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From Disney and Marvel Studios, Avengers scored the third best Thursday opening ever in the U.K. ($4.1 million) after posting the second highest opening day of all time in Australia on Wednesday.
Moreover, the superhero extravaganza is showing strength across the globe. In Argentina, the pic grossed $600,000 on Thursday, the third best opening of all time. And Avengers debuted to $2.3 million Korea, the third biggest opening of all time for non-local title.
Avengers is rolling out overseas a week ahead of its May 4 domestic bow. The tentpole is expected to kick-off summer in spectacular fashion with a $150 million-plus opening in North America.
In comparison, the domestic box office isn’t expected to generate big headlines as four new titles enter the fray — Universal’s romantic comedy The Five-Year Engagement, Sony’s animated film The Pirates! Band of Misfits, Relativity Media’s The Raven and Safe, from Lionsgate and IM Global.
By late Friday afternoon, Five-Year Engagement was in a close race with holdover Think Like a Man for No. 1. Both are eyeing a weekend gross in the $13 million to $15 million range.
Five-Year Engagement, a $30 million production on which Universal partnered with Relativity, reunites many of the principals from 2008’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which opened to $17.7 million. That includes Jason Segel, who teams up this time with Emily Blunt as they play a couple enduring a long-term engagement.
Sony’s Band of Misfits is from Britain’s Aardman Animations and hopes to place No. 3 for the weekend with a gross in the $10 million range. The movie features a voice cast that includes Hugh Grant as its Pirate Captain and Salma Hayek as Cutlass Liz.
The Raven — co-produced by Relativity and Intrepid Pictures — appears to be in a close race with Safe, with both films eyeing a weekend debut in the $7 million to $9 million range.
Directed by James McTeigue (V for Vendetta), Raven stars John Cusack as Edgar Allen Poe.
Jason Statham action movie Safe, from writer-director Boaz Yakin (Remember the Titans), was fully financed and produced by IM Global.
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Sterling K. Brown