Weekend Box Office – THE AVENGERS Break Second Weekend Record with $103.1 Million; DARK SHADOWS in Second with $28.8 Million

     May 13, 2012


It’s another one for the record books. Along with the prize for highest first weekend in domestic history, The Avengers has now earned the highest second weekend with an estimated $103.1 million from 4,349 locations. That crushes Avatar’s former sophomore record of $75.6 million and represents a decline of just 50% – a better hold than The Dark Knight managed in its second frame. Even more exciting for Disney and Marvel, the worldwide estimate for The Avengers has now topped One Billion. Unfortunately, good news for The Avengers means not-so-good news for Dark Shadows. The latest collaboration of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp earned an estimated $28.8 million from 3,755 locations, or a bit less than The Avengers made on Friday alone.

Title Weekend Total
1 The Avengers $103,160,000 $373.1
2 Dark Shadows $28,800,000 $28.8
3 Think Like A Man $6,300,000 $81.9
4 The Hunger Games $4,300,000 $387
5 The Lucky One $4,055,000 $53.7
6 Pirates! Band of Misfits $3,200,000 $21.1
7 The Five-Year Engagement $3,095,000 $24.4
8 Best Exotic Marigold Hotel $2,650,000 $3.7
9 Chimpanzee $1,624,000 $25.5
10 Girl in Progress $1,350,000 $1.35

For the second weekend in a row, The Avengers has made breaking a box office record look easy. As if it wasn’t impressive enough that the film topped $200 million in its first outing, it has now made the dream of a $100 million second-weekend a reality.

Considering that it has been ten years since Spider-Man became the first movie to break $100 million, and that few people saw last weekend’s $200 million landmark coming, this historic second weekend wasn’t on anyone’s radar until a few days ago. That’s partially because $100 million seemed an unattainable goal for a holdover and partially because most people assumed that The Avengers would lose more than 50% in its sophomore frame. In 2008, The Dark Knight fell by almost 53% its second time out, and most people had The Avengers’ odds at about the same. But, once again, the superheroes beat our expectations; and, while the film’s hold is not as impressive as Spider-Man’s 63% in 2002, it was certainly stronger than The Hunger Games, TDK, and many other recent ‘blockbusters’ could manage on their second weekends.

So, now that The Avengers has captured another record, let’s update where the blockbuster stands. With Sunday’s estimate, the film has now earned a gigantic $373.1 million in the US over 10 days. That already tops the final gross for both Iron Man features ($318.4/$312.4) and equals the domestic total of Spider-Man 2 ($373.5). Worldwide, Disney estimates that the film has earned $1.002 Billion, putting it in eleventh place on the list of All-Time earners, right behind Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland with $1.024.

dark-shadows-character-poster-banner-johnny-deppSpeaking of Tim Burton, did you know that this was the week that Dark Shadows was coming out? Don’t worry, a lot of other people seemed to have forgotten as well. The latest pairing of Burton and his muse, Johnny Depp, was a bit of a financial let-down, despite being the only wide release of the weekend. Instead of the $35 million that was projected, the director’s take on TV’s classic vampire soap opera commanded just $28.8 million. With The Avengers looming large, no one expected outsized numbers from Dark Shadows – especially after the critics weighed in. But most of us did expect the film to get to $30 million, based on Depp’s appeal and the size of WB’s marketing effort. The reported budget on Dark Shadows is $150 million, so the studio is going to have to depend on Depp’s international appeal to make this one a financial winner.

The all-consuming interest in The Avengers (combined with the lack of interest in Dark Shadows) allowed two limited releases to sneak in to the top ten this weekend. First, in 178 locations, is Fox Searchlight’s Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which earned an impressive per-screen average of just under $15,000. Then, at number ten with an estimated $1.35 million from 322 locations, is Lionsgate’s Girl in Progress. Considering that I haven’t seen one bit of advertising for this dramedy, I’d say that’s pretty impressive as well.

After last weekend’s box office record-breaker I wondered how front-loaded The Avengers would be. So far? Not very. Assuming that the film can maintain this level of interest next weekend, what would a total of $50 million mean for the debut of Peter Berg’s Battleship? We all know that word of mouth on the Hasbro movie has been, er, mixed. And, unlike Dark Shadows, Battleship was designed to appeal to precisely the same audience as our reigning superhero champs.  Think there’s room for two at the top?


  • Dodge_hickey

    1bil in 2 weeks?!?!? The Avengers is a monster! I will go and see it again this week in celebration

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  • robert barry

    I hope the dark knight rises shatters this record with ease!!! cant wait till July!

    • Jesus

      It’s been discussed back and forth and that’s pretty much an impossibility as it can’t charge 3D prices, whereas Avengers had 3D screens for about 60-75% of its showings, and it’s still selling out. Without 3D there’s simply no way DKR can beat that, because even if it gets as many screen placements as Avengers (which is doubtful), it still won’t have the 3D to boost the margins.

      Even if TDKR is the best superhero film ever made, it is simply incapable of beating The Avengers’ record as it stands.

      • Travis

        Sorry, posted this in the wrong place. Disregard.

  • hooters

    Good on you Marvel !

    screw the dark knight rises!

    • That Film Nerd

      I don’t understand why people pit these two movies against each other. Just be happy that both are released this year. if it’s anyone who wins, it’s the people who appreciate the amount of quality movies that are being released this year and don’t try to pit them against other movies.

  • That Film Nerd

    Wow!!! Hats off to them! 1 billion in 2 weeks. The Avengers might actually have a chance in topping Avatar for Highest-Grossing Worldwide. And if it does, I bet you any chance people are going to start calling it overrated and blah blah blah… lol

    • Liam_H

      It won’t top Avatar Worldwide the movie is declining normally too much to reach that point.

      • Jesus

        Yeah, Avatar’s international box office was a juggernaut. $2 billion abroad. If you ever needed proof that American movies with splashy special effects are what they crave overseas, just look at Avatar and Avengers.

    • Thundersauresrex

      No one will call it over rated. the reason why that happened to Avatar it was because audiences were TORN and even critics gave it props for its look adn style and 3D but the acting the writing was very poor and was even paralled as a “live action” FernGully. plus James Cameron wouldnt SHUT THE FUCK UP about it and when you talk your OWN movie up so much people start to see the cracks in your home you know? and to the other two posters….WTF…have you not seen the numbers? its doing better right now than Avatar did…………………………………….way to take in waht you read and retain inforamation…………

      • Liam_H

        Umm…They’ve both hit $1 Billion worldwide in the same amount of time so what the hell are you talking about? Also, what I said was true its declining to much to make $2 Billion internationally. What Avatar had was longevity, The Avengers so far isn’t showing that kind of legs. So think a little before you call someone out.

      • THundersauresrex

        that still disproves your longevity claim. haha. serious. yes they tied Harry and Avatar. which means same pace. im still failing to see where its losing its legs smartie ??

  • Liam_H

    I believe it also ties Potter and Avatar for fastest to $1 Billion in 19 days.

  • Anon

    I Have little doubt that Avengers will top Battleship. I think we could have expected a Battleship opening weekend that fell between Battle: Los Angeles and Transformers so probably about 40-60 mill opening weekend, but with the Avengers still syphoning most of that audience away, I’m going to guess 45 mill opening with Avengers getting 60 mill.

  • Jesus

    Nevermind that Avengers still hasn’t seen the third wave yet: people over 50 who’ve been told to go see but need to rent one or two of the other Marvel films before they do.

    Laugh if you want, but I work with a bunch and know they’re doing exactly that. Combine that with everyone who’s going back for seconds/thirds/etc. and those who’ve waited for the lines to die down – and I think you might be seeing closer to $70-75 million next weekend.

  • Travis

    A few thoughts based on reader’s comments so far:

    -Regarding THE DARK KNIGHT RISES and THE AVENGERS and the masses of idiots pitting them against another with who has the biggest box-office grosses is like comic-book penis envy for insecure fanboys. This is not a war. So just stop. Don’t be ridiculous. I am neither a DC or a Marvel fanboy, just a normal fan who loves film in general (My favorite DC character: Batman…for Marvel, its Captain America). And by painting with a negative brush, pitting these two movies against one another is seriously taking all the piss and fun out of seeing them to begin with. Who cares if THE AVENGERS beat AVATAR or THE DARK KNIGHT’s respective second weekend tallies? This may very well be the greatest year for movies in a very long time…fuck the competition and just ENJOY YOURSELVES!

    -I’m looking extremely forward to seeing THE AVENGERS soon (the official theatrical one-sheet is resting comfortably and proudly on my wall at home), at least when the crowds die down and people stop talking about it “dominating” TDKR and every other movie in existence. But it can’t be denied that a huge factor as to why it has made so much money are largely due to its jacked-up 3D prices. Now I’m no 3D basher (when it’s done right, like with AVATAR, then there’s no complaints here), its just that I see right through Hollywood’s endgame, as many others do. Extremist Marvel fanboys may bitch about Nolan and TDKR, but at least he has the wit to make a movie in 2D and resist the greedy Hollywood number-crunchers wanting to taint his film with a conversion. I will be seeing THE AVENGERS in 2D, the honest-to-goodness way of watching a picture. This is a movie with awesome imagery, bright colors, and celluloid epicness in general. And this time, I prefer to make sweet love to my eyes, ears, and overall senses.

    • Jesus

      Uh…Avengers was made in 2D. It was post converted. That’s not “to the credit of Nolan” that’s WB stepping off and realizing that not every film needs 3D post-conversion. If you’re going to just applaud directors for not caving to 3D, you’d have to do so for the vast majority.

      That the Avengers was post-converted shouldn’t surprise anyone as Disney apparently wants the title of king of post-conversion 3D. There’s almost nothing they won’t post-convert.

    • Thundersauresrex

      “Celluloid epicness” lol. its porbably been about 5 years since they used in camera tricks and FILM (Which this was not shot with.) To make movies look better. everything from color brightness to sometimes even LIGHTING is done post in editing. plus i’m pretty sure that if you dont live in a small town or seeing it in a small town it’ll be digital and just to add… Yeah even though Nolan said 3D wouldnt fit for his film he isn’t against it and actually has a project in mind for 3D and even said that if inception was lighter in look that he would have post converted that. You saying that kinda disscredits Joss as a director even though he said that after they tested with REAL cameras he threw out 3D all together and when they started filming was talking up the fact that even though Cap and Thor were to be post converted they were not. Disney is just a NAZI and wants money. you say you are not a basher of 3D or of anything but yet you write with such eloquent bitterness……………………………

  • Strong Enough


    wheres my check?

    oh yea that’s right i don’t get any.

    F*ck Marvel

    • Travis

      You sir, have the right idea. LOL :P

    • your dark knight ends

      Keep wiping nolan’s ass

      • Travis

        The man has a point. What’s the point of caring about and comparing box-office? None of us are getting any bit of that dough, and neither are you. Other than pointless bragging rights, what gives?

        What I find interesting is that the only mention of Nolan between Strong Enough’s specific thread and my response was yours. Are you threatened by him in some funny way or something? I’ll say this, DC fans seem to have just a little more respect for comics and fandom than Marvel’s fan base do. At least that’s the impression I’ve gotten from talkback forums. I personally am more than willing to embrace both Marvel and DC properties…some people just feel the need to embrace their fandom with vinegar and cynicism rather than outright love or even mere respect, I guess. It’s just sad.

      • Banes

        your ass is totally wipped

  • Tim

    I think I’ll wait for The Avengers to hit redbox before I see it.

    • ipolos

      sounds depressing

  • mattedscreen

    Glad to see James Cameron’s record holders in danger by something that was amazingly entertaining, smartly written, and truly one of the best movies I’ve seen at the theater in YEARS!

  • Lance

    Sink that Battleship, Avengers! Those who hold Michael Bay up as someone to be emulated deserve to be punished!

  • Banes

    The Dark Knight Rises would be better but Avengers I think offered much for family audiences and it resulted into behemoth boxoffice collections. TDKR will have much more depth and character conflict than Avengers it will be dark and very thrilling but Can it bring family audiences like Avengers? May be and TDKR could attract irregular audiences also most people called The Dark Knight as complex beauty and that is the element that will attract people for TDKR.

  • JPA

    Saw Battleship last friday,and it was awful. Lame dialogue,wooden acting. If there’s someone who says “The Avengers has the action,but Transformers did that before”,there’s the difference.

    Avengers has characters who you actually give a damn for and good acting.Brought up Transformers because,Battleship is almost Transformers 3.5. Will be really disappointed if that tops Avengers next week.

    (Liam Neeson is always awesome,though)

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