7:59am PT by Pamela McClintock
Box Office: 'Avengers: Endgame' Opens to Record-Smashing $356M in U.S., $1.2B Globally
To say Avengers: Endgame made history in its box office bow is an understatement.
The superhero tentpole opened to $356 million in North America and $866 million overseas for a stunning global launch of $1.2 billion, including $330.5 million in China and $56 million in the U.K. All are records — and then some — in yet another victory for Disney and Marvel Studios.
Furthermore, weekend revenue for all films domestically clocked in at more than $397 million, an unprecedented sum. Until now, the most ever collected in one weekend was $314 million. Endgame set a new threshold for just how much the market can expand, as well as kicking off the summer season in high style following a tough winter and early spring.
The Russo brothers shot Endgame back-to-back with last year's Avengers: Infinity War, the previous record-holder for biggest global opening ($640.5 million) and top domestic debut ($257.6 million), not adjusted for inflation. Endgame had the advantage of opening day-and-date in China, unlike Infinity War.
Infinity War, which took 11 days to hit $1 billion, versus five for Endgame, topped out at $2.04 billion globally. The guessing game has already begun as to whether Endgame can climb north of $2.5 billion and match or topple Avatar, the top-grossing film of all time with $2.78 billion, not adjusted for inflation.
Endgame grossed $156.7 million on Friday in North America, another stat for the history books. That crown for biggest single/opening day had belonged to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which took in $119 million on its first Friday. Endgame grossed another $109 million on Saturday, obliterating Infinity War's Saturday gross of $82.1 million.
The tentpole sports an impressive 96 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes, the second best of any MCU title behind Black Panther (97 percent). And like Black Panther, Endgame was awarded a coveted A+ CinemaScore. It also posted stellar exit scores, per Comscore.
Disney's distribution team made up for Endgame's lengthy three-hour running time by unfurling the tentpole in 4,662 theaters in North America, the widest release ever. Some cinemas stayed open around the clock to meet demand, including 19 AMC locations. AMC offered more than 60,000 screenings, an all-time high that topped that of Black Panther. The mega circuit is also reporting record Friday and Saturday attendance, as well as record concession sales of $28 million on those two days. And Imax theaters around the world turned in a record $91.5 million (the Russo brothers used Imax cameras).
The nostalgia factor, a highlight of Disney's marketing campaign, is running hot. Not only is Endgame a direct sequel to Infinity War, it's the culmination of the previous 21 titles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a blockbuster series of films that commenced with Iron Man in 2008 and established Kevin Feige's Marvel Studios as best in show.
"Kevin Feige and the Marvel Studios team have continued to challenge notions of what is possible at the movie theater both in terms of storytelling and at the box office," Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn said Sunday in a statement. "Though Endgame is far from an end for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, these first 22 films constitute a sprawling achievement, and this weekend's monumental success is a testament to the world they've envisioned, the talent involved, and their collective passion, matched by the irrepressible enthusiasm of fans around the world."
Added Feige, "That we've had so many other successes in this journey leading to this unbelievable result with Avengers: Endgame has been almost entirely due to the fans around the world who have supported us through it all."
Endgame's opening performance overseas was no less astonishing. In addition to China — where it is already the No. 4 title of all time — it scored the highest opening weekend in 43 markets, including the U.K./Ireland, Australia, South Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and France.
The pic, which began rolling out Wednesday, finished Friday with a three-day foreign tally of $487 million. That was already the biggest international bow of all time, eclipsing The Fate of the Furious ($443 million). Globally, Endgame's early total through Friday stood at $643.7 million, another unheard-of feat in eclipsing Infinity War's entire weekend opening before Saturday got underway.
Endgame's halo effect even boosted fellow MCU tentpole Captain Marvel, which rocketed back up the domestic chart to No. 2 in its eighth weekend with $8.1 million as moviegoers who haven't seen the pic caught up before viewing Endgame. Captain Marvel finished Sunday with a domestic total of $413.6 million to surpass Wonder Woman ($412.6 million).
April 29, 8:36 am PST Updated with Monday actual numbers.