Avengers: Endgame took every norm we figured about box office opening weekends and flat-out shattered them with the snap of its fingers. A sampling of those by-gone records can be seen in the box office report for its opening weekend. And don’t think it’s record-breaking run is going to stop there. Here is a collection of forthcoming records that the Marvel juggernaut has in its sights – and our analysis of how likely it is to break them.
Current Record Holder: Star Wars: The Force Awakens with $149,202,860
Only five films have ever grossed over $100 million at the domestic box office in their second weekend: The Force Awakens, Infinity War, Black Panther, Jurassic World, and Marvel’s The Avengers. The steepest drop amongst them was Infinity War with a 55.5% fall, while the smallest was Star Wars with 39.8%. Endgame would have to drop more than 57.4% to fail to break this record.
Current Record Holder: Star Wars: The Force Awakens with $540,058,914
Endgame made a nice round estimate of $350 million according to Disney, a number already two days ahead of The Force Awakens’ pace. Over the next week – which included the Christmas holiday period – Force grossed $292 million. The second highest 10-day grosser was last year’s Avengers: Infinity War, and it made $195.4 million from days 4 to 10. Endgame needs just another $190 million to break this record.
The records set by Twilight and Star Wars were set on their opening days, so it is unrealistic to expect Endgame to measure up to those. Black Panther’s record Monday was also the President’s Day holiday, so schools were out. Take away the holiday and debuts though, and we’re back to The Force Awakens owning the records for Monday ($40,109,742) and Wednesday ($38,022,183). Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen then leads the Thursday charge ($29,094,472), but that was still just its second day of release. For a true comparison to Endgame we once again look to The Force Awakens, which grossed $27,395,725 on day seven.
Current Record Holder: Titanic with $659,363,944
A lot has been made recently over the length of Avengers: Endgame. But longer films have long dominated the box office. Among the previous 50 highest-grossing films of all-time, the only non-animated films under two hours are E.T., Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, 2016’s The Jungle Book, and Deadpool. And when you look at those, it’s debatable whether one is actually “non-animated”, Jumanji runs one minute shy of two hours, and E.T. runs just three minutes shy. Deadpool is the shortest at 106 minutes. The following films among the highest-grossing ever are all over two-and-a-half hours:
Avatar, Infinity War, Titanic, The Last Jedi, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
With 10 animated films in the Top 50, that means 25% of the all-time live-action films in the group run 150 minutes or longer. The Two Towers runs a minute shy of three hours and is also now one spot shy of the Top 50, thanks to Endgame‘s weekend box office. The highest-grossing movie with a runtime of three hours or longer is Titanic. Endgame has already also made 53% of Titanic’s all-time gross (including its 3-D and 20th anniversary re-releases). The Marvel movie has made 58.2% of Titanic’s initial 1997-98 run. The smart money would be on Endgame knocking Titanic off of its three-hour perch handily.
Current Record Holder: Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 20 Days
It took J.J. Abrams’ Episode VII just 20 days to become the highest-grossing domestic film of all time. On Jan. 6, 2016, Avatar‘s nearly seven-year record of $760,507,625 fell in less than three weeks. It took 59 days for Avatar to best the record previously held by Cameron’s Titanic. The Force Awakens maintains the all-time domestic record with a total gross of $936,662,225, which it took over 165 days to compile. Can Endgame beat that Avatar figure in fewer days than it took Force Awakens? It depends how it paces, which we get into below.
Current Record Holder: Star Wars: The Force Awakens with $936,662,225
Endgame already has a $92-plus million head start on The Force Awakens. Infinity War had nearly a $10 million advantage after opening weekend but still fell $257,846,743 shy of Force‘s domestic record. If Endgame falls off at a similar pace, it could actually still come up just short with around $908 million. The Force Awakens benefited from a series of very respectable drops from week-to-week. Only once in its first 23 weeks did it drop more than 50% and only four times more than 40%.
Force Awakens was number 1 for four straight weeks and remained in the top five for eight straight weeks. Does anyone really believe that The Avengers will fall to Detective Pikachu in its third weekend? That leaves it to Aladdin to knock it back over Memorial Day weekend, and it is conceivable it is out of the top five after seven weekends as summer releases like The Secret Life of Pets 2, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Dark Phoenix, and even Rocketman will draw early interest. That head start looms large as Endgame eyes further records, such as the $2.78 billion that Avatar made globally. The first 20 days for Avengers: Endgame will help tell the tale, but it will be days 21 to 165 that could turn legend into fact.
[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]