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BOX OFFICE PREVIEW: AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON's Competition for Biggest Opening Weekend Ever

With Avengers: Age of Ultron hitting North American theaters this weekend, there's a very, very good chance we'll see the record for biggest box office opening weekend fall. We've been hearing conservative estimates that the Avengers sequel is going to open at at least $170 million — but that's ridiculously conservative.

Let's be honest. Avengers: Age of Ultron is going to become only the second movie to ever crack the $200 million opening weekend mark and is going to challenge The Avengers' record.

So let's take a look at the current top ten domestic opening weekends of all time.

1. The Avengers

2012 / $207.4 million

The Avengers' record has stood since the film premiered in 2012, but this could be the weekend it finally falls. Ten years before this movie opened, the original Spider-Man hit theaters and became the first movie to crack the $100 million opening weekend barrier. The Avengers accomplished that feat in its second weekend.

2. Iron Man 3

2013 / $174.1 million

The Marvel Cinematic Universe owns the top two spots on the all-time opening weekend list. Iron Man 3 was the first post-The Avengers installment in the megafranchise, and it benefited quite well from The Avengers' record-breaking run. Had Iron Man 3 opened at this number just a year earlier, it would have been the all-time champion.

3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2

2011 / $169.2 million

The final Harry Potter movie owned the top spot on this list for the few months between its premiere and The Avengers opening.

4. The Dark Knight Rises

2012 / $160.9 million

Discussing The Dark Knight Rises' box office performance is a weird subject. The film was expected to challenge The Avengers' months-old record when it opened, but a theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., put a damper on theater attendance that weekend. In the end, The Dark Knight Rises had to settle for an opener just a few million dollars above its predecessor.

5. The Dark Knight

2008 / $158.4 million

The Dark Knight owned the top spot on this list for almost three years. The box office and critical success of Christopher Nolan's second Batman film makes it a standout on this list. The Dark Knight should've at least been nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars.

6. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

2013 / $158.1 million

In 2013, a $150 million-plus opening weekend was only enough to gain entrance to this list. A few years earlier, and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire would've held the top spot.

7. The Hunger Games

2012 / $152.5 million

Same goes for the first Hunger Games movie. Opening at $152.2 million in 2012 just wasn't enough to make history.

8. Spider-Man 3

2007 / $151.1 million

Spider-Man 3 became the first movie to have an opening weekend over $150 million, and for a year it was enough to hold the top spot on the all-time opening weekends chart. Eight years later, and Spider-Man 3's once-massive opener now ranks No. 8 overall.

9. Furious 7

2015 / $147.2 million

The seventh installment in a franchise is in the all-time opening weekends top ten list. Not bad for Furious 7, which became the newest entry on this list in April.

10. The Twilight Saga: New Moon

2009 / $142.8 million

Unless something goes horribly wrong with Avengers: Age of Ultron this weekend, this top ten list will be free of Twilight movies in a few days. Like the other movies in the franchise, The Twilight Saga: New Moon brought in a ridiculous amount of money its opening weekend.
BOX OFFICE PREVIEW: AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON's Competition for Biggest Opening Weekend Ever Reviewed by Bill Kuchman on 5/01/2015 Rating: 5

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