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'Avengers' sinks 'Battleship" to remain No. 1

Associated Press Modified: May 20, 2012 at 3:30 pm •  Published: May 20, 2012
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Domestically, "The Avengers" at $457.1 million is No. 6 all-time but will quickly pass "Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace" ($474.5 million) and the original "Star Wars" ($460.9 million) to take the No. 4 spot.

"Avatar" is No. 1 domestically at $760.5 million, followed by "Titanic" at $658.5 million and "The Dark Knight" at $533.3 million.

Factoring in today's higher admission prices, many older movies sold more tickets than "The Avengers," which also has a price advantage because of the extra few dollars it costs to see the 3-D version.

But the Marvel Comics superhero ensemble has proved an overwhelming lure, drawing in all audience segments and packing in some fans who are seeing it over and over.

"It's a contagious thing that gets not just them back, but their friends back to see it again," said Dave Hollis, head of distribution for Disney. "I'm always happy to see a friendly competition among friends to see who can see the movie the most times."

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Where available, latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. "The Avengers," $55.1 million ($56 million international).

2. "Battleship," $25.4 million ($6.5 million international).

3. "The Dictator," $17.4 million ($30.3 million international).

4. "Dark Shadows," $12.8 million ($30.4 million international).

5. "What to Expect When You're Expecting," $10.5 million.

6. "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," $3.3 million ($1.8 million international).

7. "The Hunger Games," $3 million ($1.5 million international).

8. "Think Like a Man," $2.7 million.

9. "The Lucky One," $1.8 million ($2.7 million international).

10. "The Pirates! Band of Misfits," $1.5 million.

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Estimated weekend ticket sales at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada) for films distributed overseas by Hollywood studios, according to Rentrak:

1. "The Avengers," $56 million.

2. "Dark Shadows," $30.4 million.

3. "The Dictator," $30.3 million.

4. "American Reunion," $10.2 million.

5. "Battleship," $6.5 million.

6. "All About My Wife," $3.7 million.

7. "Do-nui Mat," $3.5 million.

8. "The Lucky One," $2.7 million.

9. "Rust and Bone," $2.2 million.

10. "The Vow," $2 million.

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Online:

http://www.hollywood.com

http://www.rentrak.com

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Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by News Corp.; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.