Insert "fairest of them all" joke here: Despite earlier reports of "Snow White and the Huntsman" tracking poorly with audiences, the film pulled in an impressive $56.3 million at the domestic box office this weekend.
That sum proved enough for "SWATH" to outpace Sony's "Men in Black 3," which came in second with $29.3 million.
The numbers are sure to be of much-needed comfort at Universal, where huge losses on "The Five-Year Engagement" and "Battleship" have put the studio under the microscope. The CEO of Comcast, Universal's parent company, went so far as to lay the blame for Comcast's dismal fiscal quarter on those two projects alone. Brian Roberts labeled both of the films a "large, unfortunate miss."
"SWATH" also bested the other Snow White film to debut this year. Relativity Media's "Mirror, Mirror" brought in a dismal $18 million its first weekend and only collected $62 million by the end of its run.
Marvel's The Avengers" was relegated to a third place finish, though it's unlikely anyone will be disappointed with that film's $20.3 million earnings. The superhero smash just passed the final "Harry Potter' film to become the No. 3 all-time highest-grossing film at the global box office. Only "Avatar" and "Titanic" rank above "The Avengers" on the all-time list. The James Cameron films earned $2.782 billion and $2.185 billion, respectively.
With an impressive $552.7 million in domestic ticket sales, "The Avengers" also edged out "The Dark Knight" ($553.3 million) to become the third-highest grossing film at the North American box office. If it is to reign supreme, however, it will have to overcome those same James Cameron films. "Avatar" dialed up $760.5 million and "Titanic" stormed its way to $658.5 million at the North American box office.