Weekend box office: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ still tops as it marches toward record

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(NOLA.com)- Walt Disney Co.’s “Avengers: Endgame” held on to the top spot in North American theaters for a third-straight weekend, another milestone in its march to surpass 2009′s “Avatar” as the highest-grossing movie in history.

The Marvel superhero film brought in $63.1 million in U.S. and Canadian theaters this weekend, Comscore Inc. estimated Sunday in an email. That was enough to fight off newcomer “Pokémon Detective Pikachu” from AT&T Inc.’s Warner Bros., which brought in $58 million. Analysts were predicting about $70.7 million in revenue for “Endgame” over the three days. It needs to top $2.79 billion worldwide to beat “Avatar.”

The superhero film’s hot pace has predictably cooled as big openers tend to do. Sales for last year’s Marvel hit “Avengers: Infinity War” declined by 46 percent in its third weekend, also over Mother’s Day. Still, the Disney film is only the second movie to lead the box office for three straight weekends this year. The Universal Pictures movie “Glass” held the top spot for four weeks in late January and early February.

At 1 hour and 40 minutes, the PG-rated “Detective Pikachu” offered a shorter option for parents with kids too young to sit through three hours of “Endgame.” The film was expected to bring in $56 million, according to analysts at Box Office Pro.

“The Hustle,” starring Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson, brought in $13.5 million, short of the $15 million analysts were predicting. The film is being distributed by United Artists Releasing, a joint venture of Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which is also a producer of the picture.

Two other films opened in wide release. STX Entertainment came out with “Poms,” about a group of women who form a cheerleading squad in their retirement community, and Disney’s Fox Searchlight division released “Tolkien,” about the author of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

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