By David Salazar ( | First Posted: May 21, 2012 02:08 PM EDT

Robert Downey Jr. poses as he arrives at the screening of the film "Marvel's The Avengers" for the closing night of the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival in New York April 28, 2012 (Photo : REUTERS/Andrew Kelly)

With tough competition, The Avengers beat out all three new releases over the weekend. Grossing an estimated $55.06 million, The Avengers broke yet another record becoming the second-best third-weekend on record behind Avatar ($68.5 million). In 17 days, the film has already grossed $457.1 million currently ranking sixth on the all-time domestic chart. The Avengers is now expected to outpace 2008's The Dark Knight, the third highest grossing film of all time with $533 million total gross, by the end of the month.

Opening in 3,690 theaters Battleship, a film based on the board game, opened with a dismal $25.3 million. The film was expected to gross $35-40 million, but fell below expectations. Battleship, which was budgeted at $209 million excluding the expensive marketing budget, is on track to grossing less than $70 million. According to the Hollywood Reporter Battleship's gross was due not only to strong competition from The Avengers but also due to the fact that the classic board game was not well known with younger generations and 66 percent of the audience was over the age of 25.

The Dictator, which over performed with an estimated $54.8 million overseas, found a small audience in the states with a $24.5 million gross over the five days. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the film which was budgeted at $65 million had a hard time finding audience in conservative flyover state than in more liberal minded New York and Los Angeles. The Dictator's opening marks the lowest opening of Sacha Baron Cohen's previous two satire's Bruno (26.5 million) and Borat (30.6 million).  

The last of the wide releases also fared terribly. What to Expect when Your Expecting grossed an estimated $10.5 million. The pregnancy comedy fared worse than recent movies of the same topic The Back-Up Plan ($12.2 million ) and Baby Mama ($17.4 million). Lionsgates attempted to target women and men, but failed as reported that 70 percent of the audience ended up being female.

Another film that continued to be affected by The Avengers was Tim Burton's Dark Shadows. The film, based on the Vampire Soap Opera, plummeted 57 percent scoring an estimated $12.8 million in its second weekend.  The $150 million film's 10 day accumulation is now $50.9 million and is not expected to hit the $100 million mark.

On the art house market, Fox Searchlight's The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel grossed an estimated $3.3 million at 354 theaters. With a total gross of $8.26 million to date, Marigold Hotel has become the sleeper hit of the season and is now expected to open nationwide over the Memorial Day weekend.

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