"The Avengers" sure did assemble! Marvel's superhero film is still the reigning champion of movie theaters after it smashed box-office records in its first two weeks. Now, it's rising to the top of the worldwide charts, recently staking claim to the ninth spot, passing George Lucas' "Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace." It's currently the highest earning film of 2012 domestically, stealing the title from "The Hunger Games," which opened in March.
At present, the Joss Whedon-directed summer flick has raked in more than $1 billion across the globe, and the numbers keep rising. The popularity of the movie is overwhelming, but a few questions still remain. For starters, how high will the film go?
Gitesh Pandya, the editor of Box Office Guru, told MTV News, "I see Avengers climbing up to #4 on the all-time worldwide blockbusters list by the end of this weekend. That would put it at roughly $1.2 billion, which is astounding. It should pass the final 'Harry Potter' to finish its run as #3 all time, which alone is just incredible."
Jeff Bock of Exhibitor Relations agrees: "By the time 'Avengers' is done kicking box-office butt, it will easily be the #3 film of all time. Only 'Avatar' and 'Titanic' will be left untouched, as James Cameron is a superhero unto himself. Both [films] made history by debuting over the holiday season, where popcorn flicks are few and far between. [And] unfortunately for 'Avengers,' summer blockbusters invade every weekend, and theaters will soon be flooded with competition."
The competition Bock is referring to is obviously Christopher Nolan's final Batman installment. "You know what happens when you leave Batman for dead? He gets angry, rises from the dead and pops you right in the kisser," he said. " 'The Avengers' versus 'The Dark Knight Rises' has all the trappings of a big-time Hollywood drama. Let's face it, 'TDKR' is probably the most anticipated threequel since 'Return of the Jedi.' All bets are off!"
Boxoffice.com's Phil Contrino agrees that Nolan's film could beat out "The Avengers" in the battle for overall domestic earnings, but ultimately won't top the opening weekend or worldwide sales for two reasons. It just doesn't have the widespread family appeal that Captain America and Iron Man brought with them, or the 3-D prices to give it a boost.
With "Battleship" sailing into theaters this weekend, Pandya expects "Avengers" to drop by around 40 percent. "[That will put it in] the neighborhood of $60 million," he said. "That's a great hold for a movie this big."
But as far as Earth's mightiest heroes becoming the highest — or even second-highest — film of all time globally, Contrino doesn't believe it will happen. "When you burn so bright for one weekend, the only place to go is down," he said.
Check out everything we've got on "Marvel's The Avengers."