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Weekend Box-Office: May 25-28, 2012

05.28.2012

Men in Black are (modestly) back!

(NOTE: Box office estimates are for 4-day holiday weekend)

After a decade since their last planet-saving mission, eerily ageless megastar Will Smith and a seemingly unenthusiastic Tommy Lee Jones reunited for MEN IN BLACK III. And while the PG-13 flick (which also pulled Josh Brolin into the timestream as a young Agent K) can take credit for being the one to finally topple THE AVENGERS from the #1 spot, it wasn't packing quite the A-list wallop you might think.

The 3D sci-fi comedy collected $70 million from neuralyzed audiences over the long Memorial Day weekend ($55 million over the three-day period), which was certainly sufficient to shove Marvel's superheroes down a notch on their fourth week in theaters. But that opening is still below the $100M holiday take that the studio craved, and even far beneath the conservative early $80M-90M expectation. Although if the JoBlo readership is in any way indicative of the general population, it's not surprising considering the results of last week's poll...

After DARK SHADOWS and BATTLESHIP's meek openings, this makes the third downtrending megabudget summer tentpole in a row post-AVENGERS to premiere with soft figures (MEN IN BLACK III's budget may be nearly $300M, depending on who you believe). Its three-day $55M take is just a noisy cricket higher than MEN IN BLACK II's $52M opening in 2002 and the first MEN IN BLACK's $51M debut (both over 4th of July weekend), but below Smith's last two big movies -- I AM LEGEND made $77.2M its first weekend in December 2007, and HANCOCK opened with $62.6M in July 2008.

While American crowds didn't necessarily warm to the dapper operatives' latest alien-fighting adventure in overwhelming numbers, MEN IN BLACK III is having no trouble getting attention from international audiences -- the movie has made more than $130M overseas, putting its global total past $200M already. The first MIB ended up with $589M altogether, while MIB II gathered $441M worldwide.

Meanwhile, on the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier... THE AVENGERS continue to set records, this time crossing the half-billion domestic total in 23 days, passing the previous title-holder AVATAR (which took 32 days to make that figure). The Marvel warriors rounded up another $46.8M during the four-day stretch ($36.7M on the three-day), putting its domestic haul at $523.5M as it hits a $1.3 billion global total. What's next, Joss?

As BATTLESHIP, THE DICTATOR and DARK SHADOWS continue to struggle for eyeballs, the weekend's other new release CHERNOBYL DIARIES only generated $9.3M over the long weekend. The low-budget horror movie (written and produced by PARANORMAL ACTIVITY guy Oren Peli) also got branded with a dreadful D+ CinemaScore from irradiated paying audiences.

As for the blockbuster counterprogramming, WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING had just a 32% drop from last week, while THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL expanded onto more than 1200 screens and saw a big boost from the elder crowds. THE HUNGER GAMES is still clawing its way to $400M, and outside the Top 10, Wes Anderson's MOONRISE KINGDOM opened in just four locations but had a whopping $167k per-screen average (that's ten times MIB3's per-screen).

Next weekend brings another big-budget release, the epic fairy tale fantasy SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN, while the boobs-and-gore sequel PIRANHA 3DD opens in limited release. What June release are you most looking forward to seeing? VOTE HERE!

# MOVIE TITLE WKND $ TOTAL $
1. Men in Black III $70 M
NEW
2. The Avengers $46.8 M $523.5 M
3. Battleship $13.7 M $47.2 M
4. The Dictator $11.7 M $43.6 M
5. Dark Shadows $9.4 M $64.8 M
6. Chernobyl Diaries $9.3 M
NEW
7. What to Expect When You're Expecting $8.8 M $23.8 M
8. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel $8.2 M $18.4 M
9. The Hunger Games $2.8 M $395.8 M
10. Think Like a Man $1.8 M $88.6 M

ACCESS BOX-OFFICE ARCHIVES HERE

Source: Box Office Mojo

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