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The Avengers Vs. “Bigger” Movies: Who Wins?

With Marvel’s The Avengers breaking all manner of box office records internationally, it’s somehow surprising to learn that it’s only on track to be the seventh widest opening in US Box Office history. What are the six movies that had better weekends… and, more importantly, how would their leads stack up against Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in a fight? That’s right: never mind Avengers Vs. X-Men, this is Avengers Vs. Movies.

According to Box Office Mojo, Avengers is estimated to rank seventh in the line of the biggest US openings for a movie ever – Although it’s worth pointing out that it’s the highest ranking non-sequel ever, depending on whether or not you consider Avengers a sequel to Thor, Captain America and Iron Man or not. But how would they fare if facing off with the Avengers in a combat situation? Let’s look at the evidence…

#6: Shrek Forever After (2010)
I know that Shrek is a massive green ogre and all, but the Avengers – as Tony Stark and the movie’s many trailers like to remind us – has a Hulk, so that’s pretty evenly matched. They also have an ass, but theirs has a suit of armor that’s one of the most technologically advanced and diverse weapons on the planet in addition to a fine line of snarky asides. So this one definitely goes to the Avengers.

#5: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)
This match-up isn’t even close. Sure, Johnny Depp’s Cap’n Jack Sparrow has experience with the supernatural, but the idea that the amassed unwashed sea dogs of the Disney franchise could stand up to just one of the Avengers – even Hawkeye who, let’s face it, kinda seems like the weakest of the bunch – is pretty much laughable. Advantage: The Nick Fury Hometeam.

#4: The Dark Knight (2008)
Now we’re getting somewhere: The comics have shown us that Batman can take down the Justice League single-handedly, so surely that means that he could handle the less-powerful (No offense, but surely Superman + Wonder Woman means that all but Thor are outclassed in a team-to-team mash-up?) Avengers… Except, this is the less-prepared movie Batman, who was almost outclassed by the Joker and Two-Face, which changes the math a little bit. If the Avengers had the element of surprise, it’s possible that the Hulk could smash gravelly-voiced Bruce Wayne in seconds, before he had the chance to jump into his latest Batmobile. Somewhat sadly, I think the Avengers are taking this one, too.

#3: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011)
Here’s an interesting conflict. Given the kinds of magic tricks that Harry and friends pull in this final Potter, especially considering that they’re essentially at war, I suspect that this one would probably go against the Avengers unless Odin himself ended up getting involved and somehow removing the schoolkids’ ability to do magic. And, given Odin’s movie appearance so far, does he really seem like the kind of guy who’d get himself in the middle of the Avengers’ affairs to do something like that?

#2: Iron Man 2 (2010)
It’s the classic Mighty Marvel set-up: Hero against hero! Tony Stark is mighty smart, but could he really turn on his Mighty Avengers-in-arms? Actually, probably, let’s be honest: He’s not the most honorable man when it comes down to it. The question might be, could he beat his Avengers-in-arms, and depending on how much time he’s had to prepare, the answer just might be yes… Tony Stark FTW, perhaps?

#1: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010)
It’s the fight we’ve all been waiting for: Sparkly vampires and shirtless werewolves versus superheroes! Given the the sparkly vampires (a) can go out in the sun and (b) have all kinds of additional superpowers, it’d be hard to see this one going the Avengers’ way easily… Or, at least, until the Black Widow starts making emo noises and making the Cullens and friends feel conflicted enough over whether to kill her or fall in love with her, leading to an inter-family fight that distracts them long enough for the Avengers to make some last-minute rally using teamwork, magic, technology and violence that ultimately wins the day. For full effect, one of the Cullens should switch sides at the last moment, with a post-credits sequence showing them joining the team.


  • Tev Smith

    close your tags!

  • Tev Smith

    Another non-article. I’m constantly disappointed when I inadvertently click through to one anything by Graeme McMillan.

  • Charlie B

    Hawkeye , the weakest of the bunch ? You lost me right there . Go watch the movie again. You wasn’t paying much attention . smh.

  • jrau18

    6. Shrek is an even match for The Hulk? Bullshit.

    4. Superman + Wonder Woman = All of the Avengers – Thor? Hulk was stronger than Thor in the movie. They showed that several times.

    3. Thor can do some magic. >_>

    2. “he’s not the most honorable man when it comes down to it” At this point, I’m like 95% certain you haven’t seen the movie.

    1. 100% sure now.

  • Matt Hunter

    The numbers from the Box Office Mojo that this article reference are for WIDEST release, not biggest first weekend.  It’s ranking the number of theaters the movies opened in, not their first week take.  While the opening paragraph does state “widest opening” it then goes on to mention ” What are the six movies that had better weekends” which is an entirely different list. 

    That list can be seen here:

  • Guest

    Wondering how many of these movies opened on a holiday week-end or had more than the usual 3 day opening?  That would make a difference in box office

  • Stephen T

    I’m pretty sure that’s just a list of the movies that opened in the biggest number of THEATERS, not the movies that made the most money over a weekend. 

  • Fury1978

    Thor could take out all of Harry and his chums with one thunderbolt.

    Hawkeye and Widow could take out the vamps and werewolves on their own.

    Hulk smash Shrek.

    Captain America could beat Batman single-handed.

    So that leaves Stark VS Stark. which is an Avengers win either way!

  • Demoncat4

    surprised at the hawkeye is the weakest of the bunch when  iron man points out to Lokie he is one of the couple of trained assains he has ticked off. as for the avengers vs twilight the sparkling vamps would be smashed hopefully by the hulk and the rest of the team box office wise now.

  • creativelybankrupt

    The pointless d*ck measuring is really getting out of hand

    I also love how people get caught up in these contests, as if they are getting any money from this


  • Timothy

    Widest opening is a pointless comparison, IMO. What counts is the $$$ and The Avengers is on track to break Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 record box office gross for the opening weekend. 

  • David Fullam

    All right, that’s it. Not defending Graeme anymore. Everybody, fire away!

  • Adam

    Aren’t these ranked by dollars earned, not tickets sold?  If so, it should be adjusted for inflation.  How do we know that Twilight has “really” outsold, say, Casablanca?

  • darthtigris

    You should have a job here, as you’re a better journalist.

  • creativelybankrupt

    it hasn’t. Gone with the Wind still floors them all when adjusted for inflation

  • Matty Macomber

    “With Marvel’s The Avengers breaking all manner of box office
    records internationally, it’s somehow surprising to learn that it’s only
    on track to be the seventh widest opening in US Box Office history.
    What are the six movies that had better weekends”

    Um… there isn’t anything to be done about being “on track” to having a wider release. That’s just the number of theatres that the movie is showing at. With a weekend gross (so far) of $200 million to Twilight: Eclipse’s $64 Million, I think the Avengers had a better weekend. Actually, probably the *best* weekend because they are now the top weekend opener and #2 for opening day (Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part 2 still has that honor). See for the movie opening facts that comic/movie fans and studio execs actually care about

  • Timothy S Villa

    Look how wrong you were

  • Jeremy Henderson

    So this is both a failure as an article, and as an example of reading comprehension skills. Good work, Graeme.

  • Adam

    Opening weekend doesn’t mean shit. Avatar has 782 million in domestic numbers and nearly 3 billion worldwide. It had a $77 million opening weekend. By the way, saw the movie last night. It is so overrated, and is not a better than iron man 1. It is not even in the same league as the dark knight, and is only making so much because it is a kids movie.

  • Adam

    Because it is a kids movie. Opening weekend doesn’t mean anything, the avengers won’t catch avatar, and that movie had a $77 million opening weekend.