The Avengers cast dark Shadows over Johnny Depp's latest weirdness -- and over everything else at the weekend box office as well. The Disney/Marvel superhero spectacle became the first movie ever to gross more than $100 million over what trade reporters call a sophomore stanza (second week), wiping out Avatar 's previous record of $75.6 million. Its estimated $103.2-million total amounted to more than what Warner Bros.' big-budget Dark Shadows cost to produce and, like last week when it set a record for an opening three-day weekend, it came in well ahead of pundits' predictions and tracking research. As of Sunday, it had earned about $373.2 million, the biggest 10-day gross in history, as well. Meanwhile, with just $28.8 million, Tim Burton's Dark Shadows , came in well below those forecasts and demonstrated once again that having a proven box-office superstar like Depp on the marquee is no guarantee of a movie's success. (By contrast, Alice in Wonderland opened with $116.1 million.) Tellingly, audiences graded the film a B-, according to researchers Cinemascore, reflecting the general opinion of critics. Nevertheless, Depp is an even bigger moneymaker at the box office overseas than he is in the U.S., and foreign ticket sales could potentially rescue the movie. Stand by. [UPDATE Dark Shadows earned $36.7 million in 42 markets for a worldwide total of $65.5 million.]

The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo 1. The Avengers , $103.2 million; 2. Dark Shadows , $28.8 million; 3. Think Like a Man , $6.3 million; 4. The Hunger Games , $4.4 million; 5. The Lucky One, $4.1 million; 6. The Pirates! Band of Misfits, $3.2 million; 7. The Five-Year Engagement , $3.1 million; 8. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel , $2.7 million; 9. Chimpanzee , $1.6 million; 10. Girl in Progress, $1.4 million.

14/05/2012