The Avengers is coming. The U.S. box office was overshadowed by events overseas, where the Marvel Comics superhero extravaganza The Avengers made its thundering bow, hammering down $178.4 million in ticket sales, days before opening here this Friday. The film, with Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, and Samuel L. Jackson, opened in 39 countries last weekend.

Domestically, the comedy Think Like a Man, based on Steve Harvey's book, was No. 1 for the second straight weekend, with $18 million.

Four movies were jammed up vying for the No. 2 spot: The Pirates! Band of Misfits, with Hugh Grant among the voices, with $11.4 million; the romantic drama The Lucky One, with $11.3 mil; The Hunger Games, with $11.25 million; and The Five-Year Engagement, starring Jason Segel and Emily Blunt,at $11.2 million. They were so close that their rankings could change when final studio figures are released Monday.

— Associated Press