Marvel's The Avengers took in $6.21 million on Thursday and in the process passed by the $400 million domestic milestone. Disney's blockbuster superhero film reached the milestone in just 14 days and is just the 13th film to ever reach the milestone. Previous record holder 2008's The Dark Knight reached the milestone in 18 days. The Avengers dominated this week's box office with a weekly take of $132.00 million. That was down 51 percent from the film's opening week performance and places the film's 14-day total at $402.02 million. The Avengers is currently running 14.5 percent stronger than The Dark Knight, 67 percent stronger than 2002's Spider-Man and 110 percent stronger than 2008's Iron Man. Given its continued strength this week, The Avengers is in terrific shape to lead the box office once again this weekend.
The Dictator held steady in second place with $2.87 million. Paramount's R-rated comedy starring Sacha Baron Cohen fell a sizable, but reasonable, 31 percent from its opening day performance on Wednesday. The Dictator has grossed $7.04 million through two day of release, which is a bit softer than expected. The film is currently running 36 percent softer than the $11.03 million two-day midweek start of 2008's Tropic Thunder (which fell 30 percent on its first Thursday). Given that early word of mouth appears to be softer for The Dictator than that of Tropic Thunder, The Dictator looks to be headed for an opening weekend in the area of $14 million to $15 million and a five-day start in the neighborhood of $21 million to $22 million.
Warner's Dark Shadows grossed $1.69 million to remain in third place. The big-budget collaboration between Johnny Depp and Tim Burton was down 8 percent from Wednesday. The film finished in a distant second place this week with a softer than expected seven-day start of $38.14 million. Dark Shadows is currently running 65 percent ahead of the pace of 2005's Corpse Bride and 56 percent behind the pace of 2005's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
In limited release, Fox Searchlight's The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel grossed $304,373 to place in seventh among all films. The John Madden directed film starring Judi Dench has grossed a healthy $4.997 million through two weeks of limited release. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel will be playing in 354 locations beginning today.