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Marvel’s The Avengers topped the North American box office for the third weekend in a row, earning another $55.1 million to bring its domestic total to $457.1 million. Worldwide, the Joss Whedon-directed film has grossed nearly $1.2 billion to become the No. 4 release of all time, pushing past The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
According to Box Office Mojo, the film should overtake Star Wars in the next couple of days to claim the fifth-highest domestic gross, and by the end of the month could unseat The Dark Knight to take the No. 3 spot, behind Avatar and Titanic.
The Avengers easily sank Universal Pictures’ Battleship, which brought in just $25.3 million in its domestic opening to claim the No. 2 spot. The $209 million sci-fi action film, inspired by the Hasbro board game, earned $6.5 million overseas, raising its global haul to $226.8 million. That means director Peter Berg’s may only bring in $70 million to $80 million during its run in North American theaters.
“It is obviously a disappointment, but we will move on. And we have Memorial Day coming up,” Nikki Rocco, Universal’s president of domestic distribution, told The Hollywood Reporter. “The studio has a picture that already has a quarter of a billion dollars in the bank, and it won’t die at $25.3 million domestically. We all know that.”