The Avengers certainly did assemble at this weekend's box office for Marvel Studios' Endgame, which snapped all expectations (and records) out of existence with a global debut of $1.2 billion during its first-ever weekend. Just so you know, that's never happened before in the history of cinema; for comparison, it took last year's Avengers: Infinity War 11 days to reach the $1 billion milestone. It's almost as if someone at Disney has warped reality with all six of the Infinity Stones.
“Kevin Feige and the Marvel Studios team have continued to challenge notions of what is possible at the movie theater, both in terms of storytelling and at the box office,” said Alan Horn, Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios in an official release obtained by SYFY WIRE. “Though Endgame is far from an end for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, these first 22 films constitute a sprawling achievement, and this weekend’s monumental success is a testament to the world they’ve envisioned, the talent involved, and their collective passion, matched by the irrepressible enthusiasm of fans around the world.”
Having opened in overseas markets first, the Disney film quickly took in $169 million, with more than $100 million of that coming from China alone. By this weekend that Chinese figure ballooned to $330.5 million. After a mere three days abroad, Endgame had outshone The Fate of the Furious ($443 million) for the best foreign debut ever with $487 million.
Endgame also broke the record for Thursday-night previews in North America with $60 million, unseating Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which held the title since 2015 with $57 million. On Friday, it nabbed the largest wide opening, making $156.7 million, replacing Episode VII's $119 million. A few days back, Fandango revealed that the film had become the website's top ticket preseller in history, a mantle previously held by TFA, too. When tickets went on sale earlier in April, demand was so high, that theater sites crashed and tickets went on sale on eBay for thousands of dollars.
Domestically, Avengers: Endgame will finish off the weekend with $356 million. That's the biggest domestic opening, beating out Infinity War's $257.6 million. In markets other than the U.S., the highly-anticipated blockbuster has shattered the global weekend opening record with $859 million. That trumps Infinity War's record from last April ($640.5 million) by more than $200 million.
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo (The Winter Soldier, Civil War), the follow-up to Infinity War centers on the remaining Marvel heroes trying to find a way to reverse Thanos' successful plan to wipe out half of all life in the universe. At three hours, two minutes, the movie is a culmination of 10 years and 22 movies worth of comic book storytelling that began with 2008's Iron Man. Reactions from fans and critics alike have been overwhelmingly positive and emotional, leading to a well-deserved 96% on Rotten Tomatoes.
“We poured our heart and soul into Avengers: Endgame, hoping to tell a story that would inspire audiences around the world. Our family of cast and crew felt honored to be entrusted with bringing the Infinity Saga to a close. To Kevin Feige, everyone at Disney and Marvel, and the incredible, global community of fans – thank you," said the Russos in their own statement.
Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Josh Brolin (Thanos), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America), Don Cheadle (James Rhodes/War Machine), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow), Paul Rudd (Scott Lang/Ant-Man), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/Hulk), Brie Larson (Captain Marvel), Danai Gurira (Okoye), Bradley Cooper (Rocket Racoon), and Jeremy Renner (Clint Barton/Hawkeye) all make up the movie's principal cast.
Avengers: Infinity War finished its theatrical run with $2.04 billion internationally, but bigger things are expected from Avengers: Endgame, which is projected to finish off its global run with north of $2.5 billion. It may even eclipse James Cameron's first Avatar ($2.78 billion) as the highest-grossing movie of all time.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige chimed in with:
“From the very beginning with Iron Man, all we’ve wanted to do was tell stories that brought these characters to life onscreen the way we’ve experienced them as fans of the comics. That we’ve had so many other successes in this journey leading to this unbelievable result with Avengers: Endgame has been almost entirely due to the fans around the world who have supported us through it all. Our directors, Anthony and Joe Russo, and our writers, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, really brought this story home, and I am also incredibly thankful for our cast and filmmakers from across the MCU and all who’ve worked so hard to make these films the best they can be, including the amazing teams at Marvel Studios and Disney. And of course, without Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, none of this would have been possible.”
Another MCU title, Captain Marvel, took second place with $8.1 million. While that number is extremely small compared to Endgame's, it's worth noting that Marvel Studios' first female-led superhero movie has already been in theaters for over and month and passed the $1 billion-mark weeks ago, so the pressure is really off it at this point.
Warner Bros.' The Curse of La Llorona, the latest entry in the studio's shared Conjuring horror-verse, is scaring up third place with $7.5 million. Shazam!, now in its fourth weekend, will zap the No. 5 spot with $5.5 million. Dumbo, Pet Sematary, and Us are still in play as well, albeit on a much smaller scale with with $3.2 million, $1.3 million, and $1.1 million respectively. Indeed, no other movie than Endgame has been able to crack more than $10 million at this weekend's box office.