Disney-Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” is heading for a record-shattering opening weekend of about $300 million in North America, early estimates showed on Friday.
The fourth and final “Avengers” opened astronomically in North America with a record $60 million from Thursday night previews. It’s expected to take in another $80 million on Friday. One estimate placed “Avengers: Endgame” in the $315 million range.
Anticipation has been sky-high this year for “Avengers: Endgame,” which launches at a record 4,662 North American theaters this weekend — the widest release of any movie at the domestic box office.
Should current projections hold, “Avengers: Endgame” will obliterate the debut weekend record for North America, set a year ago when “Avengers: Infinity War” launched with $257.7 million, topping the previous mark of $248 million set in 2015 by “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
The movie has taken in a stunning $305 million in its first two days of global release on Wednesday and Thursday in 46 markets, led by a powerful $154 million in China. The Chinese opening day broke a record, with $107 million. The U.K. is the second-largest international market with $15.3 million, followed by South Korea at $14.2 million and Australia at $13.9 million.
“Avengers: Endgame” is debuting in every international market this weekend except Russia. Disney said virtually every territory saw launches above that of “Avengers: Infinity War.”
The mega-tentpole arrives with the North American box office down 16.7% to $2.94 billion, as of April 24. Critics have strongly supported “Avengers: Endgame,” helping it earn a 96% score on Rotten Tomatoes, and Disney anticipates word-of-mouth to be exceptionally strong throughout the weekend and beyond. The 96% score is the second-best ever earned by a Marvel release after “Black Panther” at 97%.
The film is directed by Anthony and Joe Russo from a script by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. The star-studded cast includes Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Brie Larson, Karen Gillan, Danai Gurira, Bradley Cooper and Josh Brolin.
Warner Bros.’ second weekend of “The Curse of La Llorona” will lead the rest of the pack in the $9 million to $10 million range. Disney’s eighth frame of “Captain Marvel” should follow with $7 million to $8 million, giving the title a 52-day domestic total of around $413 million by the end of the weekend.
Warner’s fourth frame of “Shazam!” will likely earn about $6 million to lift its 24-day North American total past $130 million.