Universal has been taking a bit of a shellacking as of late, with one of its two big summer gambles, Battleship, famously underperforming even as we speak. As such, the studio was careful to temper expectations for Snow White and the Huntsman. While it was fairly clear that the fantasy film, which owes a stylistic debt to The Lord of the Rings, was tracking to debut in the neighborhood of $50 million, but Universal instead pegged it with a far more modest $38 million expectation.
Instead, the Rupert Sanders-direct fantasy-actioner has opened to an estimated $56.2 million in first place. That makes Universal's lowball figures look like a smart move, as Snow White and the Huntsman will now be said to have surpassed expectations by a wide margin. It's good news for Kristen Stewart, as well as Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth, both of whom anchor other blockbusters this summer (Prometheus and The Avengers, respectively.
Speaking of Prometheus, Ridley Scott's Alien prequel and his much-hyped return to science fiction hit theaters in 14 international territories this weekend ahead of its domestic release this Friday. In those 14 markets, it gave Snow White and the Huntsman a run for its money. Huntsman opened in 45 foreign territories and brought in $39.3 million. Prometheus, meanwhile, buffered by 3D ticket prices and an effective international marketing campaign, placed number one in all of its markets, earning $35 million.
With Men in Black 3 holding pretty well, losing 46% of its opening weekend audience and crossing the $100 million mark domestically, The Avengers clicked down to third place, declining 44% from last week. Marvel and Disney's unprecedented team-up did just fine, though, moving into third place on the all-time domestic and global charts, edging past last summer's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. With a $1.355 billion worldwide total, Joss Whedon's ensemble now stand behind James Cameron joints Titanic and Avatar, neither of which it'll be surpassing.
You may have noticed The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel kicking around the top ten for the last five weeks or so. The film, which stars a bunch of awesome British actors like Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Maggie Smith, and Dev Patel, brought in another $4.6 million here in the States this weekend. It's $25.4 million domestic gross so far is just part of the comedic drama's global haul, which passed the $100 million mark during the week and now stands at $106.7 million. All that without a single spandex-sporting superhero, familiar brand name, or pandering nonsense.
In 757 locations, For Greater Glory starring Andy Garcia managed to squeak into this weekend's top ten with $1.8 million. Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom, meanwhile, expanded from 4 locations to 16, and a fantastic $53,068 per-screen average brought the film's total to $1.7 million.
Here's the top ten, according to current estimates:
1. Snow White and the Huntsman $56.2 million New Release
2. Men in Black 3 $29.3 million $112.3 million
3. The Avengers $20.2 million $552.7 million
4. Battleship $4.8 million $55.1 million
5. The Dictator $4.7 million $50.8 million
6. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel $4.6 million $25.4 million
7. What to Expect When You're Expecting $4.4 million $30.7 million
8. Dark Shadows $3.8 million $70.8 million
9. Chernobyl Diaries $3.0 million $14.4 million
10. For Greater Glory $1.8 million New Release
In wide release, the coming weekend will see R-rated Prometheus and family-friendly Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted joining the fray.