Box Office Preview: 'MB' to disassemble 'Avengers'

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By PAUL DERGARABEDIAN, Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sony's debuting "Men in Black 3," starring Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin, is expected to vaporize "The Avengers'" nearly month-long supremacy at the top of the domestic box office charts, grossing about $80 million across the long holiday weekend.

It's been 10 years since the last installment of the "Men in Black" franchise hit theaters and both the original in 1997 and the second film in 2002 opened in first place and earned a combined global tally of just over $1 billion.

Disney's "The Avengers" will still maintain enough momentum to hold on to a solid second place, with a likely four-day gross close to $40 million. The billion-dollar global hit will become the fourth-highest-grossing film of all-time domestically, surpassing "Star Wars: Episode One - The Phantom Menace" on Friday after just 22 days of release.

Universal's "Battleship" will cruise into third place with a Friday-through-Monday take in the mid- to high-teens. While doing well overseas, the big-budget action flick has been a disappointment domestically.

Paramount's R-rated comedy "The Dictator," starring Sacha Baron Cohen, should rule fourth place in the low teens in its second weekend out.

Warner Bros.' debuting "Chernobyl Diaries" is the latest R-rated scare-fest from "Paranormal Activity" director and producer Oren Peli. The film follows a group of tourists on an usual trip to the infamous Chernobyl nuclear reactor in Russia, site of a deadly meltdown in 1986. Expect a four-day gross of around $10 million.

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Paul Dergarabedian is president of the Box Office Division of Hollywood.com and provides box office analysis for The Associated Press.

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