Box office expert predicts Avengers may crush Dark Knight's record

No one's ever questioned that The Avengers will be huge, but with less than a month until opening day, the question now is just how huge it might be. With Joss Whedon at the helm and a superstar cast, could Earth's Mightiest Heroes overtake Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight to become the biggest superhero movie all time? One expert says yes.

In 2008, The Dark Knight set the record for the biggest opening-weekend box-office take of all time, pulling in a whopping $158.4 million on its way to becoming one of the top-grossing films ever. Three years later Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2broke that record with a $169.2 million opening weekend, but The Dark Knight still holds the number-two slot and the distinction of being the biggest superhero film ever.

Now The Avengers is just weeks away, and it's a monster. Not only is it packed with stars, but it's got the added advantage of not just one, but four successful tie-in superhero franchises going before it. And then there's that massive Disney/Marvel marketing machine. So could it overtake The Dark Knight?

Jeff Bock, an analyst for the film industry's oldest statistical research firm, Exhibitor Relations, thinks the flick might do more than that. He think it's "entirely possible" that the film could top both Dark Knight and Potter to claim the opening-weekend crown.

But it might not be on top for long. Bock thinks that if The Avengers does manage to set a new standard for opening-weekend box-office grosses, it would only be in position to be toppled by The Dark Knight Rises just two months later.

"Is $200 million even possible?" Bock asked of The Dark Knight Rises' opening weekend chances.

As excited as we are about both these flicks, it's not hard to imagine either of them hitting an unprecedented $200 million on opening weekend. The question is which one will win out in the end. When the summer's over, will Earth's Mightiest Heroes or the Caped Crusader hold the box-office crown?

(via E! Online)

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