'Avengers' a box office bonanza
BY MICHAEL SMITH World Scene Writer
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
5/08/12 at 6:24 AM
When the initial figure of $200.3 million for the opening weekend of "The Avengers" was first announced on Sunday afternoon, I was astounded by the figure and curious about its accuracy.
Almost no one saw Marvel's superhero collaboration passing opening-weekend No. 1 ("Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2" at $169 million). Nobody predicted the $200 million figure.
My own guess was in the $150 million-plus range. The Thursday midnight shows didn't sell out in volume like Potter movies or "The Hunger Games" did, but I knew the weekend would bring out adults in a stronger fashion than for those other pictures.
Every weekend when movie box-office figures are announced on Sunday afternoon for publication (we run them in Monday's Tulsa World each week), it's only an estimate.
The studio (Disney in this case, which bought Marvel Studios a couple of years ago) on Sunday afternoon had actual dollar grosses for Friday and Saturday. They had to estimate the Sunday gross, and their best guess was $50 million.
A new estimate for Sunday box-office emerged on Monday morning of $56.8 million, which would take the total to a heroic figure of $207.1 million for the first three days - besting the old record by $38 million. Wow.
I thought the Sunday figure would be off considerably from the estimate because when the figures get this large, the estimate vs. the actual figure always seems to off by millions of dollars. This time, it appears to have been in the positive direction.
Now the question begs: "Harry Potter's" last movie held the record for all of 10 months, so how long does "The Avengers" stay atop the box-office mountain?
Can "The Dark Knight Rises," destined in my opinion to be in this summer's top two films with "The Avengers," open at a figure in the $200 million-plus range?
Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth (left), and Captain America, played by Chris Evans, battle evil in a scene from the box office smash "The Avengers." ZADE ROSENTHAL / Disney