The Avengers Conquer All Nine Realms With Biggest Weekend Ever - Week 1 | The Avengers | The Dark Knight Rises | The Amazing Spider-Man

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The Avengers Conquer All Nine Realms With Biggest Weekend Ever - Week 1

The Avengers
The Dark Knight Rises
The Amazing Spider-Man
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted
Men in Black 3
Ice Age: Continental Drift
Snow White and the Huntsman
Just last May Thor opened with a mortal $65.7 million debut. What a difference a year and adding five other superheroes can make as The Avengers obliterated the opening weekend record by $38 million set by last year's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and grossed more than Thor or Captain America made during their entire run in only three days!

Starting with a mind-blowing $207.4 million weekend, it's clear The Avengers are not going to fall short of any Summer Top Five list. While Cap and Thor didn't set the world on box-office fire as much the Iron Man movies, they were integral in making this collaboration special. Toss in The Hulk whose two flawed movies still made over $300 million combined, and The Avengers truly lived-up to its sum is greater than its parts premise. Marvel laid-out their plan six years ago to build toward the eventual Avengers movie and the biggest box-weekend ever was their reward. Bam, Wap, Pow, indeed!

The film also played-out to its "The WrestleMania of Superheroes" premise. Is that Hulk fighting Macho Man? No, wait, that's Hulk battling Thor! I started to lose count of how many matches were on the undercard (Black Widow vs. Hawkeye, Thor vs. Iron Man, Loki vs. Cap, Tony Stark vs. his ego) until the big Survivor Series match at the end. With all this WWE-esque action, you can bet The Rock's agent is speed dialing Marvel offices this minute. If you thought what he did to John Cena was good, wait till you see him Rock Bottoms Thanos!

However, despite the films clear box-office success, there is an issue that needs to be addressed. Gwyneth Paltrow really must stop stealing clothes from the Glee set. Yes, I'm sure all female CEO's of multi-million dollar companies where daisy dukes when lounging around the penthouse. However, I keep hoping and praying those pictures of Oprah and Martha Stewart are never leaked on the internet.

The Top Five If Today Was Labor Day:

#1. The Avengers - $207.4 million
#2. n/a
#3. n/a
#4. n/a
#5. n/a


Extra Bonus Section

And now we turn to the part of the show where I share with you my ingenious insights on why I went with the picks I went with before The Avengers opened. These are the times where most people sit back in shock that I still keep things on the website like my prediction that The Dark Knight wouldn't even be in the Top Five. They shout, "You fool! It's the internet. You can go back and change that so it looked like you predicted the correct thing the whole time!" Alas, I'm not that smart and I wouldn't want to besmirch my A.P. History teacher by rewriting history. Besides, history's written by the victors and I have even won this stinkin' pool in 15 years. Which just means... I'm due!

I began at the top. Three films stood out among the rest. Two, people had been breaking the internet for trying to get more coverage: The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises. It seemed like a two horse for the top. The Avengers strike first yet we all saw how The Dark Knight destroyed everything in its path even with a mid-July release. I thought The Avengers would do more than it's Iron Man predecessors, but not reach the dizzying heights of The Dark Knight. I don't even think The Dark Knight Rises will scale that high. Spidey 3, Pirates 3, Shrek 3, etc. all had drops with their third release. That said, dropping from $535 million still puts you in the $450 million range, where I didn't think The Avengers could achieve. For the record, I'm guessing $442 million as The Dark Knight Rises total.

The third "stand-out" movie? The Amazing Spider-Man. A) It's Spider-Man. B) It's 4th of July weekend. There's nowhere near the anticipation for this one given the atmospheric expectations for The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises, yet it is suited perfectly as the tasty superhero snack between those two behemoths.

Four and five... Four and five... The toughest part of the pool for me. I really, really, really didn't want to put Men In Black 3 in here. I'm against everything it stands for. Star making a movie no one really wants to try and reinvigorate their career. The worst part is that there's nothing to reinvigorate! Will Smith can make movies no one really cares about like I Robot, Hancock, and I Am Legend into hits without even trying. Why does he have to go back to a series that seems more dated than Dynasty? Sadly, I did the research and in the last ten years there hasn't been an unchallenged Memorial Day Weekend film that didn't make the Top Five. If it's the only thing there, people are going to see it. Besides, if it's a choice between seeing the faceless Battleship or a Will Smith-branded MiB that weekend, this is where the Fresh Prince usually earns his salary. With regrets, I made MiB 3 my #4.

Since I couldn't talk myself out of MiB (and I tried longer than most carbon-based life-forms), I was left with Brave and Snow White & the Huntsman with my five spot. It's an odd kid season. Retread sequels can do well, though usually not to gangbuster levels which is what we need from films to make the Top Five in the summer. Hoping Brave is in the Up category of Pixar greatness, that trumps the been-there/done-thats of Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted and Ice Age: Continental Drift.

In a perfect world, I'd put MiB 3 out, move Brave up and put Snow White at #5. The success of the Twilight films has to mean something. If the Spice Girls taught me anything, it was to never underestimate Girl Power. There's an audience that's been building toward female empowered action films for years. Those PG-13 horror films like The Ring made their money off of teenage girls which is a very different demographic than the harder-edged R-rater horror films attract. Snow White could be the film that fits the mold to attract this same kind of audience (and the Kristen Stewart tie-in was no accident when casting this movie). Still, it's an unknown in an unknown world. I'd rather something new be rewarded than something brought out from the dead, but Memorial Day Weekend is what it is and the familiar often wins.

by Matt Neuenburg on 05/09/2012

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Battleship, Brave, Ice Age: Continental Drift, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, Men in Black 3, Snow White and the Huntsman, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises
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