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The news keeps getting better for Marvel Studios and Disney.
But thanks to a better-than-expected Sunday, the Joss Whedon-directed tentpole came in even higher with a projected $207.4 million (the number won’t be final until midday Monday).
The 3D event pic, marking a major victory for Disney and Marvel, easily dethroned Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, which opened to $169.2 million last summer, then the largest debut in history.
Avengers opened a week earlier overseas, earning a whopping $447.4 million through Sunday for a worldwide total of $654.8 million — eclipsing the $617.7 million earned by The Hunger Games to become the top title of 2012.
“Marvel’s The Avengers is something we’ve been carefully building toward since we began production on the first Iron Man film, and it is quite rewarding for all of us that The Avengers is appealing around the globe to both passionate fans and general audiences alike,” Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige said.
Avengers already has surpassed the lifetime totals of Captain America: The First Avenger ($364 million), Thor ($449 million), Iron Man ($585 million) and Iron Man 2 ($624 million).
Avengers — which assembles Marvel superhero characters Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) — earned a glowing A+ CinemaScore.
Avengers is now positioned to reach $1 billion in global grosses in a much-needed win for Disney, which posted a $200 million loss after John Carter cratered at the box office this year. It’s also a validation of Marvel’s strategy to build a franchise by turning out single titles — Iron Man, its sequel, Thor and Captain America — and then bring the characters together. Avengers also could reboot the Hulk film franchise.
Among other records, Avengers is the first film to cross $200 million in only three days of play at the domestic box office. It also scored the biggest Saturday gross of all time, earning $69.7 million.
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