"The Avengers" is projected to make $85M-$110M and set a record for the best second week ever. "Dark Shadows" aims for $35M
Will "Dark Shadows" and Johnny Depp's campy vamp put much of a bite on the box office domination of "The Avengers" this weekend?
In a word, no.
"The Avengers" is looking at $85 million to $110 million in its second week, according to analysts.
Either figure would easily amount to a record for a sophomore session. Both 2009's "Avatar" and 2010's "The Dark Knight" took in $75 million in their second week.
And either figure will outpace "Dark Shadows," which analysts project will take in between $30 million and $35 million.
Disney and Marvel Entertainment's record-shattering juggernaut has built a $257.6 million head of steam at the U.S. box office. That, along with the $517.8 million it has taken in overseas, gives it a worldwide gross of $775.4 million in just 14 days.
"The thing that is really pushing this film over the edge is that families are showing up," Boxoffice.com editor Phil Contrino told TheWrap Thursday. His projection is at the highest end.
"I don't think people expected this to be a family film," Contrino said, "but what we're seeing is exactly that at the multiplexes. You have to give Disney credit, they've made this a family movie."
"The Avengers" has averaged more than $16 million per day since Monday, a very strong number for midweek.
"That's the most telling indicator," senior analyst Jeff Bock of Exhibitor Relations Co. told TheWrap Thursday. "With an opening like 'The Avengers' had, you'd expect a precipitous drop, but we're not seeing any indication that this film is front-loaded."
Sales at online ticket service Fandango support that theory.
"'The Avengers' is performing like a monster," Fandango's Harry Medved told TheWrap. "You don't see sales like this on weekdays." On Thursday, 70 percent of tickets sold by Fandango were for the Marvel epic and 12 percent were for "Dark Shadows."
The screen count for "The Avengers" remains the same as last week. It will play at 4,349 North American locations this weekend, 3,364 of which are 3D, 275 of which are Imax.
Warners' "Dark Shadows" is expected to do between $30 million and $35 million. It will play on about 3,700 U.S. screens. "Dark Shadows" will also open this weekend on 10,000 screens in 42 foreign territories, where Depp's global star power is expected to drive ticket sales.
Also read: 'Dark Shadows' Review: It's Not Just the Vampire That Sucks in Tim Burton's Retread
Depp plays 200-year-old vampire Barnabas Collins in Tim Burton's PG-13-rated take on the 1960s TV series. Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Chloe Grace Moretz, Helena Bonham Carter and Jonny Lee Miller star in the film from Dan Curtis Prods., GK Films and Depp's Infinitum Nihil.
In terms of its opening, "Dark Shadows" is expected to land in the middle of previous Depp-Burton collaborations. "Alice in Wonderland" bowed to $116 million two years ago, and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" pulled in $56.1 million in 2005. The expectations for "Dark Shadows" are more in line with 1999's "Sleepy Hollow," which debuted to $30 million.
"Dark Shadows" has split the critics. On Thursday, the web site Metacritic was giving the film a score of 58, while 48% of the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes were positive.
Both "The Avengers" and "Dark Shadows" should benefit from having the cineplexes pretty much to themselves. There are no other studio releases this week.
Lionsgate will be bowing "Girl in Progress," a PG-13 rated comedy-drama, at 322 locations. Eva Mendes, Matthew Modine and Patricia Arquette star in the story of a single mom too busy to give her daughter the attention she desperately needs.
"God Bless America," written and directed by Bobcat Goldthwait, also debuts in a limited run. The R-rated film is the tale of "a terminally ill man and his 16-year-old accomplice on a mission to rid society of its most repellent citizens," according to Darko Entertainment.
The Weinstein Co. is re-releasing "The Artist" in 750 theaters. The Academy Award-winner for Best Picture is coming to the end of its theatrical trail. The film has grossed $129.2 million worldwide since opening in November of 2011, with $44.2 million of that coming from the U.S. Sony plans to release the DVD and Blu-ray on June 26.