We all saw it coming. To a degree. Avengers: Endgame was destined to be the biggest film of the summer, potentially of the year. But a fork was put into the talk of the biggest of all-time. First things first: Tracking companies were too coy to set expectations at a $300 million weekend. Though with over $120 million just in pre-sales alone, the odds were significantly in its favor. And now we’re here: the first ever $350 opening weekend.
The release of Avengers: Endgame into 4,662 theaters this weekend breaks the previous record held by Despicable Me 3, which opened on 4,529 screens. (Last year’s Avengers: Infinity War is now fourth all-time with 4,474 screens.) Strap in because that is just the beginning of the records Endgame is busting this very weekend. Check this out:
At $350 million, Avengers: Endgame immediately becomes the 50th highest-grossing domestic film of all-time. That is already more than Aquaman grossed in 105 days. It also took Captain Marvel 24 days to gross what Endgame did in three; and Endgame is now the fifth highest-grossing film in the MCU. In a remarkable bit of solidarity, Captain Marvel moved up to second place at the box office this weekend, dropping just 11% for an eighth-weekend haul of $8 million. That’s the 10th best eighth weekend of all time (up from last week’s 15th best seventh weekend) and the fifth best this for the current century, behind Avatar ($22.8 million), Frozen ($11.7 million), Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle ($10 million), and Black Panther ($8.7 million).
And let’s get super math-y for a minute. If we were playing the “Take Two” game from The Price is Right – where you have to pick the cost of two prizes that add up to a specific amount – the only MCU title one could pick to combine with another for a total less than Endgame’s opening weekend is The Incredible Hulk. Take that movie’s $134.8 million, match it with Captain America: The First Avenger ($176.6 million), Ant-Man ($180.2 million), Thor ($181.0), or Thor: The Dark World ($206.3 million) and you have the only pairings that come up less than Endgame’s $350 million start. Only eight films in the MCU have grossed more in their entire run than Endgame did in three-and-a-third days.
There has been no fatigue with the MCU, as frequently as that myth has been told. Endgame had already grossed $305 million outside of the U.S. before even opening here. Through Sunday, Endgame has grossed $859 million internationally (14th all-time) and $1.2 billion globally (the eighth MCU film to reach that milestone and the fastest ever to pass it). Those numbers make Endgame the 18th highest-grossing film of all time internationally. And it’s done that since Thursday.
Domestically, Avengers: Endgame is now beyond targeting the totals of the two mega-grossing James Cameron films, Avatar and Titanic – because it is going for the big dog. Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the highest-grossing film ever domestically, earned $936.7 million here and Endgame is already blowing past all of its early records. Avatar is the all-time world champ with $2.78 billion – and that’s going to be a tough number to beat, even for a film expected to become just the fifth film ever to gross $2 billion worldwide. Other records that Endgame has its eye on for next week include:
It would take a drop of more than 57.4% for Endgame to not break the second-weekend record held by The Force Awakens. Thirteen of the 21 previous MCU films had drops lower than that. We predict that at least two of the records above will fall next week. Though highly unlikely, it would be remarkable if it bests the 39.8% drop of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And if it does, one should expect just about every record to fall after that.
Getting a sense of déjà vu? On this same weekend last year, Avengers: Infinity War grossed $257.6 million, breaking the record for the highest opening weekend ever – a record that lasted officially one year minus a day. Its per-theater-average of $57,599 was still second to The Force Awakens, and it would not go on to outgross the all-time champ, nor its Marvel counterpart, Black Panther. That film got a similar boost to what Captain Marvel got this week, dropping just 4% from the previous weekend and finishing in the top five. The rest of the Top 10 grossed a combined $45.31 million for a grand total of $303.01 million, and the films averaged 59.3% on the Tomatometer. This year’s Top 10 grossed an estimated $387.5 million and averaged 69.5% on the Tomatometer.
It takes a brave rom-com to go up against a juggernaut, but next week’s has the critics on its side. Jonathan Levine’s Long Shot, with Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen, is at 84% on the Tomatometer after its SXSW premiere in March. Look for it to lead the newcomers handily. Among those newcomers are STX’s first foray into animation with UglyDolls, based on the line of plush toys. In The Intruder Dennis Quaid pulls a reverse Cold Creek Manor as the previous owner of a home terrorizing the new couple (Michael Ealy and Meagan Good) who have moved in.
[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]