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Disney avenges at the box office with superhero blockbuster

The cast of the box office hit The Avengers rang the opening bell at The New York Stock Exchange on May 1, 2012 in New York City.

Stacey Vanek Smith: "The Avengers" movie took in more than  $200 million over the weekend. It's the biggest box office opening ever in the U.S.  That is very good news for Disney, especially after a recent high-profile flop, as Mitchell Hartman reports.


Mitchell Hartman: Not only was "The Avengers" a huge blockbuster on U.S. screens-including IMAX and the screens you need those 3-D glasses for. It's overtaken "The Hunger Games" worldwide.

But even super-lucrative superheroes may not avenge Disney's most recent box office flop-the Confederate-officer-goes-to-Mars movie, "John Carter."

Staci Kramer: "The Avengers" didn’t erase "John Carter." "John Carter" is the kind of disaster that takes down a studio head.

That’s Staci Kramer of PaidContent.org, and she’s referring to Rich Ross, who lost his job at the top of Disney for the disaster that was "John Carter."

Kramer says anything with superheroes like "Iron Man" and "Captain America" is likely to do well for Disney. But she says all this has come easy to the studio, which picked up Marvel—along with its characters and licensing deals—in 2010.

Kramer: "The Avengers" was something that was well in place when Disney acquired Marvel."

But analyst Tuna Amobi at Standard & Poors says, even if Marvel created "The Avengers," The Mouse House gets the credit.

Tuna Amobi: So while that was not a home-grown title, from a financial standpoint, which is really what Wall Street cares about, that success goes right to Disney's bottom line.

Next up from the studios: "Iron Man 3" and "Thor 2."

I'm Mitchell Hartman 1 - the original - for Marketplace.

About the author

Mitchell Hartman is the senior reporter for Marketplace’s Entrepreneurship Desk and also covers employment.
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Only in Hollywood would a film that's grossed $271 million worldwide (and will likely do pretty well in home-video sales, and might still be making money, if Disney hadn't pulled the plug early to "cut their losses") be considered a "disaster."

Spiderman is not a Disney movie; Marvel sold the rights to Sony.

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