The Avengers continues to be a box office draw for the third straight week, and is now considered to be the highest-grossing movie in Walt Disney Studios' history.
The action-packed movie is estimated to take in $55 million this weekend in the U.S. and Canada, and has amassed $457 million in domestic receipts.
Only Avatar had a better third weekend, and The Avengers has just moved ahead of Spider-Man in that regard, said movie industry analyst, Paul Dergerabedian at Hollywood.com.
Three movies debuted in the top five this weekend, including: Battleship in the number two slot, with a $25.4 million domestic take.
Similar to The Avengers, Battleship opened overseas early, and it is crossing the $250 million mark worldwide this weekend, according to estimates from Universal.
Sasha Baron Cohen's The Dictator opened with a $17.4 million splash,
good enough for third place. Dergerabedian called that "a better-than-expected debut."
In its second week of exhibition, Dark Shadows crossed the $50 million mark with a $17.4 million haul this weekend.
And a movie aimed squarely at the "date market'" -- according to
Dergerabedian -- opened in fifth place. What To Expect When You Are Expecting grossed $10.5 million.
The remaining 10 most-popular movies in North America this weekend, as evidenced by studio estimates that are collected by Hollywood.com, are:
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel ($3.3 million), The Hunger Games ($3 million), Think Like A Man ($2.7 million), The Lucky One ($1.8 million) and The Pirates! Band Of Misfits ($1.5 million).
--City News Service