Weekend Box Office Report: Everyone in the World is Seeing ‘The Avengers’ Before You
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.
But what about the homefront? How did movies do in the US of A? Well, the scientific term for the domestic box office this week is "Ouch."
1. Think Like a Man: $18,000,000 ($60,868,000)
2. The Pirates! Band of Misfits: $11,400,000 ($11,400,000)
3. The Lucky One: $11,325,000 ($39,927,000)
4. The Hunger Games: $11,250,000 ($372,455,000)
5. The Five-Year Engagement: $11,157,000 ($11,157,000)
6. Safe: $7,720,000 ($7,720,000)
7. The Raven: $7,250,000 ($7,250,000)
8. Chimpanzee: $5,460,000 ($19,153,000)
9. The Three Stooges: $5,400,000 ($37,141,000)
10. The Cabin in the Woods: $4,500,000 (34,664,000)
But those worldwide numbers, man. Wow. It's no secret that everyone in the world was going to go check out 'The Avengers,' but to see all of that anticipation transform into nearly $200 million before the film can even debut in North America is just plain amazing. Considering just how big the film is tracking domestically, it may very well top the recording breaking $169 million opening weekend of 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.' Although there have been bigger international openings (the last 'Harry Potter' also holds that record with $314 million), 'The Avengers' has yet to hit Chinese, Russian and Japanese screens, three of the biggest markets for this kind of blockbuster.
Sadly, more 'Avengers' talk will have to wait until next week when it opens stateside. That means we have to turn our attention to the sorry lot listed above. The only real winner of the bunch is 'Think Like a Man,' which only took a small dip and held onto the top spot with $18 million, bringing it to a total gross of $60 million. That's already far above most projections for the film and unless 'The Avengers' totally derails it next week, it may very well have a shot at the $90-100 million range.
The continuing success of 'Think Like a Man' only made the gross of this week's crop of new releases look all the more pitiful. 'The Pirates! Band of Misfits' was the strongest of them, but that $11.4 million is not a number that will fill anyone with pride (a shame, since the film is hilarious and wonderful). It may find success overseas, where the source material is a little more well known, but chalk this up as another critical triumph/box office misfire for Aardman Studios. 'The Five-Year Engagement' opened just under 'The Pirates!' with $11.1 million, roughly half of what a Jason Segel and Emily Blunt rom-com needs to earn in its opening weekend to be considered a success. To add insult to injury, 'The Lucky One' made the same amount of money in its second weekend as these two new releases (bringing it to a solid $40-ish million). To add insult to mortal wound, 'The Hunger Games' also matched all of the above in its sixth week (bringing it to an comfortably epic $372 million).
Both 'Safe' and 'The Raven' opened to around $7 million, a not-so-great number with different meanings for both of those films. It's an expected number for 'Safe' and only cements Jason Statham as an action star with a specific audience whose films don't cost much, don't make much and end up finding a life on DVD. Statham's future lies purely in the direct-to-DVD market. As for 'The Raven,' that number represents a horrible new low for John Cusack and director James McTeigue, whose 'V For Vendetta' did solid business back in 2006. This was a dump, pure and simple. The studio didn't like the movie, had no faith in it and tossed it out on a weekend where they knew it wouldn't be too embarassing.
The rest of the top ten is just as much of a whimper. 'Chimpanzee' took in $5.4 million, bringing it to $19 million and change. Both 'The Three Stooges' ($5 million) and 'Cabin in the Woods' ($4.5 million) are about to exit the top ten (and end their runs) with $37 million and $34 million respectively. Some may try to paint these films as disasters, but they're really not. Disappointments sure, but bombs? Nah. None of them cost too much and they'll do solid business on DVD for sure. Heck, at least one of them is already being labeled as a modern classic! If you're not sure which one, it's the one about a Cabin. In the woods.
Outside of the top ten, two films performed well in limited release. Richard Linklater's 'Bernie' took in $90,400 from only three theaters, the kind of per-screen average that most films can only dream about. 'The Sound of My Voice' didn't do quite as well, earning $40,100 from five theaters, but for a low-budget festival darling, it's a perfectly respectable amount.
Next week brings 'The Avengers.' Hold onto your butts, people.