Disney/Marvel's The Avengers was expected to cross the $1.5-billion mark at the worldwide box office this weekend following the decision by Disney to put the film back into 1,705 theaters for the Labor Day weekend. The studio estimated that it earned $1.7 million over the three-day weekend and $2.2 million over the four-day holiday. That would put its domestic gross at around $620 million. It has grossed $882.3 million overseas. After 19 weeks, The Avengers now ranks as the third-biggest moneymaker in Hollywood history, behind Avatar and Titanic , each of which has earned more than $2 billion. Meanwhile, Warner Bros.' The Dark Knight Rises has crossed the $1-billion mark worldwide, with $431.2 million domestically and $574 internationally. Only 12 other films have succeeded in passing that Threshold -- and it has done so without the benefit of 3D surcharges. In its first week in China, the film took in around $28.5 million, according to the studio. That figure was exceeded, however, by the $33.3 million earned by The Amazing SPIDER-MAN , which opened the same week.

03/09/2012