Disney-Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” has opened astronomically in North America with a record $60 million in Thursday night preview showings.
It’s the top domestic preview number of all time, besting “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” at $57 million in 2015. Imax showings scored brought in $4.8 million at 412 locations, the third-highest total of all time.
Anticipation has been sky-high this year for the fourth and final Avengers movie. “Avengers: Endgame” will open at 4,662 North American theaters this weekend, marking the widest release of any movie at the domestic box office. The current opening weekend record for North America was set a year ago when “Avengers: Infinity War” launched with $257.7 million.
The movie has taken in a stunning $305 million in its first two days of global release in 46 markets, led by a powerful $154 million in China. The Chinese opening day set a record at $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 opening in every other international market this weekend except Russia. Disney said that virtually every market saw openings above that of “Avengers: Infinity War” when opening on the same day.
“The moment the world has been waiting for is finally here as Marvel’s epic and mind-blowing ‘Avengers: Endgame’ has begun its global domination of the multiplex and is already breaking records (most recently obliterating the Thursday pre-show record) and assembling what could be the most monumental global weekend in box office history,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with Comscore.
“Everything about this movie is unprecedented and though conventional wisdom and logic would dictate that a three-hour movie could never generate these types of numbers, audience demand and a huge boost from theater owners happy to run the film around the clock have made the impossible possible,” he added.
The mega-tentpole arrived with the North American box office for 2019 down 16.7% to $2.94 billion as of April 24.
Critics have strongly supported “Avengers: Endgame” with a 96% score from Rotten Tomatoes and Disney noted that it 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.