Another Record-Breaking Weekend for ‘The Avengers’

on May 14, 2012 by Daniel Garris
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Marvel's The Avengers continued its record-breaking performance this weekend with a first place take of $103.05 million. That represented a second weekend decline of 50 percent. The ensemble superhero film from Disney established a new largest all-time second weekend record, as it absolutely shattered the previous second weekend record of $75.62 million held by 2009's Avatar. Even when factoring ticket price inflation, The Avengers is the only film on record to have generated an adjusted second weekend of over $100 million (2002's Spider-Man and 2004's Shrek 2 are the only films with adjusted second weekends over $90 million).

The Avengers has grossed an astonishing $373.07 million in just ten days of domestic release. That is by far the largest ten-day start of all-time, easily topping the $313.78 million ten-day start of 2008's The Dark Knight. The Avengers reached the $300 milestone on Saturday, its ninth day of release. That also represented a new record, with previous record holder The Dark Knight having taken ten days to achieve the milestone. The Avengers is currently running 19 percent stronger than The Dark Knight, 67 percent stronger than Spider-Man and 110 percent stronger than 2008's Iron Man. Given these comparisons, reaching $600 million domestically is a real possibility for The Avengers at this point.

Internationally, The Avengers held up especially well, as it grossed $95.4 million from 54 foreign territories this weekend. To date The Avengers has grossed $628.9 million internationally, placing the film's worldwide total at $1.002 billion.

Warner's Dark Shadows debuted in a distant second place with $29.69 million. The latest collaboration between Johnny Depp and Tim Burton opened a bit below pre-release expectations. Compared to previous Depp and Burton collaborations, the opening weekend performance of Dark Shadows was most similar to the $30.06 million start of 1999's Sleepy Hollow. However, it should be noted that when adjusting for ticket price inflation the adjusted debut of Sleepy Hollow now stands at $46.5 million. Given the break-out performance of The Avengers, this weekend's $29.69 million start could have been a respectable one for Dark Shadows, but unfortunately at the end of the day it isn't when factoring in the film's hefty price tag.

One positive note for Dark Shadows is that the film did hold up well as the weekend went on. After opening with $9.67 million on Friday, the film was able to register an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 3.07 to 1. In this case, strong Saturday and Sunday holds likely had less to do with early word of mouth and more to do with Sunday being Mother's Day and the film skewing heavily towards older moviegoers. As a result it clearly remains to be seen whether or not the film can sustain momentum going forward. The audience breakdown for Dark Shadows skewed 73 percent towards moviegoers over 25 and 57 percent towards female moviegoers.

On the international front, Dark Shadows grossed a so-so $36.7 million from 42 foreign territories. That places the film's worldwide launch at $66.4 million. Key international debuts included $5.3 million in Russia, $4.6 million in France, $4.0 million in the United Kingdom and $3.7 million in Australia.

Fox Searchlight's The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel remained strong in limited release after receiving a significant expansion this weekend. The John Madden directed film starring Judi Dench grossed $2.67 million, which was good enough for eighth place among all films this weekend. The film earned a healthy per-location average of $15,012 from 178 locations, which is a very good sign going forward. The ten-day domestic total for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel stands at $3.74 million. The film's international total currently stands at $76.1 million, placing its worldwide total at $79.8 million.

Additional reporting by Phil Contrino.

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