Box Office Beat: Weekend of May 4

Danny Baldwin's Box Office BeatThe AvengersHello and welcome back to my weekly Box Office Beat column. After a rough weekend of prognosticating last go-around–all four new films underperformed my expectations, one of them (The Five-Year Engagement) by a wide margin–it’s good that my job is easier this weekend. There is only one opener, Marvel’s The Avengers, and the question is not whether it will open big, but how big it will open. The best opening weekend for a Marvel film to date is Spider-Man 3’s $151.1 million, which The Avengers could best if it did particularly well, but probably won’t. (Then again, its international take of nearly $300 million in less than two weeks speaks incredibly well for its domestic prospects.) I’d say a more reasonable comparison would be the highest grossing film featuring one of the superheroes in the Avengers ensemble, which would be Iron Man 2 ($128.1m). Inflate it by 12.5% to account for the added surcharge at 3-D showings and you get $144.1 million — my final prediction, which would make for a bang-up opening weekend, the fifth biggest of all time.

My prediction of what the full top 10 will look like:

  1. The Avengers … $144.1m
  2. Think Like a Man … $9.1m   -48.3%
  3. The Pirates! Band of Misfits … $7.0m   -37.2%
  4. The Five-Year Engagement … $6.3m   -40.6%
  5. The Lucky One … $5.9m   -45.4%
  6. The Hunger Games … $5.8m   -46.4%
  7. The Raven … $3.6m   -50.6%
  8. Safe … $3.5m   -55.7%
  9. The Three Stooges … $2.7m   -47.7%
  10. Chimpanzee … $2.6m   -49.7%