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Making $200 Million, 'The Avengers' Breaks Weekend Box Office Record

Pick your verb: Hulk smashed, pulverized, shattered. That's what different news outlets are calling The Avengers' domination of the weekend box office.

The super hero movie — directed by Joss Whedon and starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson — hauled in $200 million, pulverizing, Hulk smashing, shattering the previous record held by the final Harry Potter film from last year, which made a measley $169.2 million.

The AP says it is "easily the biggest opening ever." The AP reports that foreign receipts make the movie bigger:

"The Avengers added $151.5 million overseas over the weekend to bring its total to $441.5 million since it began opening internationally a week earlier.

"That raised the film's worldwide haul to $641.8 million in barely a week and a half, more than its Marvel superhero forerunners Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America took in during their entire runs. ...

"'There aren't even words, to be honest. I'm running low on double takes. Every time we looked at a number, it just got bigger than what we could have hoped for in the best-case assumption,' said Dave Hollis, Disney's head of distribution. 'With this film, this weekend, anything is possible.'"

The Los Angeles Times tries to find reasons for the massive success. Among them: The Hollywood superhero era is not over; the film's critical acclaim helped, and geek could be cool

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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