The Avengers Opens To Record Numbers…..(duh!)….


Joss Whedon’s epic team-up movie The Avengers is smashing up box office records and raking in the cash, but is that really a surprise

The Avengers Thor & Captain America

In case you haven’t heard, Marvel’s The Avengers has had a record-shattering weekend. Box office estimates show that it has grossed approximately $207 million since it’s first showings midnight Thursday night. These huge numbers have knocked the wind out of the studio, box office guru’s and casual movie watchers who like to play amateur Hollywood insiders by looking at the weekly box office tallies (it’s a hobby).

The staggering number is pretty impressive. Plus, it makes a great headline – The Avengers Has Top U.S. Debut In History!Everyone loves to brag. They love to blow their own horn so much in fact that they had to start to get much more elaborate with how they define these box office records. They’ve become such a detailed, niche of categories I don’t even listen to the crowing anymore.

Not every movie can have the ‘largest opening ever‘, but get a bit more particular and you could be the title holder of ‘the best opening day for a horror film in the month of October’.

It doesn’t have the same ring as ‘biggest movie opening ever‘, but still it’s something. Paranormal Activity 3 has that October honor by the way.

While reading this Avengers news I started to ponder acouple of things.

First, how overblown the whole ‘box office numbers’ game has become. It really has become a sport in a way. Dollars are measured, rankings assessed and the flick at the top of the pack gets to trumpet how they’re the big boy on the block….at least for the week.

Avengers Hawkeye & Black WidowNot to do dismiss the money The Avengers have earned in such a short amount of time, but I can’t figure out why all these so-called experts are so surprised by it. Wasn’t it a given that this film would be huge? Wasn’t that how it was designed? They started promoting it a year ago. Earlier in fact! Between all the planting of the seeds in Marvel’s other movies, this goes back to Iron Man in 2008.

We got a superhero movie with a lot of superheroes (superhero movies are big now). Of course it was going to be huge. How can they be this surprised? Sure movies are always a gamble and the final weekend tally was a bit unexpected, but this seemed like the perfectly designed film to open big. And it did.

I would be much more interested if they tracked the number ofmovie tickets soldinstead of the box office dollar signs. With ticket prices costing a small fortune nowadays and the added expense of 3D and IMAX screenings these record numbers inevitably will keep going up if it’s the money earned they’re just going to count. So it will be much easier for these box office records to be broken.

Of course I realize that’s really all the studios care about. That’s how they define success, with dollar signs. They probably could care less if only 200 people actually saw The Avengers and paid a million bucks a piece for the privilege. Hey, it still would have broken the record!

And forget adjusted inflation and all that jazz. Forget the money altogether actually! Let the Hollywood bean counters worry about that. I’m interested in the actual number of movie audience members who trekked out and saw the film.

What’s that number and how does it stack up against the popular films of the past? That might be a more accurate way to track a films popularity. They can keep track of the crowd attendance at the ballpark, why can’t they do that in movie theaters?

The Avengers Joss WhedonJoss Whedon. I have been a big fan of Whedon’s since Buffy the Vampire Slayer and am happy to see he really scored in such a big way with the general public. The fact that The Avengers has gotten such a positive response (in fact I’ve barely heard anyone with a real negative reaction after seeing it), at least some of that credit has to fall at Whedon’s feet.

He showed his talent with the Buffy series, balancing the supernatural stories with characters we could relate to and care about, so he was the perfect choice for pulling The Avengers together.

He was able to not only craft a film with action, but some humanity in these costumed characters that have left audience satisfied they just spent their money to watch it. So the quality of The Avengers product will give it staying power, get people who might not have been interested in seeing it venture to check it out and will probably yield some repeat business. Good job Joss!

This didn’t happen with those Transformer flicks. Michael Bay should be taking notes.

You can bet in three, four years time we’ll be seeing Avengers 2: The Quickening. Movie Logic 101: if a movie makes a crapload of cash, do another one! Which is why we’ll never see John Carter 2.

I’m guessing Marvel thought in advance and cornered the actors to commit to acouple of Avenger flicks. (With any luck we won’t see yet another actor play Bruce Banner! At least get Mark Ruffalo to play the Hulk at least twice!)

So we’ll see added team members join, new threats emerge and more box office records be smashed. It’s inevitable.

Dark Knight Rises Bane & BatmanDC Comics. Man, they must be pulling their hair out, if they weren’t already. Marvel has pretty much monopolized the superhero film market. Christopher Nolan’s Bat-franchise has been the sole standout with their characters. Extremely successful, very well-received and The Dark Knight Rises is sure to be another Bat hit for Warners in July.

But now they must be starting to panic and pondering, “Nolan’s only doing three Bat films. After this it’s over”. Who are they kidding they’ll just reboot Bats like they did with Spidey.

Yet, the DC roster of heroes have mainly been kept on ice. Yeah, sure they gave us the Green Lantern film – but they’re welcome to take it back. Superman is coming back in Man of Steel, but it’s too early to tell if Zack Snyder’s take will fare any better than Superman Returns. Other than that we’re DC-less.

Unless they’re bonkers, I would expect the folks at DC to have started seriously looking at their characters and really try to get them on the big screen. There are box office records that need to be broken and Batman can’t do it all himself. They have an untapped resource of potential revenue just sitting there. I wonder if they’re now second guessing their decision nixing the idea of Whedon’s Wonder Woman he proposed a few years ago.

With the end of the Harry Potter franchise, Warners could use a nice series of films that would keep the money coming in. Those DC heroes look like a good bet. Although, if the quality isn’t there then they might as well toss them on the heap where that Catwoman flick is.

They should really get started soon too. It seems Marvel has their plans already laid out for the next few years.

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