The universe belongs to Marvel.
Avengers: Endgame shattered the record for the biggest opening weekend with US $ 350mil in ticket sales domestically and US $ 1.2bil globally, reaching new pinnacle in the blockbuster era that comic-book studio has come to dominate. (Read our review here.)
The Avengers finale far exceeded even its own gargantuan expectations, according to studio estimates Sunday. The movie had been forecast to open between US $ 260 million and US $ 300 million in U.S. Pat. and Canadian cinemas, but moviegoers turned out in such droves that Endgame blew past the previous record of US $ 257.7mil, set last year by Avengers: Infinity War when it narrowly surpassed Star Wars: The Force Awakens”(US $ 248mil or about US $ 266m in inflation adjusted dollars.)
Endgame was just as enormous overseas. Worldwide, it is the previous record of US $ 640.5 million, also set by Infinity War. ("Infinity War" did not open in China, the world's second largest movie market until two weeks after its debut.) Endgame set a new weekend record in China, too, where it made $ 330.5 million.
In one fell swoop Endgame has already made more than movies like Skyfall, Aquaman and The Dark Knight Rises Grossed in their entire runs, not accounting for inflation.
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Alan Horn, Disney chairman, credited Marvel Studios and its president, Kevin Feige, for "notions of what is possible at the movie theater."
"This weekend's monumental success is a testament to the world they're envisioned, the talent involved, and their collective passion, matched by the irrepressible enthusiasm of fans around the world," Horn said in a statement.
The Walt Disney Co. released Endgame in more theaters – 4,662 in the U.S. and Canada – than any opening before. Advance ticketing services set new records. Early ticket buyers crashed AMC's website. And starting Thursday, some theaters even stayed open 72 hours straight.
"We’ve got some really tired staff," said John Fithian, president and chief executive of the National Association of Theater Owners. "I talked to an exhibitor in Kansas who said," I never sold out and 7 a.m. show on Saturday morning before, "and they were doing it across their circuit."
Not working in the movie's favorite was its length running time: 181 minutes. But theaters kept added thousands of showings for Endgame to get it on more screens than any movie before the frenzy around Endgame. Joe and Anthony Russo's movie together Avengers storyline as well as the previous 21 releases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, begun with 2008′s Iron Man.
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Further boosting results for Endgame were good reviews; it currently ranks as 96% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, the best rating for any Marvel movie aside from Black Panther. Audiences gave the movie an A-plus CinemaScore.
But if it was any weekend for theatrical business, it was just as reliant theaters have grown on one studio: Disney.
Disney now holds all but one of the top 12 box office openings of all time. (Universal’s Jurassic World is the lone exception.) The studio is a record-breaking year with releases including Aladdin, Toy Story 4, The Lion King, Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker and Frozen 2 on the horizon.
Following its acquisition of 20th Century Fox, Disney is expected to account for at least 40% of its domestic office revenue in 2019, and a new record of market share. The company’s Captain Marvel – Marvel lead-in Endgame – also rose to no. 2 on weekend, eight weeks after it opened. (The 22 films of the MCU have collectively earned US $ 19.9bil at the box office.)
No other new wide release dared to open against Endgame. Warner Bros. ′ The Curse Of La Llorona, last week's top movie, slid to third with US $ 7.5m.
The guessing game will now shift to just how much higher Endgame can go. Given its start, it is probably the top three worldwide grossers: The Force Awakens (US $ 2.068bil in 2015) Titanic (US $ 2,187bil in 1997) and Avatar (US $ 2,788 in 2009). – AP
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