The Avengers Assembles Opening Weekend Record at US Box Office!

Joss Whedon’s The Avengers has proven to be a fantastic start to the summer movie season, making US box office history by scoring the highest opening weekend EVER!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 broke the record back in July 2011 when it earned $169 million, but it could barely hold on to it for more than a year. This past weekend saw Potter’s wand smashed by Thor’s hammer after Marvel Studios’ The Avengers completely obliterated the record by earning an estimated $200.3 million.

The Avengers was released in the US on May 4th at 4,349 venues and flew out of the gate by earning $80.5 million on Friday alone, a figure which includes $18.7 million in midnight sneaks. This makes it the second best opening day, behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, which still holds the record for the highest opening day when it earned $91.1 million upon its release. It’s worth noting that Harry Potter’s total includes $43.5 million worth of midnight sneaks. Whereas Harry Potter was clearly frontloaded, losing steam on the Saturday and Sunday, the low total from midnight screenings from The Avengers suggested that it would play well over the weekend. And it did, earning an additional $69.7 million on Saturday. The Sunday estimate comes in at $50.1 million, which makes for a record breaking gross of $200.3 million in three days. The increase in 3D ticket prices certainly played a part here as well, with 52% of that total having come from 3D screenings. An estimated $15 million came from IMAX screenings alone.

An opening over $150 million is a rare thing indeed, but breaking the $200 million barrier in three days is unheard of, with The Avengers having become the fastest film to pass that figure at the US box office. However, will it be able to hold on to this record through the summer? The coming months will see the release of huge blockbusters such as Men in Black III, Ice Age: Continental Drift, Prometheus, The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises. Also, with the exception of the latter, all of those films are in 3D.

Having already been released outside the US since April 25th, The Avengers has now amassed a worldwide gross of $640 million after just twelve days. Not only does this already make it the highest grossing movie of the year so far (easily surpassing The Hunger Games’ current worldwide gross of $617 million), but at this rate the film is now a mortal lock to pass the $1 billion dollar mark. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and Avatar currently hold the record for being the fastest films to reach $1 billion, which they both achieved after just 19 days. The Avengers could very well beat or at least match this record.  

Sources: Deadline | Box Office Mojo

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