'The Avengers' earns $18.7 million in midnight showings

avengers-midnight-box-office.jpg"The Avengers" didn't set any box-office records in midnight showings Thursday (May 3), but it's well on its way to a giant opening weekend in the United States.

The Marvel superhero movie earned $18.7 million at midnight screenings in about 2,500 theaters, which is good for the eighth-best midnight tally ever. That's just a little ahead of "The Dark Knight" ($18.5 million) and about a million dollars behind what "The Hunger Games" earned at midnight screenings in March.

The midnight box-office record, incidentally, belongs to "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2," which earned a whopping $43.5 million last July. The expectations for "The Avengers'" first night weren't sky-high, as Thursday was still a school night for a significant portion of the movie's target audience.

"The Avengers" has now passed the $300 million mark internationally, where it's been playing for a week. Forecasts for its domestic take range anywhere from $150 million to as high as $200 million; the current opening weekend record is $169.2 million for the final "Harry Potter" movie.
Photo/Video credit: Marvel/Disney
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