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Josh Brolin and Will Smith appear in a still from the 2012 film, Men in Black III. - Provided courtesy of Sony Pictures

'Men in Black 3' beats 'The Avengers' in Friday's box office

05/26/2012 by Olivia Allin

"Men in Black III" beat the box office reign held by "The Avengers" on Friday, earning $18 million.

The third installment of the "Men in Black" franchise hits theaters a decade after the sequel and is estimated to earn $75 million over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, below the film's projected $90 million opening.

Both Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith reprise their roles as Agent K and Agent J from the first two films. In this film, Agent J travels back in time to 1969 to help save a young Agent K - played by Josh Brolin - as well as planet earth.

"Men in Black III" also stars Emma Thompson as Agent O, the new head of MIB, "Saturday Night Live" actor Bill Hader as Andy Warhol, while "The X Factor" judge and Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger portrays a woman named Lilly.

The film, which reportedly cost $230 million to make, has been successful internationally, beating out "The Avengers" opening in Russia.

"The Avengers" remains strong in the box office, earning $1.24 billion worldwide since its release. The film is expected to take out the final film in the "Harry Potter" franchise for the third highest-grossing film of all time, after "Titanic" and "Avatar."

Warner Bros. horror film "Chernobyl Diaries" landed in the box office's third spot, earning $3.5 million on Friday for an estimated $12 million opening over the holiday weekend.

The thriller, which stars Jonathan Sadowski and Jesse McCartney, follows six tourists who hire an extreme tour guide who takes them to the abandoned city of Pripyat, the former home of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor workers.

Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom" opened in just four theaters in New York and Los Angeles and earned an impressive $172,000. The quirky comedy opened at the Cannes Film Festival earlier in the month and is likely to earn one of the best limited openings of all time, joining films like "Brokeback Mountain," "Dreamgirls" and "Precious," for the honor.

"Moonrise Kingdom" follows two twelve-year-olds, who fall in love, make a pact and run away together into the wilderness of New England in the summer of 1965. Varying authorities battle in their quests to track down the young lovers, including the local sheriff (Bruce Willis), the Khaki Scout troop and troop leader (Edward Norton) and the girl's parents (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand).

The cast also includes Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton and Harvey Keitel and introduces Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward as the young runaways, Sam and Suzy.

Watch trailers for "Men in Black III," "The Chernobyl Diaries" and "Moonrise Kingdom" below.

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