WASHINGTON: MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS was the No. 1 movie at theaters in the U.S. and Canada for a third straight weekend, taking in $55.1 million for Walt Disney Co., and making it the studio’s highest-grossing film ever.
“Battleship” was second with ticket sales of $25.4 million, researcher Hollywood.com Box-Office said today in an e- mailed statement.
“THE AVENGERS is benefiting from positive word-of-mouth among moviegoers after Disney’s major marketing push ended,” Paul Dergarabedian, president of Hollywood.com’s box-office unit, said in an interview.
Since its first weekend the movie has overcome challenges from two major releases, this week’s “Battleship,” from Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures, and Warner Bros.’s “Dark Shadows” last week.
“Great marketing can buy you a big opening weekend, but only a crowd-pleasing and solid movie can get you to where ‘The Avengers’ has gone,” Dergarabedian said in an interview.
THE AVENGERS opened over the weekend of May 4 with a record $207.4 million in sales and set another record a week later with $103.1 million, the most ever for a film in its second weekend.
In the film, a collection of Marvel heroes, including Iron Man, Thor and The Hulk, band together to fight an army of aliens led by Loki, also a character from Norse mythology. The movie stars Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk.
“Battleship” stars Taylor Kitsch as a U.S. Navy officer who helps lead a sea battle against invading aliens. Brooklyn Decker, Alexander Skarsgard and Rihanna also are featured. The film, made for about $209 million, had taken in $215.3 million in overseas ticket sales before opening in the U.S. and Canada, according to Box Office Mojo.(yus)