‘The Avengers’ smashes US box office record

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Hollywood is celebrating after “The Avengers” achieved easily the biggest film opening of all time.

The Avengers superhero smashed the record for the biggest US opening weekend, taking $200m (£123m), early figures show.

The previous best opening weekend was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, which opened in July 2011 with $169m (£104m).

“The Avengers” was distributed by the Disney studio which is recovering from releasing one of the costliest flops ever in March.

Its science fiction epic “John Carter” led to Disney incurring a $200 million write-down, and studio chairman Rich Ross resigned in April.

A spokesman for Disney said: “It’s been a fantastic weekend on every single front.”

“The Avengers,” which was directed by Joss Whedon and cost $220 million to make, assembles several characters who have appeared separately in previous blockbusters.

It stars Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Chris Evans as Captain America, Jermey Renner as Hawkeye, and Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow.

Hollywood is already on the way to a record year at the box office in 2012.

The Avengers failed to beat the final Harry Potter’s first day takings record of $91m (£56m) but surpassed it over the following two days.

No other big films dared go up against it, with only the British film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel being released on the same day.

The Avengers has so far taken $641m (£396m) worldwide.

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