The superheroes of The Avengers are predictably dominating the boxoffice, while the vampires of Dark Shadows aren't proving quite as bloodthirsty as some had predicted as this weekend's box-office chase got underway Friday.
Early indications from matinees is that Disney and Marvel's Avengers, which smashed its way to a record-shattering $207.4 million last weekend, will pull in another $85 million to $90 million in its second frame.
While Warner Bros.' Dark Shadows earned $550,000 as it rolled out in more than 1,600 midnight runs, an OK number for a female-driven pic, it appeared to be pulling in about $10 million Friday as it kicked off a weekend that could end up in the $32 million to $35 million range. That's on the low end of expectations for the studio, which was hoping for $35 million to $40 million.
Tim Burton's campy adaptation of the 1966-71 daytime soap also is making a major push overseas this weekend, where the movie -- headlining Johnny Depp as the vampire Barnabas Collins -- opens in virtually every major market except Japan.
Of course, Dark Shadows had been expected to open well behind Avengers, which jumped the $800 million mark at the worldwide box office on Thursday, and could hit $1 billion by Sunday.
Overseas, Dark Shadows could beat Avengers in certain territories but might not be able to match Avengers' overall weekend international gross. Burton's film got off to a strong start Wednesday in France, grossing roughly $770,000 to beat Avengers on its third Wednesday.
Produced for $100 million, Dark Shadows is tracking best among women, though interest has picked up among men in recent days. The film also stars Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green and Chloe Grace Moretz.
Warners believes the film will have strong legs, since the other May tentpoles are more male-driven, including Universal's Battleship, which opens May 18.