UPDATED: Everyone knows the opening for “Avengers: Endgame” was massive. But it turns out the super-team epic scored an even bigger debut than originally reported, bowing to an unprecedented $357.1 million in North America and $866.6 million overseas for a global start of $1.22 billion.
Disney reported final numbers Monday, confirming that ticket sales surpassed Sunday estimates of $350 million at the domestic box office and $859 million internationally. “Endgame,” the culmination to the current phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, made history this weekend as it became the first film to surpass $1 billion globally in its opening weekend. By that math, it was also the fastest movie to reach $1 billion worldwide in just five days. It took previous record-holder “Avengers: Infinity War” 11 days to reach that milestone.
“Kevin Feige and the Marvel Studios team have continued to challenge notions of what is possible at the movie theatre both in terms of storytelling and at the box office,” Alan Horn, Disney Studio chairman, said in a statement. “Though ‘Endgame’ is far from an end for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, these first 22 films constitute a sprawling achievement, and this weekend’s monumental success is a testament to the world they’ve envisioned, the talent involved, and their collective passion, matched by the irrepressible enthusiasm of fans around the world.”
To say “Endgame” crushed records would be an understatement. Prior to this weekend, “Avengers: Infinity War” held the title for the largest worldwide debut with $640 million. At the domestic box office, “Avengers: Endgame” became the highest-grossing opening weekend, beating the $257.7 haul previously set by “Infinity War” by nearly $100 million. It also surpassed the best international launch with $866 million, eclipsing the benchmark established by “Fate of the Furious” with $443 million. In China, it landed the most sizable Hollywood opening ever with $330 million.
Marvel is now responsible for the top two biggest worldwide launches ever with “Avengers: Endgame” and “Avengers: Infinity War.” The 22 films that comprise the Marvel Cinematic Universe have made $19.9 billion to date. Of those movies, eight have reached $1 billion at the global box office, including “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Black Panther,” “The Avengers,” “Captain America: Civil War,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” and “Iron Man 3.”
The next record “Avengers: Endgame” has its sights set on? Biggest movie of all time. That particular touchstone hasn’t wavered since 2009’s “Avatar” racked up an unrivaled $2.7 billion worldwide. “Endgame” will easily amass over $2 billion in ticket sales, but the jury is still out on just how much the Marvel epic can make. Before it dethrones James Cameron’s alien world of Pandora, it will have to defeat other mega-hits like “Titanic” ($2.18 billion), “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” ($2.06 billion), “Avengers: Infinity War” ($2.04 billion).
Anthony and Joe Russo returned to direct “Endgame,” which picks up directly after the events of “Avengers: Infinity War.” That film ended with a marble-faced baddie named Thanos eliminating half of life in the galaxy, leaving the surviving Avengers scrambling to save the universe. The comic-book juggernaut stars just about every masked hero in the galaxy, including Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Captain America (Chris Evans), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), and Ant-Man (Paul Rudd).
“Avengers: Endgame” provided a much-needed jolt to the domestic box office. Before this weekend, ticket sales in North America were down almost 17% compared to last year. As of Sunday, that gap had dropped to 13.3%, according to Comscore. “Endgame” kicked off what is expected to be a very lucrative summer movie season that includes high profile releases like “Toy Story 4,” “The Lion King,” “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” and “Secret Life of Pets 2.”