Joss Whedon‘s Avengers: Age of Ultron earned another $35.3 million Thursday at the international box office for an early two-day total of $44.8 million from 26 markets, including scoring the biggest opening-day for moviegoing ever in South Korea.
The superhero extravaganza, which officially kicks off the summer box office, is opening in numerous international markets a week ahead of its May 1 North American debut and could gross $160 million-$175 million for the weekend.
In comparison, the North American box office will be relatively sleepy as two smaller films open, The Age of Adaline, a romantic fantasy starring Blake Lively, and faith-based movie Little Boy.
From Lakeshore and distributed by Lionsgate, Adaline grossed $575,000 from Thursday night previews and could hit $15 million for the weekend. That won’t be enough, however, to unseat ruling champ Furious 7, which will enjoy hits last weekend atop the domestic chart before the invasion of Age of Ultron.
Age of Ultron will be playing in 55 percent of the foreign marketplace this weekend. As expected, it is coming in No. 1 everywhere and pacing ahead of The Avengers in numerous countries. The U.K. led Thursday with $5.4 million, 40 percent ahead of the first film, while Age of Ultron took in $4.9 million in South Korea, where opening-day admissions hit an all-time high (to boot, the tentpole commanded 96 percent of the market).
In Russia, Age of Ultron debuted to $3.7 million, followed by Brazil with $3.4 million, the top opening-day gross of a Disney/Marvel title. Other Thursday opening results include $3.4 million in Australia and $1.8 million in Germany.
Domestically, Age of Ultron could surpass the $207.4 million debut of The Avengers in 2012 to mark the top three-day opening of all time.
Avengers went on to earn $1.5 billion globally, including $895.2 million overseas.
Age of Ultron returns Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk, Chris Evans as Captain America and Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow. The ensemble cast also includes Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle and Paul Bettany. This time, the superheroes and their allies must work together to stop Ultron (James Spader), who intends to destroy the world.
April 24, 9:24 a.m. Updated with Thursday numbers.