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'Men In Black 3' dethrones 'Avengers' at the box office

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Men In Black III Review
Wilson Webb

After 10 years away from the big screen, the alien-hunting Men In Black (Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, and now, Josh Brolin) are back on top of the box office.

Men In Black 3 ended The Avengers‘ 21-day reign in first place with an $18 million Friday, which puts the $230 million action-comedy on track for a four-day weekend take of $72 million. Sure, that number sounds strong, but don’t be deceived — the sequel cost an egregious amount of money and should have had a bigger built-in audience than this.

That gross pushed The Avengers into second place, but the superhero ensemble still pulled in $9.7 million on its fourth Friday. That puts The Avengers on track for a $45-50 million take by Monday, and with $486.4 stored up already, it has a good shot of passing $500 million tonight.

In third, the Oren Peli-produced horror horror flick Chernobyl Diaries got off to a weak start with just $3.5 million on Friday. Chernobyl will have to settle for about $11 million.

Holdovers Battleship and The Dictator stuck around in fourth and fifth place, respectively. Battleship continued to disappoint with just $3 million (a troubling drop of 66 percent from its opening Friday), which may lead to a $11 million weekend. The Dictator, meanwhile, grossed $2.8 million on its way to a likely $10.5 million frame.

Further down the chart, British comedy The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel earned a sturdy $1.6 million following a wide expansion. The sleeper hit may take in about $8 million.

1. Men In Black 3 — $18.0 million

2. The Avengers — $9.7 million

3. Chernobyl Diaries — $3.5 million

4. Battleship —  $3.0 million

5. The Dictator — $2.0 million

Stay tuned to EW for more box office coverage over the holiday weekend, and follow me on Twitter for up-to-the-minute box office updates.

More on EW.com:

The ‘Men In Black 3’ ending makes no sense, no sense at all

Box office preview: ‘Men In Black 3’ set to invade theaters, dethrone ‘The Avengers’