Good hangover, dearest readers of filmmatic.com. As you can imagine, it is The Avengers which stole this weekend’s box office, with zero chance for failure, especially after its remarkable opening overseas encouraging domestic audiences to see the first truly spectacular summer blockbuster. No offense to fellow Hunger Games fans.

Either way, there’s no need to analyze this box office weekend. Just the film everyone’s raving about.

From the writer of the highest-rated horror film for a long time, The Cabin in the Woods, a film is brought to us that successfully takes otherwise minor characters of the comic-book world and delivers to them greatness on a silver platter, specifically eyeing Captain America and Thor.

It insists the tip of the umbrella that is the superhero genre’s parent, science-fiction, into the plot with considerable flair and accuracy. The pacing of the film is borderline perfect, never straying too far into the life of a particular Avenger, with the exception perhaps of a little leaning on Iron Man, whose popularity truly lead the ensemble. It was his series of course that introduced Scarlett’s and Samuel’s characters.

What you have, ultimately, is the essential popcorn film. A superhero form of Ghost Protocol, with Jeremy Renner having to help stop a nuclear bomb all over again. It’s like an unofficial sequel, even.
And by continuing to increase the ante within the context of the plot, which oddly enough resembles Transformers: Dark of the Moon what with a device bringing aliens to our planet intending to essentially wreck our species, some level of suspense and urgency is still maintained.

How this was accomplished is the magic of all the screenwriters involved with the project, seeing as they had to juggle an entire team of basically unstoppable people. With an abundance of self-referential humor, a dose of what $220 million can really do, and a simplistic plot that doesn’t demand much but play itself out, however cynical you may be of the genre that rocketed off you can’t say it wasn’t a hell of a ride.

So Johnny Depp doesn’t stand a chance next week. Sorry, there, Rango. The Avengers is worth seeing twice, no matter how popular vampires get.

1:  “The Avengers” (Disney): Opened with $200.3 million. $151.5 million overseas in 52 foreign markets. International total: $441.5 million.
2:  “Think Like a Man” (Sony): $8 million on its third weekend, down 55%. Domestic total: $73 million.
3:  “The Hunger Games” (Lionsgate): $5.7 million on its seventh weekend, down 47%. Domestic total: $380.7 million.
4:  “The Lucky One” (Warner Bros./Village Roadshow): $5.5 million on its third weekend, down 49%. Domestic total: $47.9 million. $5.5 million overseas in 27 foreign markets. International total: $18 million.
5:  “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” (Sony): $5.4 million on its second weekend, down 52%. Domestic total: $18.6 million. $2.8 million overseas in 51 foreign markets. International total: $70.4 million.
6:  “The Five-Year Engagement” (Universal/Relativity): $5.1 million on its second weekend, down 52%. Domestic total: $19.2 million. $2.3 million overseas in three foreign markets. International total: $2.3 million.
7:  “The Raven” (Relativity/Intrepid): $2.5 million on its second weekend, down 66%. Domestic total: $12 million.
8:  “Safe” (Lionsgate/IM Global): $2.5 million on its second weekend, down 69%. Domestic total: $12.9 million.
9:  “Chimpanzee” (Disney): $2.4 million on its third weekend, down 54%. Domestic total: $23 million.
10:  “The Three Stooges” (Fox): $1.8 million on its fourth weekend, down 65%. Domestic total: $39.6 million.

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