Avengers is going to beat Dark Knight, making it the third highest grossing movie, for domestic box office, of all time. That isn’t even much of a question at this point — unless aliens invade or something. (Even then, I’m not sure I’d bet against it.) It beat the number four film, Phantom Menace, Thursday and was up to an estimated $500 million plus in domestic box office yesterday. Box Office Mojo projects it will be over $513 million by the end of the day and that still leaves Memorial Day. The number to beat is $533 million. I’m predicting it does that Wednesday. The question at that point is, can it beat Titanic?
I warned you it would come down to this in an article for Splice Today. In fact I closed that article with this bit of predictive bravado, “My best guess is, the iceberg doesn’t stand a chance.” I still think that’s going to happen, but James Cameron had made it extra tough for the Marvel heroes by re-releasing Titanic in 3-D. Before he did that, Titanic had rung up just over $600 million in domestic box office, a figure that Avengers can beat. Problem is, the re-release added an additional $57 million or so in box office, which could put it just out of reach in this ultra-competitive summer. Avengers will start rapidly losing theaters after Men in Black 3 managed to beat it this weekend. The best thing it has going for it at this point is probably word of mouth. I’ve talked to maybe a dozen people in the last week who’ve said they haven’t seen Avengers yet, maybe they’ll get around to it. If they and other late adopters do that, Titanic‘s sunk.