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'The Avengers'

Shawarma Sales

SKYROCKET in L.A.

5/8/2012 12:40 AM PDT UPDATED: 5/7/2012 4:44 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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You may not have realized it when you were in the theaters this weekend, but "The Avengers" is not a movie ... it's a guerrilla marketing campaign for the shawarma industry!!! We'll explain ...

At the end of the "film," a scene within the credits shows the movie's stars eating lunch at an undisclosed location (not a secret lair or anything, they just didn't say). The meal of choice was shawarma ... a callback to something Robert Downey Jr.'s character had said earlier in the movie.

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TMZ spoke with several different fine eating establishments all across Los Angeles ... and they all say sales of shawarma went through the roof this weekend.

At Ro Ro's Chicken -- a famed Lebanese joint in Hollywood -- the manager says shawarma sales jumped 80% in the days after the movie opened. We're told the same thing happened a few years back when a baba ghanouj joke was featured in "You Don't Mess with the Zohan."

And that's the last time we'll mention "You Don't Mess with the Zohan" ever again.

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