Snow White and the Huntsman dwarfed everything else at the box office over the weekend, taking in an estimated $56.3 million, well ahead of industry forecasts. The result will no doubt come as considerable relief to Universal executives, who saw their last release, Battleship, sink out of the dock three weekends ago. Winding up in second place was last weekend's winner, Men in Black 3 , which dropped a modest 46 percent to $29.3 million to bring its ten-day total to $112.3 million. But it was Disney/Marvel's The Avengers that continued to draw notice as it earned about $20.3 million, thereby passing The Dark Knight to become the third-highest-grossing domestic release ever. Globally,it also passed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2 , to become the third biggest movie ever worldwide with a tally of $1.36 billion. Another conspicuous performer was Fox Searchlight's The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which remained in the top ten for its fifth weekend, despite playing in fewer than 1,300 theaters. It took in around $4.6 million, falling just 25 percent from last weekend. A Searchlight exec told Deadline.com "We continue to compete with the summer tentpole films even though our theater count is much lower. In some cases these films had two or three times the number of locations that we have. ... Our audience is beyond just the art houses and upscale areas."
The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo 1. Snow White and the Huntsman, $56.3 million; 2. Men in Black 3 , $29.3 million; 3. The Avengers, $20.3 million; 4. Battleship , $4.8 million; 5. The Dictator , $4.7 million; 6. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel , $4.6 million; 7. What to Expect When You're Expecting , $4.4 million; 8. Dark Shadows , $3.9 million; 9. The Chernobyl Diaries , $3 million; 10. For Greater Glory , $1.8 million.