'Avengers: Endgame' Becomes Top Hollywood Release Ever in India

Avengers: Endgame Still 20 - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of Marvel Studios

Avengers: Endgame

The superhero blockbuster has overtaken previous record holder 'The Jungle Book' and also become the year's top release in the country so far, beating Bollywood war drama 'Uri'.

Disney/Marvel's Avengers: Endgame has become the highest-grossing Hollywood release ever in India.

According to figures from Disney, the film had by Wednesday brought in $40.9 million in the country, surpassing previous record holder The Jungle Book, which collected $38.83 million during its entire theatrical run in India. Endgame achieved this milestone on its sixth day of release and by Thursday, the film's total haul reached $43.7 million.

India is the fifth biggest international market for the film, with China leading with $500 million, followed by the U.K., Korea and Mexico.

Endgame previously set a record by recording the highest opening weekend ever for a Hollywood film in India and the second-biggest opening weekend performance for any movie in the country, grossing $25.7 million (1.87 billion rupees). India does not report box-office figures, but so far, 2016's Baahubali: The Conclusion is considered to have recorded the biggest opening weekend for any Indian film, grossing 3.85 billion rupees ($59.8 million). Baahubali: The Conclusion, like its 2015 prequel Baahubali: The Beginning, was a South Indian production in the Telugu language, which was also dubbed in Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam. As is the case with any major Hollywood release in India, Endgame was also dubbed in Hindi, Telugu and Tamil.

"What is remarkable is that Endgame achieved a milestone by only opening on 2,845 screens," explains box office analyst Taran Adarsh. Hollywood films are typically only put out on DCI screens in India, which adhere to the studios' Digital Cinema Initiative technical standards, limiting their release in a country with fewer than 9,000 screens. As a result, Indian movies, which dominate the local market and are not limited by DCI restrictions, have much wider releases than Hollywood films.

"This only proves that a higher screen count does not mean higher box office," says Adarsh, adding: "Its about achieving higher occupancy, which is what Endgame has done with tickets still hard to get as it enters its second week."

Adarsh also points out that Endgame has already become the biggest release of 2019 in India so far with its $43.7 million gross so far, beating war drama Uri, which collected $36 million (2.45 billion rupees) during its entire theatrical run. A dramatized account of the real-life "surgical" strike in 2016 by an elite squad of the Indian army against terrorist camps in Pakistan, Uri was produced by RSVP Movies, the banner founded by former Disney India MD Ronnie Screwvala.

Meanwhile, Endgame now is the sixth highest-grossing movie ever, with $1.6 billion at the global box office, after eight days of release. It has also passed Star Wars: The Force Awakens overseas to become the fourth highest-grossing international movie of all-time, with $1.21 billion in overseas sales.