In Theaters This Weekend: May 4, 2012

Well this should be easy. We only have one wide release this weekend, as "The Avengers" has rightfully scared any other competition away. It's looking like a record-setting weekend for this film, really the only question at this point is just how much it will make. With zero new competition this weekend, and a relatively weak slate of films left over from the previous two, even if it were an issue, I don't think any of these films will stand a chance this weekend (outside of a handful of films over the past 20 years though, none would).

So yes, we already know the storylines that this weekend will bring. There won't be any surprises there. Just for fun though, since we're already here, we'll go ahead and break down what to expect from this film, and maybe even try to project what the rest of the very thin top five might end up being at the box office.

It's nice to finally get to an epic scale movie; something that warrants lines across the block waiting to get inside. I bought my ticket last week for this one, and while I unfortunately am going to miss out on that midnight viewing, I'll be ready to go right when I get off work Friday afternoon. As much as I'd love to talk about this movie because of how awesome and epic it is (and how much most of us have been looking forward to this for five+ years now), we've all already seen and heard so much about this film that there's really little left to discuss. At this point, it's just about going to the theater and taking this one in.

If by some chance you've been living under a rock for the past four years though, this film is really the first of its kind. It's a collaboration of star actors from various different projects that all lead to the culmination of this film. From the very start, it was planned that films like "Iron Man", "The Incredible Hulk", "Captain America: The First Avenger", and "Thor" would all intertwine storylines that would set up one epic film uniting them all. As I said, this is really the first time this has ever been done in movies, but I can't imagine it will be the last. With the success all these films have had (and the projected success for this feature), it'll be hard for other properties to resist such a fluid growth of their characters and films.

I've been looking forward to this movie for a long time, if for no other reason than blatant curiosity. As films continued to roll out, we started to get a better sense of what this group would look like. Some character decisions might have been met with unease at first, but ultimately, I'd have to say Marvel has made pretty great casting choices in all of their roles. But that aside, I still can't wait to check out this movie and see just how all these different big ego personalities fit together on one screen. With the amazing response it's received from critics so far (94% on Rotten Tomatoes so far), it's pretty clear that the experiment was a success.

So that's what I, and everyone else in this country world, will be checking out this weekend. I wouldn't even want to take a stab at projecting its gross, but many are expecting it to be in the $160MM+ just in the United States, possibly setting a record currently held by "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 2" ($169MM).

So with that said, what might we expect from some of the other films still hanging around this weekend? I went back to Harry Potter's weekend and found that even with its record-setting take, there was still money to be had at the theaters. "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" was in its third week and still managed $21MM. And "Horrible Bosses" and "Zookeeper", both in their second weekends, still managed $17MM and $12MM, respectively. I'm not sure the interest and quality levels are as high with some of the current films out right now as it was with those three though, so that's probably not a great comparison. But ultimately what that does tell me is that we can expect pretty average grosses from these other films, regardless of what "The Avengers" does. The box office was pretty weak last weekend, and we can expect most everything to cut basically in half, even on a regular weekend. So that means last weekend's winner, "Think Like a Man" still might pull in $10MM or so this weekend. Outside of "The Avengers" though, that should pretty easily be highest grossing film (unless "The Pirates! Band of Misfits" holds with parents and it takes in another $12MM-$15MM this weekend). Who knows.

All we know is that "The Avengers" is winning this weekend, and winning big. If you didn't have plans to go see it, make them. It should be a lot of fun, and on a scale never seen before in film.