`The Avengers` stays atop box office for 3rd consecutive weekend

New York: ‘The Avengers’ is continuing to muscle out everything else Hollywood throws at it, easily sinking naval rival ‘Battleship’ and other new releases to top the weekend box office yet again.

With 55.1 million dollars domestically, Disney’s superhero sensation remained number 1 for a third-straight weekend and took in more than the three big newcomers combined.

Overseas, ‘The Avengers’ added an additional 56 million dollars.

The film is approaching the 1.2-billion-dollar mark worldwide, totalling 457.1-million-dollar domestically and 723.3-million-dollar internationally.

“‘The Avengers’ is dominating the marketplace so profoundly that the newcomers are having a tough time breaking in now,” the New York Post quoted Paul Dergarabedian, analyst for box-office tracker Hollywood.com, as saying.

Universal’s ‘Battleship’ opened a distant number 2 with 25.4 million dollars domestically, well below industry expectations.

But the board-game adaptation starring Liam Neeson, Taylor Kitsch and Rihanna already has grossed 226.8 million dollars overseas since launching in April, giving it a worldwide total of 252.1 million dollars.

“I would be glad to be No. 2 if we opened to a better number. But given the presence of an absolute juggernaut in the marketplace, there’s nothing you can do,” Nikki Rocco, head of distribution for Universal, said.

“Not to have a shot at being No. 1 this weekend is disappointing. But it’s a challenge with ‘Avengers’ out there,” Rocco said.

Sacha Baron Cohen’s comedy ‘The Dictator’, in which he plays a tyrannical third-world leader, debuted in third-place with 17.4 million dollars for the weekend. Since opening Wednesday, the Paramount release has taken in 24.5 million dollars.

‘The Dictator’ opened with 30.3 million dollars in 29 overseas markets, giving it a worldwide haul of 54.8 million dollars.

Paramount executives said they were happy with that start, but even a movie aiming for laughs had some trouble making in-roads against ‘The Avengers’.

Johnny Depp and Tim Burton’s vampire romp ‘Dark Shadows’, which opened in second-place a week earlier, slipped to number 4 with 12.8 million dollars.

The Warner Bros. release lifted its domestic total to 50.9 million dollars, a weak result compared to the previous Depp-Burton blockbusters ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’.

Lionsgate’s pregnancy comedy ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’, featuring Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez, rounded off the top five with 10.5 million dollars.

The top 5 movies at the weekend box office were:

The Avengers – 55.1 million dollars
Battleship – 25.4 million dollars
The Dictator – 17.4 million dollars
Dark Shadows – 12.8 million dollars
What to Expect When You’re Expecting – 10.5 million dollars