“The Avengers” sunk “Battleship” and defeated all other challengers over the weekend to top the domestic box office for the third straight week.
According to the Associated Press, Marvel/Disney’s super-blockbuster made another $55.1 million domestically, more than the three big newcomers combined. Overseas, “The Avengers” added an additional $56 million.
The film is approaching the $1.2 billion mark worldwide, totaling $457.1 million domestically and $723.3 million internationally.
At $1.18 billion worldwide, “The Avengers” climbed to the No. 4 spot on the all-time charts, trailing only “Avatar” ($2.8 billion), “Titanic” ($2.2 billion) and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2″ ($1.3 billion), according to the AP.
Domestically, “The Avengers” at $457.1 million is No. 6 all-time but the force is so strong with this one that it will soon pass “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” ($474.5 million) and the original “Star Wars” ($460.9 million) to take the No. 4 spot.
“Avatar” is No. 1 domestically at $760.5 million, followed by “Titanic” at $658.5 million and “The Dark Knight” at $533.3 million.
With today’s higher admission prices, notes the AP, many older movies sold more tickets than “The Avengers,” which also has a price advantage because of the extra cost to see it in 3-D and IMAX. But the superhero ensemble – teaming Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans) and The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) – has proved an irresistible draw, pulling in all audience segments, packing in many fans who are opting for second, third and perhaps even more viewings and proving the ongoing appeal of the Marvel characters and the well-cast actors chosen to play them.
“‘The Avengers’ is dominating the marketplace so profoundly that the newcomers are having a tough time breaking in now,” Paul Dergarabedian, analyst for box-office tracker Hollywood.com, told the AP.
Universal’s “Battleship” opened a distant No. 2 with $25.4 million domestically, well below industry expectations. Based on the venerable board game, the alien-invasion naval actioner stars Liam Neeson, Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgård, Brooklyn Decker and pop star Rihanna.
The “Battleship” movie hasn’t been completely sunk: It already has grossed $226.8 million overseas since launching in April, for a worldwide total of $252.1 million, according to the AP.
Sacha Baron Cohen’s comedy “The Dictator,” in which the comedic-actor behind “Borat” and “Bruno” plays a tyrannical third-world leader who comes to America, debuted at No. 3 with $17.4 million for the weekend. Since opening Wednesday, the Paramount release has taken in $24.5 million.
“The Dictator” opened with $30.3 million in 29 overseas markets, for a global haul of $54.8 million, according to the AP.
Johnny Depp and Tim Burton’s eighth cinematic pairing, a big-screen adaptation of the 1960s-70s supernatural soap opera “Dark Shadows,” slipped to No. 4 with $12.8 million, a week after opening a distant second to “The Avengers.” The Warner Bros. release, also starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green and Chloe Grace Moretz, lifted its domestic total to $50.9 million. The movie version of the cult favorite TV show has turned in a lackluster box-office performance, particularly compared to Depp-Burton blockbusters “Alice in Wonderland” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” which held strong appeal to family audiences.
Lionsgate’s pregnancy comedy “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” featuring a star-studded ensemble including Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Banks and, again, Brooklyn Decker playing out five interconnected stories inspired by the best-selling pregnancy guidebook of the same name, premiered at No. 5 with $10.5 million over the weekend.
“The Avengers” and the also-rans in its wake weren’t enough to keep Hollywood’s summer season, which has been predicted to be a record breaker, on its white-hot streak. Overall domestic revenues totaled $144 million, down 14 percent from the same weekend last year, when “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” opened with $90.2 million, according to the AP.
Here are the 10 top movies from the past weekend, according to the AP:
1. “The Avengers,” $55.1 million ($56 million international).
2. “Battleship,” $25.4 million ($6.5 million international).
3. “The Dictator,” $17.4 million ($30.3 million international).
4. “Dark Shadows,” $12.8 million ($30.4 million international).
5. “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” $10.5 million.
6. “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” $3.3 million ($1.8 million international).
7. “The Hunger Games,” $3 million ($1.5 million international).
8. “Think Like a Man,” $2.7 million.
9. “The Lucky One,” $1.8 million ($2.7 million international).
10. “The Pirates! Band of Misfits,” $1.5 million.