By Grady Smith
Updated May 10, 2012 at 12:00 PM EDT

Dark Shadows

  • Movie

Only one new wide release hits theaters this weekend — Tim Burton’s adaptation of the gothic soap opera Dark Shadows — but the $125 million vampire film, which stars Johnny Depp, Eva Green, and Michelle Pfeiffer, isn’t looking at a Twilight-size debut.

That’s partly due to The Avengers, which will still be a force to be reckoned with in its second weekend and could be the first film to earn over $100 million in its sophomore frame.

Here’s how the Top 5 might shake out.

1. The Avengers – $100 million

After a record-breaking $207.4 million debut, The Avengers, which broke another record when it passed the $250 million mark in just six days, will easily win in its second weekend. The superhero adventure will also almost certainly break the second weekend record currently held by Avatar, which grossed $75.6 million in the weekend after its debut, and by Sunday evening, it’s total tally could be about $370 million. While conventional wisdom suggests that a superhero sequel should fall by about 60 percent, The Avengers is playing strongly with older moviegoers, who don’t tend to rush out to the theater on opening weekend. On top of that, it’s pulling off some incredible word-of-mouth with its “A+” CinemaScore grade. I think it’s looking at a second weekend drop closer to 50 percent (still big, but that comes along with a mega opening) and a weekend take of $100 million.

2. Dark Shadows – $35 million

Theoretically, reuniting a made-up Johnny Depp and the eccentric Tim Burton, whose oddball collaboration on Alice in Wonderland resulted in a $1 billion-earning 2010 blockbuster, should be a safe bet. But Warner Brothers’ Dark Shadows doesn’t seem poised to break out. Fusing horror and comedy always provides a major marketing challenge, and ads for Dark Shadows, which has earned middling reviews overall, have been uneven. The film may attract older women not interested in seeing Avengers, and Depp’s box office clout will certainly fill a good number of seats, but with a source material unfamiliar to most viewers, Dark Shadows may struggle to break $40 million over the Friday-to-Sunday period. I’ll say $35 million instead.

3. Think Like A Man – $4.7 million

The hit ensemble comedy will pass the $80 million mark this weekend — its fourth.

4. The Hunger Games – $3.8 million

Enjoy your title as 2012’s highest grossing movie while you can, Hunger Games. By this time next week, The Avengers will have blazed right past you. Still, no one is shaking a stick at your $382 million running total — or the fact that you’ll still be in the Top 5 in your eighth week of release.

5. The Pirates! Band of Misfits – $3.7 million

The Aardman animation film will continue to sink this weekend, but during a frame with so little new competition, it may still finish in the Top 5.

What are you planning on seeing this weekend? How much do you think Avengers will earn in its second frame?

For more box office coverage, follow me on Twitter: Follow @EWGradySmith

Read more:

Box office update: ‘The Avengers’ opens even bigger than previously thought, with $207.4M

The bizarre, brotherly bond between Johnny Depp and Tim Burton

Episode Recaps

Dark Shadows

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 112 minutes