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Box Office: THE AVENGERS Behind THE DARK KNIGHT Ticket Sales

The Avengers Chris Evans Robert Downey Jr
The Avengers: Chris Evans / Captain America, Robert Downey Jr / Tony Stark / Iron Man

The Avengers easily topped the North American box office this past weekend, grossing $55.64 million according to box office actuals found at Box Office Mojo. At a distant second place with $25.53 million was Battleship, a $209 million Universal release that has turned out to be a major bomb domestically.

On Sunday, The Avengers passed the $450 million mark in North America. It is the fastest movie to reach that milestone: 17 days. At no. 2, Christopher Nolan / Christian Bale's The Dark Knight reached $450 million after 27 days. (Adjusted for inflation, The Dark Knight reached that milestone on Day 21.)

The Avengers vs. The Dark Knight: Ticket Sales

Now, which movie has sold more tickets, The Avengers or The Dark Knight? On Day 17, The Avengers' cume stands at $457.66m; The Dark Knight's was $393.75 million. Adjusted for inflation, The Dark Knight's take goes up to approximately $429 million.

Now, if 3D screens accounted for 50 percent of the Avengers' domestic box office (the percentage was 52 percent on the first weekend), then after deducting the 3D surcharges (calculated at 30 percent above the cost of a 2D movie), The Avengers' box office take goes down to approximately $400 million – or well behind The Dark Knight's.

Even if only one third of The Avengers' gross originated from 3D houses, the Marvel sci-fier / actioner would still be behind The Dark Knight in terms of ticket sales: approx. $419 million vs. The Dark Knight's aforementioned $429 million during the same period.

Internationally, however, The Avengers is doing much better than The Dark Knight. The Avengers' international gross currently stands at $723.3 million. The Dark Knight cumed at $468.57 million.

To date, The Avengers' top five international markets are the U.K. ($73 million), China ($70.1 million), Mexico ($57.1 million), Brazil ($53.3 million), and South Korea ($48m).

Directed by Joss Whedon, 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, Match Point'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, The Deep Blue Sea'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.

Chris Evans as Captain America / Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man / The Avengers picture: Zade Rosenthal / Walt Disney Studios.

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5 Comments to Box Office: THE AVENGERS Behind THE DARK KNIGHT Ticket Sales

  1. zac gille

    @Ryan, @MGE

    First of all, your comments were much appreciated.


    Outside the US, a number of countries use both grosses and attendance when discussing a movie's success (or lack thereof).

    Hollywood studios do it differently. They still use the system they came up with in the 1920s.

    For instance, that's why the Hollywood majors' French box-office reports to this day include Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco — French colonies at the time, but independent countries for the past half century or so.

    >>>>>Then TDK came and it was an impressive number, I really thought it was going to make history by taking the new title of top grossing movie. I would like to know, to be fair, did you make the same arguement about ticket prices/IMAX durring this time?

    No. Alt Film Guide has been around for a few years, but I wasn't around then. My box-office posts began showing up sometime in mid-to-late 2010, I think. I don't believe the site, which was quite new then, published box-office analyses at that time.

    >>>>>And when Avatar came around and smashed the AT records, did you call them out?

    Again, I wasn't around, but Michelle Hutton did. (And got hammered for it, too…)





    And several more…

    Now, I did make inflation- (and IMAX-) adjusted comparisons re: “The Hunger Games” earlier this year. Here's one:


    And will be doing some more when “The Dark Knight Rises” starts “breaking all-time records”…

    Hope this helps.
    And best regards.

  2. MGE

    I am a fan of both Avengers and Batman films. I found the article (and in particular the data collection assumptions) valid and fair.

    At the end of the day we are talking about two extremely good films that delivered value for money. I still watch the Dark Knight on DVD years after its cinematic release and I will do the same for the Avengers.

    I can't wait for The Dark Knight Rises.

  3. Ryan

    I 100% agree with you about ticket counts. I think that is the only fair way to measure a films success. However, we simply don't live in that world! When have you ever heard about ticket totals? I am 29 years old, and I was taught that a film's success was based on how much money a movie brings in. We hear totals every sunday, not attendence. Ofcourse, as I grew older, there are other factors that should REALLY be considered, but only people who really care really want to know.

    When Titanic made it's billions, I thought a film would never reach that total for years to come. Then TDK came and it was an impressive number, I really thought it was going to make history by taking the new title of top grossing movie. I would like to know, to be fair, did you make the same arguement about ticket prices/IMAX durring this time? I swear, I'm not trying to sound like a dick, I am just curious. And when Avatar came around and smashed the AT records, did you call them out?

    When I used my St. Louis tickets reference,. I used IMAX, Chesterfield Location, and I used a night show where there wasn't a M or R discount, which I feel is the fair way to judge. If I should have used a discounted time, well, then I apologize.

    I apologize if I sounded like a $%$#@, I really didn't expect you to reply and I am glad you did; I have a new respect for you and your site. =D

  4. zac gille


    Of course I'm basing this info on “The Avengers” being out for 3 weekends (or 17 days). After all, “The Avengers” has been out for 17 days. Not 170. Not 1,700.

    As a comparison, I'm using “The Dark Knight” box-office data after it was out for 17 days. Not 170. Not 1,700.

    In other words: the comparison tells you where both movies were at the same time in terms of (estimated) ticket sales. Studio/media spin and b.s. aside, what truly matters when it comes to measuring a film's success is the following: How many tickets did the movie sell (in relation to the population at the time, of course, if we're talking about movies released decades apart). That's it.

    Ah, I'm not sure where in St. Louis (or in which St. Louis) you live, but looking at “The Avengers” 2D vs. 3D ticket costs at AMC Theaters in St. Louis (MO), what I found was: $6.75 vs. $9.75.

    That's not 15%. That's a 45% surcharge. Big difference, no? Our 30% 3D surcharge average looks quite modest in comparison.

    And finally, “The Dark Knight” was screened at 94 IMAX houses. The Avengers” was screened at 275. See the difference?

    Now, only a fanatic would think that stating facts (or estimates based on facts) — as opposed to media hype — is tantamount to “bashing.” No one is bashing anything here.

    The facts bother you? Ignore them. It's your call if you'd rather wallow in the truth-warping hype instead.

  5. Ryan

    Really, what is the point of this article?? You're basing this on a movie being out for 3 weekends. Youre also basing this on silly information.

    Where I live the 3d upsale is roughly 15%, feel free to check out the prices in my town (st. louis). Also, the price of IMAX, 3D or not, is the same price. I'm told IMAX was sold out a few shows, too, on both movies.

    When the movie's final numbers are coming in, this would be an appropriate time to start your bashing on Marvel and how much you love the Batman Trilogy. When this time comes, I will read it from someone who is fair and just and loves the box office.