Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Box Office: The Avengers Hulks Out Record-Breaking Weekend

Taking a bit of a blogging hiatus if you haven't noticed, but I couldn't not post about the historic success of Joss Whedon's The Avengers at the box office this weekend. With more than $207 million, it hulked smashed the record for opening weekend tally beating last year's final Harry Potter film by more than $37 million. It also became the first film ever to gross more than $200 million in one weekend. Interestingly enough, The Avengers achieved this feat exactly 10 years after Spider-Man broke the $100 million weekend barrier. As part of its gigantic opening, it broke the single day records for Saturday ($69.6 million) and Sunday ($57.1 million). Opening more than a week internationally, the film has already amassed more than $650 million worldwide heading towards the $1 billion milestone at breakneck speed.

With numbers like these, there just has to be more than meets the eyes. The film itself was highly anticipated putting together characters that were featured or introduced in five previous films which varied in quality and popularity. But it was the great reviews (93% in Rotten Tomatoes) and the magnificent word-of-mouth (rare A+ Cinemascore) that probably convinced non-fanboys to go out in droves over the weekend. My friends and I contributed about $45, but most of us are planning on seeing it a second or third time dragging along new people. I don't know why my friends are doing this (other than them loving the film), but for me I would throw money at any project by Whedon. Of course, it's not like he needs my support now as a million doors in Hollywood just opened up for him this weekend with this huge success. Suffice it to say, I'm ecstatic for him and his film. The sky is the limit.

As expected the rest of the box office was pretty unexciting. The other success story of the year, The Hunger Games, notched its 7th straight week (!) in the top 3 and is set to pass the total gross of last year's final Harry Potter in a day or so. Whedon almost had two films in the top 10 with his The Cabin in the Woods just missing it ranked 11th. John Carter, buoyed by some shared screens with The Avengers, made a huge jump though its overall tally is beyond disappointing. The only new release of worth who went up against the superhero team-up was The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel which had a very solid per theater average of over $27,000 in limited screens.

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