Friday Box Office: Avengers consistent, Dark Shadows disappoints, Girl in Progress surprises

Eva Mendes stars in Lionsgate's GIRL IN PROGRESS.It would be appropriate to begin this post with another photo of The Avengers, which trounced all competition at the box office again yesterday, but frankly, I’m tired of heading posts with photos of The Avengers. By now, everyone’s aware of the record-breaking going on. Instead, I’m highlighting Girl in Progress, starring Eva Mendes, which yesterday, out of nowhere, opened to $409,000 in 322 theaters — not an earth-shattering figure, by any means, but a respectable one for a movie even I hadn’t heard of until last week. The awareness was low and there was very little advertising, but somehow Lionsgate pulled out a solid opening.

Lionsgate offered 2 tickets-for-$12 Groupons, which undoubtedly made their net per ticket lower, but this promotion did the trick in spreading the word. A movie that seemed destined to do a crummy opening of $250,000 or less–I didn’t even include it in my Box Office Beat forecast as a result–is now on track to pull in over a million dollars this weekend. I have no clue if Girl in Progress is any good, but I’ve got to hand it to the folks at Lionsgate. Those at Warner Bros., who opened Tim Burton and Johnny Depp’s Dark Shadows to a thoroughly underwhelming $9.7 million, could learn a thing or two from them. Check out the full top 10 after the jump…

No. Title Friday Critic Speak Weekend Projection Theaters
1 The Avengers $29.1M $90M 4,349
2 Dark Shadows $9.7M $29M 3,755
3 Think Like a Man $1.6M $4.4M 2,052
4 The Lucky One $1.3M $3.6M 2,839
5 The Hunger Games $1.2M $3.6M 2,531
6 The Five-Year Engagement $1.0M $3.0M 2,569
7 The Pirates! Band of Misfits $0.7M $2.5M 3,079
8 The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel $0.7M $2.5M 178
9 Girl in Progress $0.4M $1.1M 322
10 The Raven $0.4M $1.1M 1,888

Source: Box Office Mojo