Box Office Standings: “Men in Black 3” Neuralyze “Avengers”

Each week we run the box office numbers through our proprietary formula that tabulates receipts, the film's budget, the number of screens and critical response to see not just who made the most money, but who's leading the PopcornBiz Championship Series.

After 21 consecutive days as the #1 movie in America, "The Avengers" were finally knocked off their perch by Will Smith's "Men in Black 3." Before we hail "MIB3"'s triumph, let's take a minute to consider "The Avengers"'s run: in the course of racking up $523 million so far, "The Avengers" enjoyed the best 1st and 2nd weekend of all-time, and the film is poised to pass "The Dark Knight" ($533 million) for highest-grossing comic book adaptation and the #3 spot on the all-time list. It was one of the few films of recent vintage that completely lived up to its hype--both commercial and critical.

But there was no denying "MIB3" this weekend, which overcame an unfinished script, a long break in production, a lot of ill will, a 10-year layoff and a widely reviled second installment to rake in an impressive $70 million. Let's look at the top 10, via Box Office Mojo:

1. MIB 3 - $70,000,000
2. The Avengers - $46,878,000
3. Battleship - $13,769,000
4. The Dictator - $11,755,000
5. Dark Shadows - $9,405,000
6. Chernobyl Diaries - $9,300,000
7. What to Expect When You're Expecting - $8,850,000
8. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - $8,225,000
9. The Hunger Games - $2,850,000
10. Think Like a Man - $1,800,000

As great as "MIB3" did, though, when you run the the box office numbers, budgets and critical responses through our proprietary formula, Smith and Co. finished a distant third, with a British indie romcom starring a bunch of 60-somethings reigning supreme in our Popcornbiz Championship Standings:

1. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - 1020
2. The Avengers - 654
3. MIB 3 - 187
4. Think Like a Man - 55
5. The Dictator - 48
6. The Hunger Games - 42
7. Chernobyl Diaries - 24
8. What to Expect When You're Expecting - 12
9. Dark Shadows - 11
10. Battleship - 7

"The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," which stars Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson and Bill Nighy as a group of pensioners who head off to India, took in $8.2 million this week, after expanding into another 879 theaters. People often talk about how grossly under-served blacks and Latino audience are at the movies--and they definitely are--but people over 60 are probably even further overlooked. This would go a long way toward explaining how it is that "Best Exotic" is doing so well. Just watch--you think we're coming out of a vampire glut? Beware the old people!

Next week the greybeards will be confronted with "Snow White and the Huntsman," starring Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth.

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