After two weekends of Think(ing) Like a Man, audiences were thinking superheroes.  Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Joss Whedon brought together Iron Man, Captain America, The Hulk, Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye to form the superhero team and the #1 movie The Avengers.  The action-adventure with a bit of sci-fi film crushed Loki and the nine top ten movies including Think Like a Man.  Steve Harvey’s non-fiction book turned romantic comedy fell to #2 and -54%, earning $8.106 million in its third weekend at 2,010 theaters.

With its first true box office competitor released, the highest grossing movie of the year to date, The Hunger Games, remained successful at #3 for a third weekend in a row.  Meanwhile, The Pirates! Band of Misfits dropped two doubloons to #4 with $5.502 million for the $70.4 million international grossing stop-motion animation.  The other romantic, albeit dramatic, film of the top five, #5 The Lucky One, was lucky enough to outdo the $5.029 million of The Five-Year Engagement of Jason Segel’s Tom and Emily Blunt’s Violet with $5.368 million.

Thor hammered audiences and the box office in The Avengers when the comic book-based movie debuted at #1 with $207.438 million for Marvel, Paramount and Disney.  With absolutely no surprise, the Joss Whedon-directed and co-written with Zak Penn adventure that was based on Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s creation won the top spot of the weekend with a film that wowed from beginning to end.  It did, however, surprise studios and forecasters with the number of box office breaking records, including highest opening weekend (besting Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2‘s $169.189 million), and highest single day gross on Saturday and Sunday.  It is also the fastest movie to gross $100, $150 and $200 million; the first two records were previously held by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 and the last by The Dark Knight after five days in comparison to the three of The Avengers.  The superheroes were helped in part by comic book and Whedonverse fans, a very successful marketing campaign and a 4,349 theater count.  The Avengers, which was released as early as the 25th of April in Australia and France, has earned $447.4 million overseas for the $220 million production-budgeted movie.

The Hunger Games survived the start of the summer movie season as Katniss braved the premiere of The Avengers.  The movie may have lost 778 theaters to the team but the dystopian setting continued to attract viewers and $5.587 million.  The seven weekend veteran continues to rise with $380.614 million domestic and $237 million foreign in its seventh weekend.

In odd weekend box office news, John Carter jumped leaps and bounds from #34 to #12.  The Mars-bound adventure earned $1.494 million to its $271.36 million worldwide gross, a 1,223.8% change, after nine weekends since the Disney movie’s release.  These numbers were boosted by an addition of 169 theaters, which was just 349 in the US and Canada as opposed to the thousands of its rivals.

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