You Can’t Stop the Shawarma

“The Avengers” showed massive legs in its second weekend¬†of North American release,¬†grossing $103.2 million to retain the top slot on the box-office chart. And that’s just the domestic take; Joss Whedon’s superhero ensemble piece pulled in nearly as much internationally ($95.4 million, to be exact) which means the film broke a billion dollars worldwide gross in under three weeks.

This is unprecedented. But it makes Kevin Feige, the guy behind the whole Marvel Universe project, look like a genius: “The Avengers” constitutes a sequel to four different franchises, each of which was pretty successful on its own (yes, even the Hulk movies), and now he’s proven that combining those franchises for one great big movie is a license to print money.

I’m assuming this will lead to impossible expectations for the individual Marvel sequels already in the pipeline — the third “Iron Man”, and the second “Thor” and “Captain America” features — to say nothing of “The Dark Knight Rises”, which will now be hard-pressed to match “The Avengers”, just because Christopher Nolan didn’t shoot it in 3D.

Whatever happens, Tim Burton’s about to get reined in a little after the piddly second-place $28.8 opening for “Dark Shadows“. That’s got to be good for him; unlimited studio resources are the worst thing that’s ever happened to him. Let’s see what he can do on a mid-budget project with a completed script, shall we?

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