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Monday, May 21, 2012

Is There Any Stopping The Avengers?

Written by Kirk Baird

Is there any stopping The Avengers? Earth’s Mightiest Heroes joined forces onscreen and set box-office records, including the honor to be first film to debut with a $200-million-plus opening weekend. (Its $207.4 million haul bested previous record holder Harry Potter and theDeathly Hallows: Part 2 and its $169.2 million in 2011.).

This weekend marked its third-straight at the top of the box office, as it continues to fend off some big-budgeted competition including Dark Shadows and most recently Battleship.

The Avengers’ reign as moviegoers’ top pick will come to an end at some point, perhaps as soon as this weekend with the next challenger, Men in Back III. The sci-fi comedy reunites Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones as Agent J and Agent K, respectively. The story features Agent J time traveling to the 1960s to prevent the assassination of a younger Agent K (played by Josh Brolin) and changing history.

And speaking of time travel … it’s been a decade since Men in Black Part II underwhelmed critics, audiences, and the box office, though it did ultimately earn Sony studios a profit. Part II opened in July 2002 with a $52 million haul. Not bad until you consider the first Men in Black opened with nearly the same amount, in 500 less theaters, and at 1997 ticket prices. For the record: The Avengers made $55 million in its third weekend, which makes it formidable competition this weekend as well.

If Men in Black III fails to take down the team of Marvel superheroes, next up to dethrone the king would be Snow White and the Huntsman, starring Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth (who plays Thor the God of Thunder in The Avengers), and Kristen Stewart. The trailers look promising for this dark and CGI-intense adaptation of the classic fairytale. It’s also the second Snow White big-screen reinvention this year, following on the heels of Mirror Mirror, a dark comedy starring Julia Roberts, Nathan Lane, Armie Hammer, and Lily Collins (daughter of singer-songwriter-drummer Phil Collins). Mirror Mirror opened March 30 and grossed only $18.13 million its first weekend, on its way to less than $70 million. With an estimated budget of $85 million, Mirror Mirror only made a profit through the foreign box-office and yielded nearly $98 million.

But any victory by either of these two summer film newcomers would be short lived, given the increasing build-up to the June 8 opening of Prometheus.  

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