The Avengers has indeed broken another box office record in North America. If that weren't enough, if studio estimates are accurate Joss Whedon's superhero movie starring Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, and Jeremy Renner has passed the $1 billion milestone worldwide – after 19 days out.
At 4,349 theaters in North America, The Avengers collected an estimated $103.2 million, down a mere 50 percent compared to the previous weekend. That's the biggest "second weekend" gross ever, far surpassing James Cameron / Sam Worthington's Avatar and Christopher Nolan / Christian Bale's The Dark Knight, which brought in, respectively, $75.61 million (about the same in 2012 dollars) and $75.16 million (approx. $82 million today) according to Box Office Mojo.
Even taking 3D and IMAX surcharges into account, The Avengers would still remain quite a bit ahead of the (inflation-adjusted) 2D, modestly IMAX'ed (94 screens on the first weekend) The Dark Knight.
Additionally, The Avengers passed the $300m milestone at the domestic box office on Saturday – its ninth day out, thus officially surpassing The Dark Knight's current ten-day record for reaching $300m in the U.S. and Canada. Never mind the fact that movie inflation plays a key role here: The Dark Knight's inflation-adjusted take on Day 9 would be approx. $316m. And if 3D surcharges are taken into account, The Dark Knight quite likely sold more tickets: the aforementioned inflation-adjusted $316 million vs. The Avengers' 3D-surcharge-deducted $299m* on Day 9.
The Avengers Box Office: $1 Billion Worldwide?
As for The Avengers having reached $1 billion at the worldwide box office, well, it all depends on whether or not Disney's estimates are accurate. The Avengers' domestic total is estimated at $373.18m; its international cume stands at an estimated $628.9 million after earnings of $95.4 million this weekend. Worldwide total: $1.002.8 billion.
So, it's certainly possible that the $1 billion mark has been reached, especially considering that Disney's domestic estimates were too low last weekend. Either way, The Avengers is undeniably one of the biggest global blockbusters ever.
The Avengers features Captain America: The First Avenger's Chris Evans as Captain America, two-time Oscar nominee Robert Downey Jr (Chaplin, Tropic Thunder) as Iron Man, Oscar nominee Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are All Right) as the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2's Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow, and Snow White and the Huntsman's Chris Hemsworth as Thor.
Also: two-time Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker, The Town) as Hawkeye, War Horse's Tom Hiddleston as Loki, The Storm Awaits' Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill, Pulp Fiction Oscar nominee Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow (Shakespeare in Love) 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.
* Guesstimate based on reports that The Avengers earned 52 percent of its first weekend's box office take from 3D showings. The percentage may have been different on the film's second weekend. Also, 3D surcharges estimated at an additional 30 percent.
Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man / The Avengers photo: Zade Rosenthal / Walt Disney Studios.