Marvel’s The Avengers is proving to be a formidable force at the international box office as Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) blow past the $100 million mark well ahead of the film’s North American debut. Marvel chief Kevin Feige and all involved are sporting huge smiles right now.
Per Deadline, The Avengers has racked up $178.4 million in international business in five days and 39 markets. Opening weekend records are falling like flies in multiple territories including Central America, Argentina, Iceland, Hong Kong, Taiwan and many others. Though the film has opened in roughly 70 percent of the foreign markets, some big ones like Japan, China and Russia are still to come (Japan will be much later in August).
As for the U.S., The Avengers continues to pace ahead of all previous Marvel Comics superhero films combined and accounts for more than 60 percent of all pre-sold tickets at online outlets such as Fandango. This sort of dominance is reminiscent of last month’s The Hunger Games which saw its box office estimates more than double from $70 million to $140 million as the release date approached.
With 62 reviews counted at Rotten Tomatoes, The Avengers is currently tracking at an amazing 97 percent fresh. One has to wonder if the two negative reviews were merely to draw attention and visitors. User ratings for those that want to see the film are even higher at 98 percent. Whether male, female, young or old, everyone wants to see the Joss Whedon superhero smash-up on the big screen.
It’s hard to peg exactly where The Avengers will open here in the U.S. when it arrives in theaters on May 4. I’d say a $150 million opening weekend with the aid of IMAX and 3D surcharges is a relatively conservative estimate. I’m looking for The Avengers to take out The Hunger Games in third place with $152.5 million, pass The Dark Knight in second place with $158.4 million, and threaten Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 at the top with $169.1 million.
Even if The Avengers manages to secure the biggest opening weekend of all time, its stint at the top may be short-lived. Warner’s The Dark Knight Rises wraps up Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy this July with expectations that are sky high.
While you try to guess how much The Avengers will make here in North America on its opening weekend, I give you a TV spot promoting one of the “big” reasons moviegoers are walking out of the film with a huge smile on their faces: Hulk.