Disney’s “The Avengers” boasted the biggest second weekend in box office history with a stunning $103.2 million, down a mild 50% from its debut and bringing the 10 day cume for the Marvel Studios film to an unprecedented $373.2 million domestic and $628.9 million internationally. (See top ten weekend chart below.)
The Marvel film will pass the $1 billion worldwide mark May 13, its 19th day in release, the first Marvel and fifth Disney film (along with “Pirates the Caribbean” franchise titles “Dead Man’s Chest” and “On Stranger Tides,” “Alice in Wonderland,” and “Toy Story 3”) to pass that global box office mark. It’s the fastest film to reach $200 million (three days) and $300 million (nine days).
The only film opening in wide release this weekend was Warner Bros.’ highly anticipated “Dark Shadows,” the latest and eighth collaboration between director Tim Burton and star Johnny Depp. “Dark Shadows” debuted with an estimated $28.8 million from 3,755 locations to place second, which was on the low side of expectations as many observers thought the film would open between $30 million and $35 million. “Shadows” did receive a nice 12% bump from Friday to Saturday.
Thanks to the stellar hold of “Avengers” and the solid opening by “Dark Shadows,” the box office in North America overall was up a robust 54% from the comparable period a year ago. The total for all films this weekend is estimated to be around $172 million.
“I would have loved to have seen a three in front of the opening number this weekend,” admitted Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution for Warner Bros., “but nobody anticipated the strength of “The Avengers.” The film continues to dominate the boxoffice. As we approach the Memorial Day holiday I’m hoping ‘Dark Shadows’ will hold and find its legs.” Fellman added, “The audience for ‘Avengers’ started young and is moving older now, while we started older and will hopefully start to skew younger.”
Produced by Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow for around $150 million, darkly comedic “Dark Shadows” is based on the 60s television soap opera about Barnabas Collins, an 18th century vampire who is released during the 1970s.
Burton and Depp began their 22-year collaboration on Fox’s “Edward Scissorhands”; Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland” proved to be their most profitable collaboration with a worldwide gross of more than $1 billion. “Alice” grossed $334.2 million domestically and a whopping $690.1 million internationally. Depps’ films usually do better overseas than domestically, so that should help “Dark Shadows” make back its costs in the long run after its slow domestic start.
The audience for “Shadows” skewed female with 57%, with 45% under 35 years of age and 55% age 35 and older. Audiences gave the film a lukewarm B- CinemaScore, and critics only gave the film a 41% favorable grade, according to the tally at RottenTomatoes.com.
Fox Searchlight’s “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” shot up into the top 10 this weekend and placed eighth with an estimated $2.65 million from just 151 locations, averaging a stout $14,888 per theater. The picture has grossed around $3.72 million since its release a week ago.
On Friday, May 18, “Marigold Hotel” expands to an additional 24 markets, adding approximately 300 theatres and will roll out nationally the following holiday weekend and should be in over 800 theatres.
Lionsgates’ “Girl In Progress” debuted in the 10th slot with an estimated $1.35 million with 322 engagements, averaging $4,193 per theater. It was the second consecutive film from the Pantelion label to debut in the top 10. “Girl” appealed mostly to females and older moviegoers, with 70% of the audience comprising that gender, and 57% of the audience over 25 years of age. The picture scored a B+ from CinemaScore.