The box office world was rattled back in April, when The Hunger Games defied all odds to take the number one spot for a rare fourth consecutive weekend. The stronghold was another notch on the belt for 2012, which has consistently delivered overperforming numbers, from the beginning of January until the summer. Shockingly, Hunger Games may not even be the biggest success story of the first half of the year.
That title goes to The Avengers (read review), which should add a possible $50 million more to its already-gargantuan total over the weekend. According to Hollywood.com Box Office Analyst Paul Dergarabedian, the total should sail right under the third weekend record holder, Avatar ($68.5 million), but top the second place slot, Spider-Man ($45 million). While Hunger Games‘ domination earned it $388 million domestically, with a global total of $632 million, Avengers still tops it with a shorter run. By Sunday, the movie will have made nearly $450 million in the U.S. and continue to leave the $1 billion global mark in the dust. Men in Black 3 is on the horizon, but a historical fourth weekend for The Avengers isn’t out of the question.
Opening against Marvel’s cinematic titan are three new movies. Coming in at numbers two is Hasbro’s board-game-turned-movie Battleship (read review), starring Taylor Kitsch, Rihanna, Liam Neeson and Brooklyn Decker. Kitsch saw lukewarm box office performance from March’s John Carter, but with $220 million already in the can from its international release Battleship is ready to wash away any preconceptions on the actor’s ability to carry a tentpole. The movie should open in North America in the $35 – $40 million range — formidable against a movie as big as Avengers. Whether it recoups its $200 million price tag is questionable, but Kitsch’s future looks a little brighter as Battleship sets sail.
Counter-programming to this weekend’s two action-centric epics, What to Expect When You’re Expecting (read review) arrives on schedule without any complications. The ensemble comedy that centers on a cast of funny, familiar faces all dealing with the ups and downs of pregnancy should deliver $15 – $18 million. The movie’s marketing has geared the film strongly towards women, but if men looking for a breather from sci-fi insanity discover it, there’s a chance for unexpected results.
In its second weekend, Johnny Depp and Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows (read review) takes a second bite into the box office with a take of around $15 million. The adaptation of the cult TV show should round out at around $50 million by weekend’s end.
Commanding the final slot of the top five is Sacha Baron Cohen’s The Dictator (read review). The movie, which opened on Wednesday, March 16 to avoid the crowded weekend, earned $4.2 million in its first day. With a weekend gross in the low teens, the movie should gross around $25 million by Sunday.
What movie are you seeing this weekend?
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches