Motion picture history was made once again this weekend at theaters worldwide as Disney/Marvel’s hugely anticipated event pic Avengers: Endgame became the first film ever to open with over a billion dollars in global ticket sales in its first weekend. If there was a box office record to be broken, Iron Man and the team did it.
Thanks solely to the arrival of Endgame, the North American top ten films assembled to bring in a massive $387.5 million. That gave the 2019 box office a much-needed boost following a sluggish winter and spring, but it still was not enough to erase the double-digit deficit hanging over the industry’s head. In addition to Endgame, Hollywood is pinning its hopes on the likes of Toy Story 4, Dark Phoenix, Aladdin and Spider-Man: Far From Home to help erase that deficit over the next few months.
In North America, Endgame scored a heroic $350 million from 4,662 theaters for a per-screen average of over $75,000. That estimated total –it may go higher once actual figures are reported on Monday- is approximately $94 million more than the $257 million record haul Avengers: Infinity War brought in one year ago this week.
The culmination of 21 films over a 11-year period, the record launch for the 22nd chapter of the MCU franchise was the end result of a perfect storm consisting of strong critical notices, $200 million worth of Mouse House marketing might and, perhaps most importantly, a near-zealot level of anticipation from Marvel fans old and new who wanted to see how it all ends without anyone spoiling it for them beforehand. Many theaters booked additional screenings to meet demand, with some theater chains going as far as to running the film around the clock for its first few days.
The daily box office breakdown for Avengers: Endgame was $60 million from Thursday night previews, $98.3 million for Friday -or $158.3 million if you include the Thursday night shows-, $109 million on Saturday and an estimated $84.3 million for Sunday. Each and every day was a new record, smashing the older ones set by both Infinity War and 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens by sizable margins.
Even the nation’s critics were big fans of the concluding chapter of the Infinity Stone saga. How much so? Only last year’s Black Panther received better feedback from the press. Endgame earned a 96% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 77/100 on Metacritic. Not surprisingly, ticket buyers also loved the new flick, giving it a glowing “A+” on CinemaScore.
Internationally, Endgame opened in every market outside of Russia, who get the film on Monday. The film had the biggest industry opening in 44 markets and the biggest single-day grosses in 29 markets, according to a Disney press release. Powered by China’s record-setting $330 million start –the biggest box office opening in the history of the country-, Endgame pulled in a massive $859 million since last Wednesday. Other top markets for the new superhero epic were the United Kingdom with $53.8 million, Korea ($47.4 million), Mexico ($33.1 million), Australia ($30.8 million), Germany ($26.9 million), India ($26.7 million), Brazil ($26 million), France ($24.2 million) and Italy with $19 million.
With $1.2 billion in the bank after only five days –yes, that is a record-, one has to wonder where the film will go from here. In North America, there is little doubt that Endgame will fly past Infinity War and Black Panther on the all-time domestic earners chart. That should be accomplished within the next week and a half, if that.
That would leave Avatar and Star Wars: The Force Awakens to conquer. Avatar currently sits in the number two position with $760 million in domestic ticket sales. Given Endgame’sHulk-sized opening numbers and the fact that word-of-mouth is going through the roof, Avatar should get ready to step down a spot to third sometime in late May. But surpassing The Force Awakens’ final total of $936 million might be a little tougher to conquer.
Internationally, Endgame should have no problem passing The Force Awakens ($1.1 billion), Infinity War ($1.369 billion)and Titanic ($1.528 billion). With nearly $900 million in the bank to start, it’s almost impossible for it not to. The $2 billion earned internationally by Avatar, on the other hand…probably not.
With Thanos owning 90% of the box office this weekend, there wasn’t much left for other films in the marketplace. Well, unless your film has something in common with Thanos and The Avengers.
That film, of course, is Captain Marvel, with got a nice boost from Endgame in its eighth week on 2,435 screens. Whereas most films in the top fell more than 60% this weekend, Marvel dipped a mere 12% to earn an estimated $8 million.
With $413.5 million in the bank after two months of release, Captain Marvel is now the 28th biggest grossing domestic film of all time and could fly off into the box office cosmos with close to $430 million in the bank. Should it hit that milestone, Captain Marvel will find itself in the all-time top twenty domestic earners.
Dropping from first place to third, Warner/New Line’s The Curse of La Llorona was exorcized in its second round on 3,372 screens where it scored $7.5 million. Down a very steep 71%, the low-budget thriller has banked $41.2 million so far and should finish just over the $50 million mark. Internationally, Curse has scared up $45 million.
Breakthrough, the first Fox production to be released under the Disney banner, had a decent hold in fourth place. The drama fell 44% in its sophomore session on 2,913 screens to earn an estimated $6.3 million. After ten days, Breakthrough has earned $26 million. A final between $35-40 million is possible.
Rounding out the top five was Warner’s Shazam! , which got the living daylights knocked out of it by Endgame. The acclaimed action comedy fell 66% in its fourth weekend on 3,631 screens to earn an estimated $5.5 million. The new total for the DC superhero flick is $131 million. A final domestic total just past the $140 million mark is a possibility. The international total for Shazam! stands at$215 million so far.
- Life (2019) (Universal) $3.4 million (-59%); $36 million
- Dumbo (2019) (Disney) $3.2 million (-51%); $107 million
- Pet Sematary (2019) (Paramount) $1.3 million (-73.5%); $52.6 million
- Us (Universal) $1.1 million (-73%); $172.8 million
- Penguins (Disney) $1 million (-54%); $5.7 million
Next weekend sees the arrival of Ugly Dolls, Long Shot and The Intruder. Nothing is going to come even close to Endgame, which could be looking at a second weekend gross anywhere between $155-170 million.