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Box Office: Johnny Depp / DARK SHADOWS Disappoints; THE AVENGERS $100m?

Johnny Depp Dark Shadows vampire
Johnny Depp vampire: Dark Shadows

The Avengers to break another box office record? As per early, rough box office estimates, the Joss Whedon-directed superhero movie is expected to gross $28-29 million at 4,349 theaters in North America on Friday and a whopping $100m by Sunday evening – up from $80-90m predicted earlier today. Meanwhile, Tim Burton / Johnny Depp's Dark Shadows opened with a disappointing $10.5 million at 3,755 locations. Dark Shadows is expected to finish its first weekend with $28 million – the amount The Avengers is expected to earn on its second Friday out.

The above figures were found at Deadline.com, which adds that Dark Shadows distributor Warner Bros. was expecting at the very least a $35 million opening weekend. Burton and Depp's previous collaboration, Alice in Wonderland, opened with $116 million in March 2010. Making matters worse for Dark Shadows: its budget is pegged at $150-175 million, not including marketing / distribution expenses.

Unless the international market comes to the rescue – a possibility, as Johnny Depp is a major box office draw overseas (remember The Tourist?) – Dark Shadows may turn out to be one of the year's biggest bombs.

As for The Avengers, if it does indeed earn $100m this weekend, it'll be a record-breaking second weekend, ahead of James Cameron / Sam Worthington's Avatar (2009) and Christopher Nolan / Christian Bale's The Dark Knight (2008), which earned $75.61 million and $75.16 million, respectively.

Additionally, The Avengers should pass the $300m milestone at the domestic box office on Saturday – its ninth day out, thus surpassing The Dark Knight's current ten-day record (not adjusted for inflation).

Rounding out the top five movies on Friday were Michael Ealy / Jerry Ferrara's Think Like a Man with $1.6 million ($6.5 million weekend); Jennifer Lawrence / Josh Hutcherson / Liam Hemsworth's The Hunger Games with $1.2 million ($4.3 million weekend); and Zac Efron / Taylor Schilling's The Lucky One with $1.1 million ($4.1 million weekend).

Remember, the above figures are early, rough, unofficial estimates. Official Friday box office estimates will be released on Saturday. Weekend estimates come out on Sunday. Weekend box office actuals will be released on Monday.

In addition to Johnny Depp, Dark Shadows features three-time Oscar nominee Michelle Pfeiffer (Dangerous Liaisons, The Fabulous Baker Boys, Love Field), two-time Oscar nominee Helena Bonham Carter (The Wings of the Dove, The King's Speech), Eva Green, Jonny Lee Miller, Oscar nominee Jackie Earle Haley (Little Children), Chloë Grace Moretz, Bella Heathcote, Gulliver McGrath, Alice Cooper, Michael Shannon, and veteran Hammer Dracula Christopher Lee.

The Avengers features Captain America: The First Avenger's Chris Evans as Captain America, Sherlock Holmes' Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man, The Kids Are All Right's Mark Ruffalo as the Incredible Hulk, Vicky Cristina Barcelona's Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow, and Snow White and the Huntsman's Chris Hemsworth as Thor.

Also: The Bourne Legacy's Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, The Deep Blue Sea's Tom Hiddleston as Loki, The Storm Awaits' Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill, Pulp Fiction's Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Shakespeare in Love's Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, and Much Ado About Nothing's Clark Gregg as agent Phil Coulson.

And finally: Stellan Skarsgård, Powers Boothe, Alexis Denisof, veteran Jenny Agutter (Walkabout / Logan's Run), and Deep End director / Roman Polanski's Knife in the Water screenwriter Jerzy Skolimowski, in addition to the voices of Paul Bettany and Lou Ferrigno.

Johnny Depp / Dark Shadows photo: Peter Mountain / Warner Bros.

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