'Avengers' rings up $103 million in record weekend
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "The Avengers," the smash hit movie about Marvel superheroes who team up to save the Earth, crushed competitors for a second weekend with a record $103.2 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales and was poised to top $1 billion worldwide, studio estimates showed on Sunday.
After posting the highest domestic box office debut in history last weekend, "Avengers" set another record by easily topping the $75.6 million "Avatar" pulled in during its second weekend in 2009, making "Avengers" the first movie to exceed $100 million in its second weekend.
"Avengers" has now racked up a staggering $628.9 million internationally since opening overseas on April 25, distributor Walt Disney Co said, positioning it to break the $1 billion threshold after just 19 days.
"We're obviously thrilled," said Robert Iger, Disney's Chairman and CEO in a statement.
"You can never anticipate this kind of success," echoed Dave Hollis, executive vice president for motion picture distribution. "It's a staggering result."
Its success owed in large part to "a story that delivers on every level, to every segment of the audience," he added.
The big-budget 3D flick - the first of Hollywood's lucrative summer season - unites Iron Man, Black Widow, Captain America and other Marvel comic book heroes in a fight against a villain determined to destroy the planet. Disney announced this week it is planning an "Avengers" sequel.
The movie took in $207.4 million at North American (U.S. and Canadian) theaters over its opening weekend, helping improve the performance of the studio, which earlier stumbled at box offices with its big-budget release "John Carter."
"Avengers" mania overwhelmed new horror comedy "Dark Shadows," according to studio estimates compiled by Reuters. "Dark Shadows" pulled in an estimated $28.8 million from Friday through Sunday at domestic theaters. Continued...