'The Avengers' nabs second-highest Friday box office in history
Expectations were high for "The Avengers," but the film has already surpassed expectations.
The Marvel film grossed $80.5 million on Friday, making it the second best domestic opening day haul of all time. The movie was only second to last year's "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," which earned $91.1 million in its first day.
Produced by Disney's Marvel Studios unit, "The Avengers" could still generate the biggest weekend opening of all time if it beats out "Deathly Hallows: Part 2," which earned $169.2 million.
The movie, which was directed by Joss Whedon, has already earned $334.3 million internationally, for a global total of $414.8 million. It is also likely to take the title of best opening for a superhero movie, if it beats out the $158.1 million debut of "The Dark Knight."
"The Avengers" features characters from the "Iron Man," "Thor," "The Incredible Hulk" and "Captain America" together. Scarlett Johansson reprises her role as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow from "Iron Man 2" while Robert Downey Jr. returns as Tony Stark / Iron Man. Jeremy Renner plays Clint Barton / Hawkeye and Samuel L. Jackson will reprise his role as Nick Fury. The film also stars Colbie Smulders of "How I Met Your Mother" as Maria Hill, a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who works closely with Nick Fury.
Fury calls on the heroes to assemble as The Avengers to fight Tom Hiddleston's character Loki, a villain from "Thor" who wants to rule over the human race.
Landing far behind "The Avengers," with $2.67 million on Friday was last weekend's box office champ, "Think Like a Man." Trailing behind were Zac Efron's "The Lucky One" and the Jason Segel and Emily Blunt romantic comedy, "The Five-Year Engagement," which earned $1.95 million and $1.7 million, respectively.
This weekend's releases also includes "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," which follows a group of British retirees who are lured to India with a misleading ad campaign, which lands them in a mess of a hotel that is not without its charm. The film stars Oscar winners Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, alongside Tom Wilkinson and Bill Nighy.
The film landed in thirteenth place in the box office, earning $197,000 after opening in 27 theaters.
Also in theaters and on-demand is Kate Hudson's "A Little Bit of Heaven," about a successful career woman who maintains her sense of humor while dealing with a cancer diagnosis from her doctor. The film also stars Peter Dinklage and Gael García Bernal, Kathy Bates and Whoopi Goldberg.
Watch trailers for "The Avengers," "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" and "A Little Bit of Heaven" below.