It's a good weekend for Marvel Studios, for Disney, and for Joss Whedon. According to current estimates, the ensemble superhero tale has grossed a record-breaking $200.3 million since it debuted in midnight screenings. The Marvel-Disney joint usurped previous record-holder Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the franchise-capper that opened to $169.1last summer. Now, The Dark Knight stands at number three on the list of biggest openers, followed by The Hunger Games at four and Spider-Man 3 at five.
Consider that Whedon's directorial effort, the 2005 Firefly continuation Serenity opened to $10 million and went on to gross $25.5 million. So right now, Whedon should be on yacht rolling bathing in champagne. The writer-director presided over Marvel's big move, the culmination of five interconnected blockbusters: The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, and both Iron Man movies. Superhero movies are a dime-a-dozen, but overlapping franchises created a feeling that The Avengers would be something special. Overwhelmingly enthusiastic reaction from critics seemed to confirm that it is indeed something special, and audiences showed up in droves.
Every Marvel Studios release has opened at number one, but none has even come close to this debut. Their previous biggest-opener was 2010's Iron Man 2, which made $128.1 million. Already, The Avengers ha surpassed the domestic totals of Thor, Captain America, and The Incredible Hulk. Expectations had the film debuting to around $175 million, so it has exceeded already-high expectations commercially.
Stateside, Disney's appropriately assaultive marketing campaign managed to sell ever those who weren't already devoted to the Marvel movie universe, selling it as a truly epic event, effectively conveying the film's ensemble nature, and playing off of Robert Downey Jr.'s considerable star power. As you can tell, this all worked woneders.
The film dropped in many international territories last Friday, and it's showing in the rest of the world has been huge outside of these humble colonies. It has earned $441.5 million, meaning that the global total is now at $641.8 million. It's not unreasonably to wonder if the team-up wont mark the start of a new trend and a Justice League movie from Warner Bros.
Here's the full list of the top ten movies in America for the weekend:
1. The Avengers $200.3 million New Release
2. Think Like a Man $8.0 million $23.0 million
3. The Hunger Games $5.7 million $380.7 million
4. The Lucky One $5.5 million $47.9 million
5. The Pirates! Band of Misfits $5.4 million $18.5 million
6. The Five-Year Engagement $5.1 million $19.2 million
7. The Raven $2.5 million $12.0 million
8. Safe $2.4 million $12.8 million
9. Chimpanzee $2.3 million $23.0 million
10. The Three Stooges $1.8 million $39.6 million
Next week sees the wide release of Tim Burton's Dark Shadows and Where Do We Go Now, in addition to limited releases for Hick, Girl in Progress, and God Bless America.