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May 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Universal’s Battleship promptly sailed into the doldrums as it opened domestically this weekend and promptly found itself swamped by the backwash of The Avengers, which continued to set box office records in its third week. The superhero blockbuster, which sold more tickets in its first and second week than any film in history, nabbed a third-week record of $55.1 million, according to studio estimates. It also added another $56 million from overseas, bringing its worldwide gross to $1.18 billion, the most ever earned by a Disney film. But Battleship, the boardgame-to-movie sci-fi epic, came in at the low end of forecasts with just $25.3 million. Ordinarily that figure would have been regarded as a disaster for Universal, which had reportedly pumped more than $200 million into the production and another $100 million into marketing it. But the film has already earned $220 million overseas, where it opened early, softening the blow to Universal. It is still likely to end up a loser, but not a shocking one. Slammed on each side by the two blockbuster productions, Paramount’s Sacha Baron Cohen spoof The Dictator wound up with around $17.4 million — $24 million if receipts for Wednesday and Thursday are included. Against such overpowering competition, the movie probably stood as much of a chance of becoming a hit as North African dictators have had of remaining in power.

The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo:
1. The Avengers, Disney/Marvel, $55.1 million; 2. Battleship, Universal, $25.3 million; 3. The Dictator, Paramount, $17.4 million; 4. Dark Shadows, Warner Bros., $12.8 million; 5. What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Lionsgate, $10.5 million; 6. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Fox Searchlight, $3.3 million; 7. The Hunger Games, Lionsgate, $3 million; 8. Think Like a Man, Sony/Screen Gems; $2.7 million; 9. The Lucky One, Warner Bros., $1.8 million; 10. The Pirates! Band of Misfits, Sony/Aardman, $1.5 million.

Final Figures for the Top Five Films

1. The Avengers, Disney/Marvel, $55,644,102
2. Battleship, Universal, $25,534,825
3. The Dictator, Paramount, $17,435,092
4. Dark Shadows, Warner Bros., $12,583,338
5. What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Lionsgate, $10,547,068