A couple of weeks back, all of Hollywood loved “Marvel’s The Avengers.” It was the kind of steamrolling blockbuster studios dream about.
It’s still the kind of steamrolling blockbuster studios dream about, but I’m guessing Hollywood at large is no longer quite so enthused.
Why? Because “The Avengers” has absolutely crushed every other blockbuster wanna-be since it came out. Usually summer blockbusters share the loot. Not so this May.
Last weekend, in its third week in release, not only did “The Avengers” claim first place at the box office, it made more money — $55.6 million — than the week’s three new releases combined.
Since “The Avengers” came out it has trounced Johnny Depp’s “Dark Shadows,” sunk the board game adaptation “Battleship,” oppressed the comedy “The Dictator” and left “What To Expect When You’re Expecting” far short of expectations.
As a result, the total box office from this past weekend was down 31 percent from last year’s comparable weekend.
This isn’t how it’s supposed to work. Common wisdom is that a huge hit brings people into theaters, and while there they discover other movies they want to see, so everybody wins. Unfortunately, a lot of people are just discovering they want to see “The Avengers” again.
Of course it doesn’t help that, with the exception of “The Dictator,” all the other new films were awful.
Disney, the company behind “The Avengers,” is obviously doing a non-stop hula dance. The movie passed $450 million domestically on Sunday, making it number six all-time, soon to pass “Star Wars” for number five. Internationally, it’s almost to $1.2 billion, making it number four all-time, with a shot at getting to number three.
This coming weekend Will Smith brings back the decade-dormant “Men in Black” franchise. Will anyone care? Or will Hulk smash?