erik lundegaard

Hollywood B.O.: 'The Avengers' SMASH Opening-Weekend Record with $200 Million

After seeing “The Avengers” on Friday, after seeing the long lines outside the Cinerama last night in downtown Seattle, I was wondering if “The Avengers” might do it. Not break the opening weekend box office record, set last July (with a $169-million three-day gross) by the last “Harry Potter” film. That seemed foregone. No, I was wondering if “The Avengers” might shoot past $200 million domestically. If it might break that barrier.

It seems it has. Early estimates indicate it has.

Over the weekend, I kept going back-and-forth in my mind on why it might do this:

  • PRO: It has Iron Man and Captain America and Hulk and Thor. So it'll get all of these fans together at once.
  • CON: All of these fans are the same. Thor fans are just a smaller subset of, say, Iron Man fans.
  • PRO: People have been anticipating this movie for four years, since the teaser at the end of the first “Iron Man” movie in May 2008.
  • CON: Isn't it the same people?
  • PRO: The most recent trailers look amazing.
  • CON: Will moviegoers assume the trailer contains all the film's good bits and not go?
  • PRO: The reviews are positive: 93% on Rotten Tomatoes!
  • CON: As a reviewer, I know: Few people read reviews. (Just in case: My review of “The Avengers” here.)

But the biggest PRO in this back-and-forth was the conversation I had waiting in line at the Pacific Center's IMAX theater on Friday. I talked to a couple standing behind me. They were in their late 50s or 60s. I think they asked a question about “The Avengers” and I guess I look like the kind of guy who might have the answer. (Read: NERD!!!)

Then we had the following conversation:

Me: What brings you out here?
Husband: It just seemed like the type of movie you see in a theater.
Wife: We rarely go to the movies.
Me: Rarely as in ... a couple of times a year?
Husband: Not even that.
Wife [backdating]: The last movie we went to see in a theater was ... the last “Star Wars” movie.
Me: In 2005?
Wife: Whenever it was.
Me: And that killed you from seeing movies in the theater.
Husband and wife: [Polite laughter]
Me: Do you know the story? The Avengers?
Husband: We've seen them on DVD.
Me: But this one...
Wife: It was big enough to bring us out.

It was apparently big enough to bring out a lot of folks.

Lesson to Hollywood: If you can bring out the people who haven't seen a movie in the theater in seven years, you're going to set some records.

Avengers assembled!!

$200 million? Or are the early estimates off?


Posted at 09:20 AM on Sun. May 06, 2012 in category Movies - Box Office  
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