By Christopher Rosen
"Men In Black 3" did what "Battleship" and "Dark Shadows" could not: dethrone "The Avengers" from the top spot of the box office.
The Will Smith-led threequel opened with $17.5 million on Friday night, roughly $8 million more than "The Avengers" earned. That puts "Men In Black 3" on track for around $75 million over the long Memorial Day weekend, which would give it the eighth biggest Memorial Day gross ever.
Of course, that doesn't mean "Men In Black 3" didn't disappoint. According to Deadline.com, many expected the film to earn around $90 million over the weekend; "Men In Black 3" -- which had a lengthy production process and cost well over $200 million -- could still come close to that goal, should it play well with family audiences over the next three days.
Overseas, "Men In Black 3" could grab an additional $100 million over more.
Meanwhile, "Marvel's The Avengers" continues to impress despite losing its box-office crown. The Joss Whedon blockbuster has already earned an astonishing $486 million in North America, and will top $500 million by Memorial Day. It's four-day total could wind up over $50 million -- a ridiculously large sum for a film in its fourth weekend of release. Globally, "The Avengers" is over $1.2 billion.
The weekend's other new release, "The Chernobyl Diaries," finished in third place on Friday night and could gross $12 million over the holiday.