The Avengers assembled this weekend to decimate an opponent: the modern Hollywood record books.
Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame, the 22nd movie in the 11-year-old Marvel Cinematic Universe, laid waste to domestic and global benchmarks — becoming the first film ever to top $1 billion (U.S.) in its opening weekend, before adjusting for inflation.
The box-office returns are so staggering, according to studio estimates Sunday, that it could be a good long while before they are topped.
Blowing past projections, Endgame grossed $350 million in North America and $1.2 billion worldwide.
Endgame immediately becomes the biggest movie of the year, too, topping Disney’s setup movie, Captain Marvel, which has grossed $1.1 billion total since its early March release.
With the combined global take of $2.3 billion from those two movies, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is now nearly a $20 billion franchise — with Spider-Man: Far From Home still coming this summer.
Endgame is already a billion-dollar behemoth largely because of ideal circumstances: a perfect culmination of long-cultivated worldwide interest, marketing might, critical reception and virtually no competition — as well as financially hurting theatre owners turning thousands of screens over to Avengers to boost their bottom line. Domestically, Endgame opened on a record 4,662 screens.
Endgame was also buoyed by its massive fandom in China, where it had a massive $329 million debut, according to Variety.
Worldwide, Endgame is already the sixth-biggest movie in the Marvel universe. It will now set its sights on the Avengers film that preceded it — last year’s Infinity War, which grossed $2.05 billion worldwide.
Both films were guided by sibling directors Joe and Anthony Russo, with stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle and Josh Brolin leading the massive cast.
Disney bought Marvel in 2009 for $4 billion.
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