This is it, folks. For a regurgitator of box office information such as myself—and for you, the Alicia Silverstone’s kid-like recipient of said regurgitation—this will be like Pearl Harbor or the day Kennedy was shot, an occasion so momentous that you’ll know where you were when you heard it. The Avengers, Joss Whedon’s Marvel-ous superhero extravaganza, has broken the all-time opening weekend box-office record, inching just above $200 million mark over three days. Even when the estimates prove wildly inaccurate and that number is inevitably revised downward, it’s so far ahead of the $169 million posted by the previous record-holder, last year’s Harry Potter 7.2, that it’s supremacy won’t be in doubt. There are so many factors to credit for this extraordinary moment in human history: A number of previous Marvel blockbusters (Thor, Iron Man and Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America) that doubled as feature-length advertisements; the refusal of other major studios to offer up any competition, even as counter-programming; the price-gouging of a 3D conversion job that some viewed through broken glasses. Add to that another $151.5 million made in its second week oversea, and The Avengers has already banked $641.8 million and should post more nine-figure numbers here and abroad next weekend, too. And all this without Doctor Droid, D-Man, and the Two-Gun Kid. (Second-best was Think Like A Man at $8 million, with The Hunger Games showing a little friskiness for third at $5.7 million.)
In limited release, your grandparents went to see The Exotic Marigold Hotel, and found out for themselves whether Maggie Smith got her cheap, timely hip replacement surgery or not. (No spoilers in the comments, please.) It posted a very strong $27,778 per screen average on 27 screens, which suggests that it might shuffle into the multiplexes in early summer. First Position, a Spellbound-like documentary about a teenage ballet competition, also performed solidly, with $10,200 per screen on five screens. News was not as kind to the hi-larious Kate Hudson cancer rom-com A Little Bit Of Heaven, which managed only $890 per screen on 11 screens.