Avengers Beats Expectations for Memorial Day; Men in Black Win Weekend But Fall Short

Men in Black 3 appears to have won the weekend box office with a respectable $70 million dollar haul domestically this weekend, about $15 million ahead of The Avengers, the country's #2 movie, but fell well short of its projected $84 million holiday weekend.

These numbers are all based on studio estimates and subject to change. All weekend long, Sony has been saying that their public numbers for Men in Black 3 could go up, suggesting that they were playing the weekend safe, while competing studios were telling analysts that their numbers had the Will Smith comedy coming in slightly below what Sony was making public.

The Avengers exceeded expectations--originally set at just under $42 million--by taking in $46,878,000, just short of the Avatar's all-time record for the highest fourth-week gross. the superhero team-up flick remains strongly ahead of Avatar's pace, though; by this point in its release, Avatar hadn't yet crossed the $500 million domestic threshold that The Avengers sailed past early in the weekend.

The weekend in general was down from this time last year, but then again last year The Hangover Part II wrecked the curve on which Men in Black 3's box office performance has been graded.