The Avengers shrugged off the eighth best midnight opening to climb the charts on Friday and finish its first 24 hours in theaters with the second-best opening day of all-time for Marvel and Disney.
Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), newcomer Mark Ruffalo (Hulk), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and their leader Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) racked up over 80 percent of all box office business on Friday en route to a colossal $80.5 million opening day. The $18.7 million from midnight showings turned out to be a small chunk of the film’s overall take on Friday. The $80.5 million blew past estimates that suggested $65 million based on the midnight numbers.
Only Warner’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 had a better opening day with $91.1 million last summer. By Sunday, Marvel and Disney may get the last laugh and toast.
Based on the explosion of business on Friday after the midnight showings and Saturday estimates coming in around $60 million as of this evening, The Avengers is poised to leapfrog Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 for the best domestic opening weekend record. Potter’s final film came in at $169.2 million through its first three days; however, The Avengers is pacing to easily top Potter and make a legitimate run at $200 million if interest and business stays on fire.
Overseas The Avengers already sits at $334.3 million. Throw in a conservative $175 million domestically plus another $25 million internationally and you’re looking at well north of $500 million through Sunday.
There other films playing on Friday and a handful of people did end up seeing them. Former champ Think Like A Man took second place with $2.68 million while another holdover, The Lucky One, came in third with $1.95 million.
The Hunger Games coughed up many screens to The Avengers and could only manage $1.62 million and fourth place. Rounding out the top five was, ironically, The Five-Year Engagement with $1.7 million.
All eyes will be on Joss Whedon and Marvel’s The Avengers tomorrow as Disney’s studio estimates will tell us whether the superhero box office hit had enough gas in the tank to reach $200 million. It’s a long shot, but how can you not root for the underdog Whedon? I tip my hat to Marvel, Disney and everyone involved in putting together one of the most enjoyable summer blockbusters of recent memory.
Don’t miss our The Avengers review.