Avengers: Endgame has shattered the record for biggest opening weekend with an estimated $350 million in ticket sales in the US and $1.2 billion globally.
The Avengers finale starring Joe Russo, Paul Rudd, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth and Anthony Russo far exceeded even its own huge expectations, according to studio estimates..
The movie had been forecast to open between $260 million and $300 million in US and Canadian cinemas, but moviegoers turned out in such droves that Endgame blew past the previous record of $257.7 million, set last year by Avengers: Infinity War.
Endgame was just as enormous overseas. Worldwide, it obliterated the previous record of $640.5 million, also set by Infinity War.
Endgame has already made more than movies like Skyfall, Aquaman and The Dark Knight Rises grossed in their entire runs.
Alan Horn, Disney chairman, credited Marvel Studios and its president, Kevin Feige, for challenging “notions of what is possible at the movie theater”.
“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,” Mr Horn said.
To accommodate demand, the Walt Disney Corporation released Endgame in more cinemas — 4,662 in the US and Canada — than any opening before. Advance ticketing services set new records and some, some cinemas 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’ve never sold out a 7 a.m. show on Saturday morning before,’ and they were doing it all across their circuit.”
Not working in the film’s favour was its lengthy running time, at 161 minutes.
But cinemas added thousands of showings for Endgame to get it on more screens than any movie before.
Joe and Anthony Russo’s film ties together the Avengers storyline as well as the previous 21 releases of the Marvel “cinematic universe,” begun with 2008’s Iron Man.
For an industry dogged by uncertainty over the growing role of streaming, the weekend was a mammoth display of the cinema’s lucrative potency.
Mr Fithian called it possibly “the most significant moment in the modern history of the movie business”.
“We’re looking at more than 30 million American and more than 100 million global guests that experienced Endgame on the big screen in one weekend,” Mr Fithian said. “The numbers are just staggering.”
- Press Association