‘Avengers’ assemble — atop the box office

Scarlett Johansson, who plays Black Widow, is one of several A-Listers reprising their roles in "Avengers: Infinity War"
AFP

Los Angeles (AFP) – It was a record-breaking weekend for the North American box office as “Avengers: Infinity War” steamrolled the competition with heroic takings of $257.7 million, industry data showed Monday.

“Avengers,” the latest Marvel heavy-hitter after the breakout success of “Black Panther,” sees a string of superheroes pitch in to save the universe from powerful purple alien Thanos (Josh Brolin).

Returning to their Marvel roles are Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man, Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Chris Hemsworth as Thor.

Captain America, Black Panther, the Hulk, Spider-Man and Hawkeye are also back for more, along with the Guardians of the Galaxy and assorted allies.

Globally, “Avengers” — the third film in the “Avengers” saga and the 19th in the Marvel Cinematic Universe — also broke records, clinching the highest worldwide opening of all time with a dizzying $641 million.

At US and Canadian box offices, sci-fi horror “A Quiet Place” came in second — but posed no threat whatsoever to the “Avengers” victory — earning $11 million in its fourth weekend.

That brings total takings to $148.5 million for Paramount’s near-wordless production, which stars actor-director John Krasinski and real-life wife Emily Blunt as a couple silently struggling to protect their family from blind aliens that track their prey by sound.

Third place, with $8.2 million, went to “I Feel Pretty,” a comedy starring Amy Schumer as a self-conscious woman who suffers a head injury and subsequently sees herself as beautiful.

Last week’s number two, “Rampage” — loosely based on a video game series of the same name — dropped into fourth place, earning $7.2 million for a total of $78 million in three weeks. 

The film follows Dwayne Johnson as a primatologist who befriends an albino gorilla that grows enormous after a rogue experiment, and later teams up with Johnson against invading monsters.

Fifth place saw a resurgence of “Black Panther,” up from eighth place last week. 

In its 11th weekend in theaters, the superhero smash starring Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa, king of the African utopia of Wakanda, added $4.7 million — bringing its domestic total to a stunning $688.4 million.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

“Super Troopers 2” ($3.7 million)

“Truth or Dare” ($3.3 million)

“Blockers” ($3 million)

“Ready Player One” ($2.6 million)

“Traffik” ($1.7 million)

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