Box Office: ‘The Avengers’ scores second biggest opening day of all-time with $80 million

Don’t worry Muggles, your good friend Harry Potter’s single day record is safe and sound. At least until Batman returns in July. “The Avengers” finally debuted in the U.S. Friday after massive openings in Europe and Asia last weekend and pulled in a mammoth $80.5 million. That’s the second highest single day opening of all-time after “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 2.” The latter holds the record with a monstrous $91 million last summer.

Marvel Studios and the Walt Disney Company have to be thrilled at “The Avengers” kick-off. At this pace, Joss Whedon’s action adventure could gross between $165-170 million depending on how intense the rest of the weekend is. That might not top the record $169.1 million opening frame of “Deathly Hallows, Pt. 2,” but it would easily surpass “The Hunger Games'” $152 million and “The Dark Knight’s” $158 million three-day debuts. The film also reportedly scored a rare A+ Cinemascore grade with moviegoers which is an excellent sign of longterm playability over the next few months.

Dropping to number two is Screen Gems’ “Think Like A Man” with another $2.6 million and $67.7 million so far. The crossover romantic comedy should soar past $75 million by Sunday and $100 million isn’t out of the question.

Third place went to Warner Bros.’ solid double “The Lucky One.” The Zac Efron romancer pulled in another $1.9 million for$44.3 million to date. Remarkably, it should become the fifth creation of author Nicholas Sparks to cross the $50 million mark. And, more telling, every single one of his films has made over $40 million domestic. Considering how relatively inexpensive his dramas are, that’s an excellent track record.

“The Five-Year Engagement” fell all the way to fourth with another $1.7 million and just $15.8 million in 10 days. Shockingly, “Engagement” is one of the worst performers of producer Judd Apatow’s big screen career. Only “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story” will make less in theaters.

Somewhat surprising at no. 5 is “The Hunger Games” with another $1.6 million and a domestic total of $376 million. The franchise starter continues to inch its way toward a possible $400 million-plus cume. 

Look for complete weekend estimates tomorrow on HitFix.