"The Avengers" powered to another $55.1 million to claim its third consecutive box office crown, leaving Universal's pricey sea saga "Battleship" in its wake with soggy $25.3 million.
Marvel's star-studded superhero mashup passed "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" to become Disney's highest grossing film of all time. It added $56 million from overseas and now has a worldwide gross of $1.18 billion, fourth-highest ever.
Universal had hoped for more from "Battleship," which had built momentum coming into its U.S. bow by steaming to $220 million overseas in five weeks. That will help offset its $209 million production budget, but the weak domestic bow likely ends any talk of a sequel.
"It's disappointing," Nikki Rocco, distribution president for Universal Pictures, told TheWrap Sunday, "but you have to look at the picture globally, and from that standpoint, we're OK."
"Battleship" added $6.5 million overseas this weekend, to raise its international total to $226.8 million.
"Battleship," which averaged $6,870 per theater from its 3,690 locations, skewed older, with 55% of the audience over 30 years of age. It received a B CinemaScore from moviegoers, 57 percent of whom were male.
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The underwhelming bow of "Battleship" gives Taylor Kitsch the dubious distinction of starring in two of the summer's major domestic misfires, having also starred in Disney's disastrous "John Carter."
Paramount's Sacha Baron Cohen spoof "The Dictator" pulled in $17.4 million over the weekend from 3,008 locations for third. The movie, which opened Wednesday, has made $24.4 million domestically.
The foreign numbers suggest the film, which cost around $65 million to produce, may makes its best money overseas. It took in $30.3 million from 29 markets, including $7.3 million from the U.K.
At No. 4 was Warner Bros.' "Dark Shadows," took in $12.7 million from 3,755 locations in its second week, raising the overall domestic gross for the Johnny Depp-Tim Burton collaboration to $50.9 million.
The weekend's other wide opener, Lionsgate's "What to Expect When You're Expecting," delivered a not-so-bouncing $10.5 million from 3,021 locales.
A surprising No. 6 was Fox Searchlight's "Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," which grossed $3.25 million from just 354 locales. The tale of Brit retirees in India has now rung up an $8.2 million domestic cume in 17 days.
"Think Like A Man," the Sony film that "The Avengers" dethroned three weeks ago, took in an estimated $2.7 million over the weekend to raise its U.S. gross to $85.8 million.
"The Avengers" will be tested next week when Sony rolls out "Men in Black 3."