The Avengers Is Now the Number 3 Movie of All Time, But Where Does It Stand Adjusted for Inflation?

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | June 3, 2012 |


There were two big stories at the box-office this weekend. First off, Snow White and the Huntsman performed better than studio-tempered expectations, landing at number one with a tidy $56 million, good for the fourth highest opening of the year so far (also, more than Battleship has made over its entire run). The stunning visuals certainly helped the movie, but the lack of competition probably didn't hurt, either, as nothing has been particularly impressive since The Avengers opened in the first week of May.

In fact, The Avengers has accounted for roughly half of the entire May box office. Moreover, the second big story of the weekend box office is that, on Friday, The Avengers surpassed The Dark Knight to become the third highest-grossing film of all time. It's up to $550 million now, and it's still on pace to hit $600 million, which unfortunately will fall shy of number one and two on the box-office list, Avatar and Titanic. Nevertheless, it is an outstanding commercial achievement. Not to take anything away from it, however, but where does that put The Avengers on the all-time list when inflation is accounted for? Let's start from number one and keep going until we get there, shall we?

1. Gone with the Wind -- $1.6 billion

2. Star Wars -- $1.41 billion

3. The Sound of Music -- $1.127 billion

4. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial -- $1,123 billion

5. Titanic -- $1.07 billion

6. The Ten Commandments -- $1.03 billion

7. Jaws -- $1. 014 billion

8. Doctor Zhivago -- $983 million

9. The Exorcist -- $875 million

10. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs -- $863 million

11. 101 Dalmatians -- $791 million

12. The Empire Strikes Back -- $777 million

13. Ben-Hur -- $776 million

14. Avatar - $770 million

15. Return of the Jedi -- $744 million

16. Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace -- $715 million

17. The Sting -- $706 million

18. The Lion King -- $705 million

19. Raiders of the Lost Ark -- $698 million

20. Jurassic Park -- $682 million

21. The Graduate -- $677 million

22. Fantasia -- $657 million

23. The Godfather -- $625 million

24. Forrest Gump -- $622 million

25. Mary Poppins -- $619 million

26. Grease -- $609 million

27. Thunderball - $592 million

28. The Dark Knight -- $588 million

29. The Jungle Book -- $583 million

30. Sleeping Beauty -- $575 million

31. Shrek 2 -- $562 million

32. Ghostbusters -- $560 million

33. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid Fox -- $558 million

34. Love Story -- $554 million

35. Marvel's The Avengers -- $552 million

So, number 35, with an outside shot of cracking the top 25 all-time before the end of its run. It's a far cry from the third most attended film of all time, but it's not a bad take for a comic-book whose scene-stealer was a petulant green CGI monster. (2).gif

Other things also happened at the box office this weekend, though it seems silly to address most of them. MIB III took a 46 percent nose-dive to land at number two with $29 million. After The Avengers $20 million at number three, the box-office made a swan dive to number four with Battleship's $4.8 million then The Dictator's $4.7 million.

Meanwhile, a movie I was excited about based on the first one, Piranha 3DD totally struck out, eking out only $186,000 on 86 screens. I guess Eli Roth really was the draw for the first film. At least Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom, expanding to 16 screens, maintained it's eye-popping $53,000 per screen average. If you don't live in a major city, Moonrise should be coming to your town very soon.

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