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The Avengers remains top in US as Battleship sinks

Marvel Avengers Assemble

Story by Jack Foley

MARVEL’S The Avengers has continued to dominate the US box office by taking a further $55.1 million in its third weekend to maintain its vice-like grip on No.1.

The impressive figures mean that the film has taken $457.1 million in the US alone, which marks Disney’s best ever showing ever, while overseas it has earned $723.3 million.

In total, it has taken a staggering $1.18 billion to become the No. 4 pic of all time – and climbing!

The Avengers continued success came at the expense of the weekend’s other big box office hope, Peter Berg’s Battleship, which took a disappointing $25.3 million.

The film had been tracking somewhere between $35 million and $40 million and has to rate as a disappointment domestically given that it cost at least $209 million to produce, excluding a pricey marketing spend.

Fortunately, the film has performed well overseas (including the UK), where its total now stands at $226.8 million. But it is already being compared to another recent Taylor Kitsch star vehicle, John Carter, which flopped big time earlier this year, costing its distributor Disney a $200 million loss.

Putting a brave face on things, however, Nikki Rocco, president of domestic distribution at Universal, told The Hollywood Reporter: “It is obviously a disappointment but we will move on. And we have Memorial Day coming up. The studio has a picture that already has a quarter of a million dollars in the bank, and it won’t die at $25.3 million domestically. We all know that.”

Coming in third behind Avengers and Battleship, meanwhile, was Sacha Baron Cohen comedy The Dictator, which opened two days earlier, on Wednesday, and still only posted a ‘modest’ five-day total of $24.5 million.

The edgy comedy did, however, gross a more promising $30.3 million in its international debut over the weekend from 29 territories (including the UK), having cost $65 million to produce.

Rounding out the top five was Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows (in fourth) and another new release, ensemble comedy drama What To Expect When You’re Expecting – a film based on the pregnancy guide and starring Cameron Diaz, Matthew Morrison, Jennifer Lopez and Chris Rock.

That film, which opens in the UK this Friday, also took a softer-than-expected $10.5 million.

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