Marvel's The Avengers wrapped up its record breaking first week performance with a first place take of $12.39 million on Thursday. For the week Disney's ensemble superhero blockbuster grossed $270.02 million. That represented the largest seven-day start of all-time, easily topping the previous seven-day record of $238.62 million held by 2008's The Dark Knight. The Avengers is currently running 13 percent ahead of the pace of The Dark Knight, 78 percent ahead of 2002's Spider-Man and 113 percent ahead of 2008's Iron Man.
After losing some momentum on Wednesday, The Avengers was able to stabilize on Thursday as it was down a very respectable 9 percent yesterday. First-Thursday declines for other recent Marvel blockbusters have included 7 percent for Iron Man, 9 Percent for 2010's Iron Man 2 and 12 percent for 2007's Spider-Man 3. In comparison to the first Thursday grosses of those films, Thursday's gross for The Avengers was 95 percent stronger than the $6.34 million gross of Iron Man 2, 110 percent stronger than the $5.91 million gross of Spider-Man 3 and 133 percent stronger than the $5.33 million gross of Iron Man. With those comparisons in mind, The Avengers looks to be an absolute lock to demolish the all-time largest second weekend record (currently held by Avatar with a second weekend take of $75.62 million).
Sony's Think Like a Man remained in a distant second on Thursday with $0.562 million. The ensemble comedy from Screen Gems was up 1 percent over Wednesday and down 40 percent from last Thursday. Think Like a Man finished in second place for the week with $10.59 million. That brings the three-week total for the film to a stronger than expected $75.62 million.
In platform release, Fox Searchlight's The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel remained strong with $83,545 from 27 locations. That gave the John Madden directed film starring Judi Dench a per-location average of $3,094 for the day. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was down 3 percent from Wednesday and has grossed a strong $1.07 million in one week of platform release. The film is playing in 177 locations beginning today.