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Commentary: Audiences assemble for ‘Avengers’ box office record

Courtesy of MCT

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“The Avengers” didn’t only break opening weekend box office records, it Hulk-smashed them, and Hollywood is likely going to piggy-back on its success for a while.

The film opened to an estimated $200.3 million in its North American debut, obliterating the previous record held by last year’s “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2” by more than $30 million.

“The Avengers” is certainly helped along by IMAX 3-D ticket sales, which cost several dollars more than the price of a standard 2-D ticket at most theater chains. Regardless, “The

Avengers” opening weekend haul is staggering.

“The Avengers” should easily surpass $1 billion in total worldwide revenue in the coming weeks. It’s already estimated to finish the weekend with $641.8 million in worldwide ticket sales after debuting internationally a week before it did in North America.

With its success, “The Avengers” is going to cause a snowball effect for the rest of the industry.

A film adaptation of the Justice League of America – DC Comics’ equivalent of The Avengers, featuring Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, among others – figures to be something

Warner Bros. and DC would find especially appealing on the heels of “The Avengers” success.

A Justice League film adaptation was actually planned, cast and set to film, but was shelved in 2007, probably for the better.

Considering the film would have starred D.J. Cotrona as Superman, Armie Hammer (“The Social Network”) as Batman, rapper Common as Green Lantern and Adam Brody (“The O.C.”) as The Flash, it would have likely been a disaster.

Current actors playing those characters are Christian Bale as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman and Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern. Bale and current Batman director Christopher Nolan said “The Dark Knight Rises,” slated for release July 20, is their last Batman film, but could you imagine those two teaming up one more time on a Justice League film?

It would probably even break records set by “The Avengers.”

Of course, there will likely be sequels to “The Avengers,” too. That’s how Hollywood works. Plus, for those of you who have seen the film and stuck around during the end credits, it’s plainly obvious that a follow-up is planned.

Audiences shouldn’t expect superhero and comic book film adaptations to go out of style, either.

In the case of “The Avengers,” Marvel should keep it up. It was the first Marvel film to truly leave me awestruck. If a sequel can be just as good, why not do it? But quality level isn’t what really matters, anyhow. It’s about how much money it will make, and Disney and Marvel executives probably already have dollar signs burnt into their corneas at the prospect of it turning into a franchise.

“The Avengers” will stay a box office boon. Because of it, so will comic book movies for the foreseeable future.

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