‘Avengers’ sets sights on ‘Avatar’

Disney-Marvel tentpole continues B.O. domination overseas

But the extent of the film’s quick success certainly surprised some bizzers: In just 12 days, “Avengers” reached an astonishing $654.8 million globally — better than the individual worldwide takes for Marvel pics “Captain America,” “Thor” and both “Iron Man” pics.

“Avengers,” which bowed in 39 international markets a week before the U.S., scored a record-setting opening perf in a number of territories, including seven Latin American countries, such as Mexico and Brazil, and Hong Kong, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates.

The Disney-Marvel juggernaut bowed in Russia on May 3, grossing $17.4 million — the biggest opening for a Marvel pic — while Chinese auds contributed $18 million May 5-6, marking the biggest two-day opening in China ever. (Pic’s Saturday, rather than Friday, bow was set by China Film.)

The pic’s rapid-fire success is expected to be more than just a quick burn. That’s mostly because of stellar word-of-mouth and the potential for repeat biz, even beyond hardcore fanboys. In fact, some bizzers predict “Avengers” will become the fastest pic to $1 billion worldwide, surpassing the four-week window achieved by “Avatar.”

To date, the U.K. stands as the top-grossing territory for “Avengers,” with $48.1 million through May 6. Mexico follows with $40.2 million, while Australia, South Korea and Brazil all have contributed just north of $30 million each.

“Avengers” only has one major market yet to go: Japan bows the pic Aug. 17.

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