Marvel superhero movie 'The Avengers' looks likely to become one of the highest grossing movies of all time, after it passed $1 billion in worldwide box-office takings in just three weeks. Joss Whedon's movie racked up $100 million in the U.S. this weekend, with industry insiders predicting it will soon overtake Toy Story 3 on the highest grossing list, and could rise as high as No.3, ousting the final Harry Potter movie, reports the UK's Guardian newspaper.

The Disney-produced movie has now easily become the highest grossing superhero movie of all time, surpassing 2008's The Dark Knight, as well as the three recent Spider-Man movies. The huge success of the film meant Tim Burton and Johnny Depp's latest collaborative effort Dark Shadows took just $65 million, a disappointing figure for a big budget film starring arguably the world's most in-demand actor. Upcoming movies such as Men in Black 3 and Prometheus should perform better, as the clamour to see The Avengers eventually begins to wane. Oscar-winner The Artist appears to have left it too late to capitalize on its awards season success with a full-opening, taking just $161,000 despite playing at 700 screens in the U.S. 'The Avengers' will now have its eye firmly on James Cameron's Avatar, which took a massive $2.7 billion to make it the highest grossing movie of all time, though that figure looks slightly out of reach, even for a set of superheroes.

This week's film releases include the romantic comedy 'What To Expect When You're Expecting' with Cameron Diaz, and Sacha Baron Cohen's controversial comedy 'The DICtator'.