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'Avengers' hurtles to $178.4M overseas debut
AP ^ | 4/29 | David Germain

Posted on 04/29/2012 1:38:45 PM PDT by TheBigB

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The superhero saga "The Avengers" lived up to its blockbuster buzz with $178.4 million in overseas ticket sales days before it opens in U.S. theaters.

Domestic audiences generally passed on a bunch of new flicks as fans seem to be in anticipation mode for Disney's "The Avengers," which debuts Friday in the United States after launching in 39 other countries a week earlier.

The huge overseas launch will help fan the frenzy already in place for "The Avengers," the superhero mash-up of Marvel Comics idols whose cast includes Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson.

"You hope that the magnitude of this kind of opening sends a signal that this is a for-everyone film," said Dave Hollis, head of distribution for Disney. "You can't put up these kinds of numbers if it's just for guys or just for the fans. These numbers say that it is for everyone, 8 to 80."

The Sony Screen Gems ensemble comedy "Think Like a Man" was No. 1 domestically for the second-straight weekend with $18 million.

Four movies were bunched up for the No. 2 spot in the $11 million range: Sony's animated comedy "The Pirates! Band of Misfits" with $11.4 million; the Warner Bros. romantic drama "The Lucky One" with $11.3 million; Lionsgate's blockbuster "The Hunger Games" with $11.25 million; and Universal's romantic comedy "The Five-Year Engagement" with $11.2 million.

Those four flicks were so close that their rankings from Sunday studio estimates could change once final numbers are released Monday.

Along with "Pirates," whose voice cast was led by Hugh Grant, and "Five-Year Engagement," which stars Jason Segel and Emily Blunt, the other newcomers were Jason Statham's action tale "Safe" from Lionsgate at No. 6 with $7.7 million and John Cusack's Edgar Allan Poe mystery "The Raven" from Relativity Media at No. 7 with $7.3 million.

......excerpted.... Along with the United States, "The Avengers" has yet to open in other big markets that include Japan, China and Russia.

Among the overseas totals for "The Avengers": $24.7 million in Great Britain; $19.7 million in Australia; $15.9 million in Mexico; $12.9 million in South Korea; and $12.9 million in France.

Directed by Joss Whedon ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer"), "The Avengers" has strong word-of-mouth domestically from fans who were able to see advanced screenings.

Critics also have given the film high marks, and the publicity blast from the overseas revenues could push the movie into record-debut territory. The "Harry Potter" finale now has the top opening weekend domestically with $169.2 million, followed by "The Dark Knight" with $158.4 million and "The Hunger Games" with $152.5 million.

TOPICS: Culture/Society
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To: LS

The effects were spectacular. The actors were excellent.

I just thought the villain was wrong. Parralax is a universe-ending sort of villain. Though premier Green Lanterns, like Kilowag and Sinestro, weren’t able to deal with him, the new guy could?

I think something a little less ambitious was in order.

41 posted on 04/29/2012 6:50:28 PM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: Jonty30
Good observation, and in fact I think this is the downfall of almost all superhero comix and shows: they make the villains way too big. I remember when Thor fought villains like the Black Knight, or the Absorbing Man; Spider-Man fought The Vulture; and so on. On the one hand, the villain has to have a chance, but on the other, he can't be so superpowerful (as in Galactus---which is where I think FF went off the rails) that ordinary humans really can't beat him.

Most of all, my pet peeve, virtually EVERY hero team succeeds when it keeps the individuals individuals, but they have to work together to maximize their powers. The original X-Men had only one super-exceptional power---Cyclops---and the rest were "role players." But together they were fantastic. The TV show "Heroes" worked for the same reason: individuals with limited powers overcame a more powerful enemy because of teamwork. But when either the villains or the hero starts to get too super-powerful, the plot disappears.

42 posted on 04/30/2012 5:34:31 AM PDT by LS ("Castles Made of Sand, Fall in the Sea . . . Eventually (Hendrix))
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