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Box office predictions: New vampire movie debuts, and for once, it isn’t a Twilight sequel

It is a rare occasion when box office results can be
considered breathtaking. Yet for “The Avengers,” its
performance can hardly be described as anything short of
phenomenal. It was clearly poised to perform masterfully
based on the midnight sales for its opening.

By the time the weekend was over, “Avengers” had grossed
$207 million just within the United States. It now holds
the record for highest opening weekend, outstripping the
“Harry Potter” finale that opened with just $169 million
— impressive at the time but rather paltry now in
comparison.

This predictor’s second-place guess was also correct.
“Think Like a Man” managed to only fall one position.
Remarkably, “The Hunger Games” remained fairly unscathed,
holding on to its third-place seat by a margin less than
$100,000. “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” fell to fourth,
while “The Lucky One” retained its fifth-place position.

Only one new film dares to challenge “Avengers.” This
weekend sees the release of the Tim Burton film “Dark
Shadows,” starring Johnny Depp and rated PG-13.

The predictions for the weekend of May 11 are:

1. “The Avengers”

Little needs to be said about “Avengers.” If readers have
yet to hear about it, let alone see it, they clearly need
to venture out from their cave more often. Rated PG-13,
this Marvel action thriller brings together a series of
comic book stars, portrayed by a well-known cast. The plot
revolves around a band of superheroes who must band
together in order to protect the human race from a fierce
enemy.

2. “Dark Shadows”

This horror comedy will make a solid debut but has little
to no hope of dethroning “Avengers.” With a strong
supporting cast, this comedy focuses on a vampire who is
accidentally released from his tomb after 200 years. Based
on the Gothic soap opera television series of the same
name, horrific comedic mischief ensues as the title
character seeks to restore his name. Aside from Tim Burton
as director and Johnny Depp as star, “Dark Shadows” is
bound to outperform expectations due to the wondrous work
Stephenie Meyer has done for the vampire genre.

3. “Think Like a Man”

Reaffirming its popularity, “Think Like a Man” should only
see a minimal decrease. This PG-13 romantic comedy focuses
around a series of couples who wind up influenced by a
Steve Harvey book. A surprise to everyone, “Think Like a
Man” continues to exceed expectations, having grossed more
than $73 million domestically at the box office after
being filmed on a comparatively minor $12 million budget.

4. “The Pirates! Band of Misfits”

As the only PG offering that has the spotlight at the
moment, this claymation comedy is continuing to win over
the hearts of children and their parents. Based on a band
of pirates who go seeking after a massive prize, comedy
naturally ensues as they realize just how inept they
really are. From Aardman, the producers of “Wallace and
Gromit” among others, “Pirates” should leapfrog ahead of
“The Hunger Games” based on a very narrow loss to the
aging “Hunger Games” last weekend.

5. “The Hunger Games”

“Hunger Games” has performed masterfully. Its memory is
tarnished only by the massive success and record-breaking
run “Avengers” has now achieved. Having lost some of the
allure, and with some significant aging occurring, “Hunger
Games” should hold around at least one more weekend but is
probably doomed to fall off the Top 5 list soon. A post-
apocalyptic world where adolescents are forced into
gladiatorial battles, “Hunger Games” has found support
from many, in part due to the enormous popularity of the
book.

Joseph Irvine is an engineer in
Madison, Ala. Currently working on a master’s degree at
the University of Alabama, he hopes to complete a degree
in law at BYU in the near future.