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Avengers: #InfinityWar Takes Down Star Wars

Avengers: Infinity War” officially smashed records for biggest box office opening ever.

Though final domestic numbers won’t be confirmed until mid-Monday, its domestic total exceeded expectations for a North American launch of $258.2 million. Internationally, it secured $382.7 million for a global tally of $640.9 million. Initial projections on Sunday showed $250 million in North America, along with $380 million internationally.

Those numbers easily secured Marvel’s latest title the biggest domestic and global debuts of all time. The previous domestic record-holder was “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which bowed with $248 million in 2015. “Infinity War” also topped “The Fate of the Furious'” global opening record of $542 million. The international opening of $382.7 million, which doesn’t include China, represents the second-highest international debut ever. “Fate of the Furious” still holds the top spot with $443 million, including $185 million in China.

The superhero tentpole, which cost between $300 million and $400 million, boosted Marvel’s worldwide total to over $15 billion between its 19 films. Prior to “Infinity War,” the original “Avengers” had the highest opening to date for a Marvel film, debuting with $207.4 million. Its sequel, “Age of Ultron,” launched with $191 million. The first movie earned $623 million in North America, while the second made $459 million.

Joe and Anthony Russo directed from a script by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. “Infinity War” picks up two years after the events of “Captain America: Civil War” with the Avengers teaming up with the Guardians of the Galaxy to stop the evil Thanos (Josh Brolin).

The heroic ensemble cast includes Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, Chris Evans’ Captain America, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther, Chris Pratt’s Star Lord, Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange, and Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk.

Yes, Avengers: Infinity War earned around $255 million-$257 million over its debut weekend. But even if that number trails down, its initial $250m weekend estimate is still just above the $248m Fri-Sun launch of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in Dec. of 2015. It's also the second time in six years that The Avengers has not just broken the opening weekend record but also broken an arbitrary milestone. The Avengers was the first flick to top $200m on its opening weekend, and now Infinity War is the first $250m+ opener. It almost bested The Force Awakens' $262m inflation-adjusted debut weekend.

It's not unlike Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy, which was the first $100 million+ opener in 2002 and then the first $150m+ opener in 2007. It also gives the movie a 2.42x weekend multiplier, which is A) almost tied with Iron Man 2 from seven years ago and is pretty much in line with the 2.4-2.6x MCU comfort zone when it comes to weekend multipliers. So even with numbers this big, the buzz, reviews and word-of-mouth drove the film's post-Friday legs to a perfectly healthy weekend multiplier. That means this movie plays and will continue to play for the next month.

This is the reason why Avengers: Infinity War opened a week early. Aside from giving the MCU flick more space between itself and Disney's Solo and 20th Century Fox's Deadpool 2, Walt Disney wanted that global debut record. Even without Russia (May 3) and China (May 11), Infinity War posted a second-best $382m overseas debut (Fate of the Furious had a $180m launch in China over its $443m overseas debut) and a record-best $640m global launch. That crushes the $542m launch of Fate of the Furious. Sure, Iron Man and his friends didn't have China to help out, but they did have a domestic debut that was 2.6x bigger than Fate of the Furious's $98m Fri-Sun domestic launch. So, once again, overseas grosses are important but you sometimes still need to kick butt in North America if you want a shot at the global title.

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Source-Variety 

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