“Avengers: Endgame” could assemble one of the biggest domestic opening weekends of all time when it hits theaters on April 26.
The latest Marvel adventure is on pace for a debut between $200 million and $260 million, according to early tracking. If estimates hold, it will join its predecessor, “Avengers: Infinity War,” as one of six films ever to surpass $200 million in ticket sales during its first weekend of release. It will easily land the best debut of the year in North America, a record currently held by “Captain Marvel” ($153 million).
Given the hype surrounding “Endgame,” it’s hard to imagine the epic finale between Thanos and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes not pulling off unprecedented numbers. After all, advance ticket sales for “Endgame” essentially broke the internet, crashing websites for popular theater chains like AMC and Alamo Drafthouse due to popular demand.
One interesting obstacle could be the film’s runtime. “Endgame” clocks in at over three hours, making it the longest Marvel movie yet. When theater owners factor in time for end credits and cleaning the auditorium, it could result in less showtimes per day.
Early box office projections aren’t an exact science. For better or worse, a lot can change leading up to a film’s premiere as reviews pour in and word-of-mouth (hopefully) builds. In the case of “Endgame,” there isn’t much precedent for this kind of opening weekend. But with all things Marvel, anticipation tends to explode in weeks leading up to a release. Initial estimates for “Avengers: Infinity War” forecasted a three-day total of around $180 million to $225 million. It ended up crushing those figures, amassing a monster $257 million during its first weekend in domestic theaters.
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“Avengers: Infinity War” holds the record for the largest opening weekend of all time, eclipsing the benchmark previously set by “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” ($247 million). Among its numerous records, “Infinity War” also secured the biggest global launch of all time, generating $640 million in ticket sales worldwide, not including China. “Avengers: Endgame” stands to surpass that haul, since it will open day and date in the Middle Kingdom. “Infinity War” grossed $191 million when it bowed in China two weeks after it hit North American theaters. “Avengers: Infinity War” became the first superhero film and fourth film ever to gross over $2 billion globally.
“Avengers: Endgame” comes on the heels of “Captain Marvel,” the studio’s standalone adventure starring Brie Larson. On Wednesday, the tentpole surpassed $1 billion worldwide.
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, “Avengers: Endgame” reunites a band of heroes, including but not limited to Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Captain America (Chris Evans), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Captain Marvel (Larson), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), and Ant-Man (Paul Rudd). The movie is a direct sequel to “Avengers: Infinity War,” which ended with an intergalactic baddie named Thanos (Josh Brolin) turning half the universe’s population to dust. In what is sure to be an epic conclusion, the remaining Avengers are willing to do whatever it takes to revert his actions.
“Avengers: Endgame” is the only movie opening nationwide that weekend. No other studio would dare to take on Thanos.