The Avengers

Chris Hemsworth, as Thor, and Chris Evans, as Captain America, star in “The Avengers.”

courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Given its record-shattering opening weekend, the fact that “Marvel’s The Avengers” recently surpassed the $1 billion mark worldwide comes as no surprise.

Still, the feat is an impressive one, particularly since only 11 other films in history have achieved similar success.

“The Avengers” began its rapid climb to success with a record $207 million opening weekend, smashing the previous weekend record of $169.2 million held by “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.”

Its current worldwide gross of $1.18 billion ranks the film fourth place all time, trailing only “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” ($1.3 billion), “Titanic” ($2.1 billion), and “Avatar” ($2.7 billion).

“The Avengers” is Disney’s fifth film to cross the $1 billion threshold, joining the likes of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Toy Story 3,” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.”

Since opening domestically on May 4, “The Avengers” has never given up the number one spot at the box office, even with this weekend’s opening of the highly anticipated “Battleship,” which grossed only $25.3 million in comparison to “The Avengers” third weekend gross of $55 million.

The third weekend gross marked the second-best third weekend in history behind “Avatar,” at $68.5 million. With an enormous production budget ($209 million), “Battleship” was not the only big-budget film to sink under the spotlight of  “The Avengers.”

Similar Hasbro adaptations not under the stranglehold of “The Avengers” have received far more success in their opening weekend, as seen with “Transformers” ($84.9 million) and “G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra” ($54.7 million).

“The Avengers” also trumped Tim Burton’s “Dark Shadows” the weekend of May 11, limiting it to a disappointing $29.6 million on a $150 million production budget. “The Dictator,” starring Sacha Baron Cohen, had the poorest opening of Cohen’s related films, grossing just over $24 million. That’s less than the three-day grosses of “Borat” ($26.5 million) and “Bruno” ($30.6 million).

With such impacts, it’s fair to say “The Avengers” is the current monopoly in the movie world.

Of the film’s total gross, $723 million has come from the foreign market, with the other $457 million coming domestically. “The Avengers” domestic gross currently marks it sixth place all-time, but the film is projected to climb the ranks to third place, ahead of “The Dark Knight” ($533 million) before exiting theaters. “The Avengers,” which opened in 58 foreign markets, has found its biggest success in the United Kingdom ($64.7 million) and Mexico ($50.3 million).

Only time will tell if “The Avengers” can take down “Avatar” as the highest grossing film in history.

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