The Dictator's reign at the box office was short and sweet, with sci-fi action comedy Men in Black 3 toppling the Sacha Baron Cohen film to earn first place in its opening weekend.

Men in Black 3 took $5,001,861 across 592 screens, achieving a screen average of $8,449. The Sony Pictures film – which sees Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones reprising their roles as alien crime fighters Agent J and Agent K ten years after the first sequel, Men in Black 2 was released – performed well overseas, too. In the US, it became the first film to beat The Avengers to the number one spot in four weeks, grossing an estimated $55 million over the three-day public holiday weekend.

Paramount's The Dictator dropped 52 per cent in its second weekend of release. The film took $2,452,796 and lost two screens. Its total earnings now stand at $9.6 million.

The Avengers ($2.26 million), Dark Shadows ($1.13 million) and The Five-Year Engagement ($465,531) rounded out the top five.

After crossing the $1 million mark last week, Kieran Darcy-Smith's Wish You Were Here dropped a further 27 per cent, but added an additional five screens to its theatrical run. The film has now grossed $1,190,134 since it was released in April.

Australian films at the box office in 2012

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