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Box office update: 'Snow White and the Huntsman' leads with $20.3 mil on Friday; 'The Avengers' becomes third biggest movie of all time

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Snow White And The Huntsman 3
Alex Bailey

No poison apple here. The action fairy tale Snow White and the Huntsman debuted to a solid $20.3 million on Friday, according to early estimates, and is headed for a $55 million weekend.

That should come as a relief to Universal Pictures, which released the floundering Battleship two weeks ago. The result is also a boon for star Kristen Stewart, who had yet to successfully open a movie outside the Twilight franchise. Still, Snow White arrived with a pricey $170 million budget and will need to also perform admirably overseas to justify its cost.

The PG-13 film received an okay “B” rating from CinemaScore audiences, of which 53 percent was female — a surprisingly low figure for a movie many assumed would skew heavily female. According to CinemaScore, 48 percent of ticket buyers listed “Actress in a lead role” as their reason for seeing Snow White, which could refer to either Stewart or Charlize Theron. However, 34 percent also checked off “Actor in a lead role,” meaning Universal was wise to increase the marketing exposure of costar Chris Hemsworth.

Among holdovers, Men in Black 3 dropped 53 percent for $8.3 million, and should finish the weekend with about $29 million. That’ll bring its two-week tally to $112 million. By comparison, Men in Black and Men in Black II had made $139.6 million and $132.7 million after two weekends. To be fair, though, those movies had a head start by opening on a Wednesday, whereas Men in Black 3 did not.

In third, The Avengers fell 42 percent to $5.7 million. On Friday, the Disney movie passed The Dark Knight‘s $533.3 million tally to become the third-highest-grossing domestic release of all time, behind only Avatar ($760.5 million) and Titanic ($658.6 million including its 3-D re-release). And while The Avengers should have no problem reaching $600 million, it’ll likely fall short of toppling either James Cameron picture. Disney also announced today that The Avengers passed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 to become the third biggest movie globally. So far the superhero flick has collected $1.33 billion worldwide.

Rounding out the top six were What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Battleship, and The Dictator with $1.45 million, $1.4 million, and $1.39 million, respectively. The three movies will fight for fourth place, along with the British comedy The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which earned $1.3 million yesterday at 1,294 theaters. Check back here on Sunday for the complete box office report.

1. Snow White and the Huntsman — $20.3 mil

2. Men in Black 3 — $8.3 mil

3. The Avengers — $5.7 mil

4. What to Expect When You’re Expecting — $1.45 mil

5. Battleship — $1.4 mil

6. The Dictator — $1.39 mil

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