‘Avengers’ Sets Second-Weekend Record With $103.2 Million

“Marvel’s The Avengers” broke another box-office record, taking in $103.1 million for Walt Disney Co. (DIS) in its second weekend in U.S. and Canadian theaters.

The film surpassed the $75.6 million benchmark for a second-weekend performance, set in 2009 by “Avatar,” researcher Hollywood.com Box-Office said today in an e-mailed statement. Last week, “The Avengers” smashed the opening- weekend record with $207.4 million in domestic receipts. The vampire comedy “Dark Shadows,” starring Johnny Depp, opened in second place with $29.7 million.

The records raise the prospect studios will top their previous best yearly sales of $10.6 billion set in 2009, Paul Dergarabedian, president of Hollywood.com Box-Office, said in an interview. Sales for 2012 are up 18 percent over 2011 and attendance is ahead 20 percent, according to Hollywood.com. Opening May 25 is Sony Corp. (6758)’s “Men in Black 3,” forecast by Boxoffice.com to generate $205 million in domestic sales.

“‘Avengers’ still remains the must-see movie of the weekend,” said Phil Contrino, editor at Boxoffice.com “There is a great deal of positive word of mouth surrounding the film and the must-see factor is definitely there.”

“Avengers” is the first movie ever to post back-to-back weekends of $100 million-plus sales, Hollywood.com said. The film topped $1 billion in sales worldwide yesterday, 19 days after its U.S. release, Hollywood.com said.

‘Dark Shadows’

Disney Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger told investors on a conference call last week the company will turn “The Avengers” into a franchise. The studio also will continue to draw individually from the characters for more films, he said. Disney is developing a third “Iron Man” movie and a sequel to “Thor,” the hammer-wielding Norse demigod also featured in “The Avengers.”

In “The Avengers,” several Marvel heroes band together to fight an army of aliens led by Loki, also a character from Norse mythology. The movie stars Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow.

“Dark Shadows,” from Time Warner Inc. (TWX)’s Warner Bros., is inspired by the 1960s daytime television show about a New England family entangled with vampires, ghosts and werewolves. Director Tim Burton’s tongue-in-cheek interpretation also features Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter and Eva Green.

Contrino said he was expecting “Dark Shadows” to open with about $35 million in receipts, though the popularity of “Avengers” weighed on that number.

“Dark Shadows” was the only film to open in wide release.

‘The Hunger Games’

Among returning movies, Sony’s romantic comedy “Think Like a Man” dropped to third place from second with $5.8 million.

“The Hunger Games” was fourth with $4.5 million. The movie, based on the Suzanne Collins novel, has generated $387 million in domestic ticket sales for Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (LGF) since it was released on March 23.

Warner Bros.’s romantic drama, “The Lucky One,” finished fifth with $4.1 million.

Weekend revenue for the top 12 films rose 26 percent to $162.3 million from a year earlier, Hollywood.com said. The amounts below are based on actual ticket sales for May 11, May 12 and yesterday.

                       Rev.            Avg./   Pct.   Total
Movie                 (mln)  Theaters  Theater Chg.   (mln)  Wks
================================================================
 1 THE AVENGERS      $103.1    4,349  $23,696  -50   $373.1    2
 2 DARK SHADOWS        29.7    3,755    7,906   --     29.7    1
 3 THINK LIKE A MAN     5.8    2,052    2,834  -28     81.4    4
 4 THE HUNGER GAMES     4.5    2,531    1,780  -19    387.0    8
 5 THE LUCKY ONE        4.1    2,839    1,447  -23     53.8    4
 6 FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT 3.3    2,569    1,290  -34     24.6    3
 7 PIRATES!             3.1    3,079    1,021  -43     23.0    3
 8 BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD 2.7      178   15,012  263      3.7    2
 9 CHIMPANZEE (DOC.)    1.8    1,559    1,126  -29     25.7    4
10 SAFE                 1.4    1,690      856  -46     15.7    3
11 GIRL IN PROGRESS     1.4      322    4,298   --      1.4    1
12 THE RAVEN            1.4    1,888      730  -48     14.7    3


Top 12 Films Grosses

   This Week     Year Ago      Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
    $162.3        $128.9      +26


Year-to-date Revenue

     2012          2011
      YTD           YTD        Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
    $3,833        $3,261      +18

Year-to-date Attendance:      +20%

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael White in Los Angeles at mwhite8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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