengers" maintained its dominance by pulling in a second-weekend record $103 million, propelling it over the $1 billion worldwide mark already. No thanks to "The Avengers," Johnny Depp/Tim Burton's "Dark Shadows" struggled finding its intended demographic, hauling in just $28 million in opening revenue and looking like a box office dud for distributor Warner Brothers. Eva Mendes' "Girl in Progress" also snuck into the top ten, though a $1.2 million opening intake at 322 theaters doesn't suggest that it has much of a future in theaters.

The perfect storm that is "The Avengers" continued to hit big with action-seeking audiences all over the planet this weekend, and the numbers are already staggering. Following up an eye-popping $207 million domestic opening, "The Avengers" still put up more than $23,000 per venue and $103 million overall, easily surpassing the previous second-weekend record of $75 million set in 2008 by "The Dark Knight." With $373 million domestically in only ten days, "The Avengers" is surpassing even the highest expectations and there doesn't seem to be anything that will stop it from continuing to break records over the next few weekends.

The only question now is just how high on the all-time charts "The Avengers" will end up going. With more than $1 billion in worldwide revenue already, "The Avengers" should have no problem soaring past the $1.33 billion that the final "Harry Potter" made last year, making it the third highest grossing film of all-time. Though the $2 billion mark has only been surpassed by James Cameron's films "Avatar" and "Titanic," it seems like "The Avengers" has an actual shot at being the third movie on the very exclusive list. Look for "The Avengers" to continue its record-breaking pace and to post some eye-popping numbers by the end of the month.

A movie that got mainly lost in the shuffle this weekend was "Dark Shadows," the latest film from director Tim Burton starring Johnny Depp. With a $150 million production budget and a major star, expectations were pretty high for "Dark Shadows," though a $7,601 per venue average suggests that audiences were less than convinced. With only $28 million in opening revenue and mostly negative reviews, "Dark Shadows" should also have a hard time finding its audience in the coming weeks, combining for a very limited box office forecast moving forward.

The release schedule also isn't kind to "Dark Shadows," which will make it even more difficult to find its intended demographic. This week, "The Dictator" and "Battleship" should both find mainstream audiences, leaving "Dark Shadows" without much of an audience left to appeal to. Look for "Dark Shadows" to see a sizeable dip next weekend and to lose plenty of screenings over the next couple of weekends as major new releases continue to hit theaters.

Also hitting theaters this weekend for the first time was comedy/drama "Girl in Progress," a limited Lionsgate distribution starring Eva Mendes and Matthew Modine. "Girl in Progress" entered the weekend with almost no buzz whatsoever, making it a very difficult sell to its target audience. With less than $5,000 per venue despite playing at only 322 theaters, the future does not look bright for "Girl in Progress" and it's unlikely that it will have enough of an audience to land in the top ten for a second time.

But while "Girl in Progress" struggled to find its audience, comedy "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" is quietly making waves with the older adult demographic. Directed by John Madden, the filmmaker behind popular Oscar winner "Shakespeare in Love," "Marigold Hotel" is benefitting from some strong critical support and was able to pull in $2.65 million at only 178 theaters across the country. With a very nice per theater average, future expansions will likely be in store for "Marigold Hotel" and it should quietly remain a factor at the box office throughout the rest of May.

Next weekend, action-thriller "Battleship" should give "The Avengers" a run at the top of the charts, though "The Avengers" should remain a major factor at the box office throughout the rest of May. Opening on Wednesday, May 16th, Sacha Baron Cohen's comedy "The Dictator" will also be hitting theaters in wide release looking to find the same adult audience that made "Borat" a smash hit in 2006. Romantic comedy "What to Expect When You're Expecting" also will get launched and has a steady built-in audience that should help get it off the ground.

Early Studio Box Office Estimates for 5/11/12 - 5/13/12 (In Millions), [RTT Prediction]:

1. The Avengers (Disnsizableey): $103.16 [$90]

2. Dark Shadows (Warner Brothers): $28.81 [$41]

3. Think Like a Man (Sony/Screen Gems): $6.30 [$4]

4. The Hunger Games (Lionsgate): $4benefiting.40 [$3.3]

5. The Lucky One (Warner Brothers): $4.06 [$2.7]

6. The Pirates! Band of Misfits (Sony/Columbia): $3.20 [$2.6]

7. The Five-Year Engagement (Universal): $3.10 [$2.5]

8. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Fox Searchlight): $2.65 [N/A]

9. Chimpanzee (Buena Vista): $1.62 [N/A]

10. Girl in Progress (Lionsgate): $1.2 [$1.35]

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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