When it comes to winning big at the box office, never bet against Pixar. ‘Brave‘ is not only the acclaimed animation studio’s thirteenth film, it is their thirteenth film to open at number one at the box office. It’s a track record that just about everyone else in Hollywood would kill for.
For those of us who follow the box office, this weekend was a case of deja vu. Once again, ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted‘ headlined the top ten and once again, ‘Prometheus‘ snatched the number two spot. Both films managed to keep their momentum despite the opening of two new releases starring two of the biggest movie stars in the world. That’s good news if you’re ‘Madagascar 3′ or ‘Prometheus,’ but pretty bad news if you’re Tom Cruise or Adam Sandler.
It’s difficult to imagine two more different films going head-to-head at the box office. However, by appealing to completely different audiences, ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted‘ and ‘Prometheus‘ both managed to emerge from the weekend as big winners, making this the first weekend in months where two new major releases opened strong.
The box office can be a funny thing. Last weekend, ‘Men in Black 3‘ made $55 million and was considered a disappointment. This weekend, ‘Snow White and the Huntsman‘ pulled in $56 million and it’s considered a roaring success. As bizarre as that sounds, it all makes sense when you look at the details.
It took four weeks for another film to dethrone ‘The Avengers‘ from the top of the box office, but that dethroning occurred with a whimper, not a battle cry. ‘Men in Black 3‘ arrived on the scene and proved that advance hype and high tracking are abstract concepts that don’t always reflect reality. $55 million isn’t an opening that’ll have executives committing seppuku, but for a film that was expected to open to north of $80 million, it’s a definitely a solid kick in the groin (metaphorically speaking, of course).
Poor Barnabas Collins never stood a chance. Tim Burton’s ‘Dark Shadows‘ found itself clobbered to death over the weekend courtesy of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, who rode a perfect cocktail of hype and stellar word-of-mouth to an unprecedented second weekend. It’s no longer a question of whether or not ‘The Avengers‘ will be one of the biggest movies of all time, mainly because it already is one of the biggest movies of all time: after only nineteen days, it’s crossed the $1 billion mark. The question we should be pondering now is whether or not it will become the biggest movie of all time.
We knew it was going to make a lot of money. We knew there was a possibility that it would break box office records. What we didn’t know was that ‘The Avengers’ wasn’t just going to break the record for biggest box office opening of all time — it was going to smash it. Obliterate it. Pulverize it. Treat it like the Hulk treats puny human architecture. In three days, ‘The Avengers‘ took in over $200 million at the domestic box office.
Normally, the Weekend Box Office Report tends to shy away from covering the international box office. However, we’re making an exception this week, mainly because the domestic box office was hopelessly anemic and ‘The Avengers‘ opened everywhere not called the United States and took in an absolutely absurd amount of cash. Between 39 territories, Marvel’s hotly anticipated Superhero Team-Up Extravaganza earned an astonishing $178.4 million, shattering opening records across the globe.
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