ENDGAME Obliterates Box Office With Billion Dollar-Plus Debut (NEWS)

 

For Avengers: Endgame, dusting box office records was a snap.

Audiences assembled around the world as Avengers: Endgame — the final chapter in the first decade-plus of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — set a new opening weekend record gross of $1.2 billion dollars. That’s double the record set a year ago by Avengers: Infinity War.

The haul was anchored by a new domestic debut record for North America: $357 million over 3-plus days. That’s a whole $100 million more than the previous mark also set by Infinity War.

Making these eye-popping numbers even more astronomical is the film’s three-hour run time. With less showings per day, many suspected that breaking records might prove difficult. Endgame proved that thinking completely wrong.

The list of records is long. Here it is:

These numbers, perhaps unsurprisingly, also helped set an overall weekend domestic record of total box office receipts in North America, amounting to $389 million.

With nearly every debut record reset, two questions for box office tracking enthusiasts now remain:

  1. Can Avengers: Endgame become the #1 top-grossing film of all time, either domestically or internationally?
  2. Can Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker top them all?

To the first question, the second of the two marks will likely prove easier to clear, although both will be tough. Internationally, the current record-holder is still 2009’s Avatar with $2.788 billion, a.k.a. almost $750 million more than what Infinity War reached at $2.048 billion, which ranks 4th all-time. That’s like a whole other movie’s worth.

Domestic bragging rights appear even more out of a reach. The Force Awakens owns that with just shy of a billion ($936.6 million to be exact). The next closest is Avatar with $760.5 million, and Infinity War (4th on that list as well) topped out at $678.8 million.

Then to the second question: wherever Endgame lands on all of these, can The Rise of Skywalker top them all just six months from now? Despite having less competition during the holiday season than Endgame has with a summer slate, I suspect that Endgame‘s numbers will hold, and here’s why.

The Avengers series is truly going out on top. Its popularity is at its absolute peak. The same can’t be said for Star Wars. That franchise has taken a bit of a beating in the wake of post-Last Jedi divisiveness. The Rise of Skywalker promises to heal a lot of those wounds but my hunch is that, in terms of box office, The Force Awakens will remain peak-Star Wars form.

Of course some of you might be thinking, “Rise of Skywalker, Jeff? Uh, how about The Lion King? Hello?!” Gotta say, I’m just not a believer, at least in terms of breaking the very top box office records. Look, it’s going to be big. Huge. It’ll likely surpass the ginormous numbers of 2017’s live action Beauty and the Beast ($504 million domestic, $1.26 billion global).

But The Lion King remake is not going to top any of these new weekend numbers or whatever Endgame‘s final numbers will be. I doubt it’ll match or top Rise of Skywalker‘s either. (Some disagree, like the gurus at Vanity Fair’s Little Gold Men podcast. They think TLK will be the biggest thing ever.)

Regardless of whether you have a rooting interest between the two franchises, it’s exciting to see just how special the theatrical arena remains. Movies on TV don’t even come close to the same universe. For a feature film, this kind of collectively shared pop culture moment (and its impact) simply can’t happen anywhere else.

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