‘Avengers’ Sequel Huge at Box Office, May Break Original’s Record

Disney and Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is heading for box office history with early Friday estimates showing it running slightly ahead of the $207.4 million opening weekend record for 2012’s “The Avengers.”

The first-day numbers for “Age of Ultron” look to come in between $89 million and $98 million — which could break the $91 million opening-day record set in July 2011 by Warner Bros.’ “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.”

“Ultron” launched with a stunning $27.6 million in Thursday-night previews starting at 7 p.m. in North America — far above the $18.7 million grossed in midnight showings by “The Avengers” on its first Thursday night in May 2012. “The Avengers” posted the second-highest opening day of all-time with $80.8 million on Friday.

Box office trackers have been asserting in recent days that “Avengers: Age of Ultron” can break that mark this weekend with openings at 4,276 locations. The most robust early estimates on Friday indicated that the final number would come in between $210 million and $222 million.

The Thursday-night North American launch for “Ultron” brought the worldwide total to $314.9 million since the sequel opened on April 22, led by South Korea with $37.2 million, the U.K. with $35.9 million, Russia with $20.9 million and Brazil with $19.7 million. Mexico saw a new opening-day record of $6.8 million on Thursday.

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” grossed $201 million internationally last weekend from 55% of the overseas markets — 44% ahead of the first film.

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