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Can 'Avengers: Infinity War' Deliver a Record Opening Weekend?

by Brad Brevet
 

 
April 26, 2018

SATURDAY AM UPDATE: With an estimated $105.9 million on Friday, Disney and Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War is currently looking at an opening weekend that could top $240 million, which would make it the second largest domestic debut all-time behind only Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($247.9m). The film's Friday performance already ranks as the second largest opening day and single day of all-time, behind Force Awakens, and by end of day today it will hold the largest April opening ever before even counting Sunday's grosses. Infinity War scored an "A" CinemaScore from opening day audiences.

The film's opening day helps push Disney over the $1 billion mark domestically after just 117 days, breaking the studio's own record of 128 days set in 2016.

Internationally, Infinity War's overseas gross has now grown to an estimated $178.5 million after three days in release.

At the same time, while most every film is dropping significantly this weekend in the face of Infinity War, fellow Marvel film Black Panther is looking to play evenly or perhaps even improve on last weekend's performance after an estimated $1.27 million on Friday, looking at a weekend around $4.7 million.

You can check out all of the Friday estimates right here and we'll be back tomorrow morning with a complete look at the weekend.

FRIDAY AM UPDATE: Disney and Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War delivered a massive $39 million from Thursday evening previews last night. The performance is the fourth largest Thursday night preview ever and the largest for any film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ahead of Captain America: Civil War ($25M), Black Panther ($25.2M) and Avengers: Age of Ultron ($27.6M).

In addition to its domestic start, the film has now brought in $95 million in its first two days in international release from 43 markets led by South Korea with $11.4 million. Looking at yesterday's new openers, Brazil led the way with a record $4.8 million, the largest opening day in the market ever, the UK delivered the largest MCU opening day with $8.9 million and Infinity War brought in $3.2 million in Germany, the highest superhero opening day of all-time in that market.

We'll take a closer look at things tomorrow morning once Friday estimates come in. For now you can check out our weekend preview below.

WEEKEND PREVIEW: Following the record-breaking, $207.4 million opening for The Avengers in May of 2012, it took three years for another film to top the $200 million mark when Jurassic World debuted with $208.8 million in June 2015. Later that year Star Wars: The Force Awakens would go on to deliver the largest opening weekend ever, coming just shy of $250 million, en route to a domestic run topping $936 million. Since then, two more films have topped the $200 million mark over the course of their opening weekend in the recent releases of Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Black Panther, and with the release of Avengers: Infinity War this weekend, it isn't so much a question of whether it will be the third film in the last five months to open over $200 million, but can it threaten Force Awakens's all-time record?

Debuting in over 4,470 locations, Avengers: Infinity War will be the widest debut for a film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe ever, topping the 4,380 theaters Iron Man 2 opened in back in May of 2010. Compared to the $200+ million openings for Avengers and Black Panther, Avengers opened in 4,349 locations while Black Panther debuted in just 4,020, delivering a $50,250 per theater average with its opening. If Infinity War is to top the nearly $248 million opening for Force Awakens this weekend it won't need that film's $59,982 per theater average, but it is likely to need an average over $55,000 depending on what the final theater count ends up being and whether it tops the record, 4,529 theaters Despicable Me 3 opened in last summer.

Studio expectations are for a $210+ million debut, which would be enough to make it, at the very least, the third highest opening of all-time. Among previous $200+ million openers, IMDb page view data shows the film outperforming The Last Jedi and Black Panther over the two weeks leading up to release and just surpassed Jurassic World as well as outperforming Captain America: Civil War, which debuted with $179.1 million in 2016. And looking at just the past few days, the only $200+ million opener it's pacing behind is The Force Awakens.

From a critical standpoint, reviews on RottenTomatoes currently give the film an 87% rating and on Metacritic the film holds a score of 68. While these are nowhere near the highest marks among films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the reviews seem unlikely to have any major effect on the box office one way or another, but they could suggest a somewhat softer word of mouth than possibly expected.

Overall, while it wouldn't be surprising to see Infinity War deliver the largest opening weekend of all-time, it seems like a daunting task. When The Force Awakens debuted it was the first new live-action film in the Star Wars franchise in ten years and while Infinity War is being billed as the culmination of ten years of films in the MCU, there have been 18 films released within that franchise over the course of those ten years. Make no mistake, Infinity War will be a monster at this weekend's box office, and we're anticipating a performance anywhere from $225-250 million for the three-day, but hitting the higher end of that range may prove difficult.

Internationally, Infinity War began hitting theaters yesterday with $39 million as it debuted in South Korea, France, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand and many others. The film opened at #1 in all markets, including a $6.7 million debut in Australia, the second highest opening day in industry history behind just Force Awakens. The $6.5 million opening in South Korea is the largest opening day in the market ever, along with a $3.9 million opening in both France and Italy and a record $2.7 million debut in the Philippines.

By the end of the weekend the film will have opened in ~72% of the international marketplace, with only key territories such as Russia (May 3) and China (May 11) remaining. Examining the same suite of territories based on today's exchange rates, The Avengers opened to $189 million while Captain America: Civil War opened to $231 million and Avengers: Age of Ultron opened to $254 million. All told, depending on just how high Infinity War climbs, it could have a shot at becoming only the fourth film to have ever delivered a worldwide opening over $500 million. The major difficulty will be doing hitting that mark without China, a feat accomplished by Force Awakens alone.

A Quiet Place should land in the runner-up position. We're currently anticipating it will be the only film on the rest of the weekend charts to deliver double digits over the weekend, finishing around $10.3 million over its fourth weekend as it continues its impressive run, looking at a domestic cume just shy of $150 million domestically by the end of the weekend.

Warner Bros. and New Line's Rampage is likely to feel the effect of Infinity War as we're expecting a drop around 56%, if not higher, and a third weekend gross right around $9 million, which would put the film's domestic cume just over $80 million after 17 days in release.

Fourth place should go to Amy Schumer's I Feel Pretty and while we're currently expecting a drop right around 45%, we wouldn't surprised if this one held on just a bit better and possibly well enough to leap-frog Rampage for a third place finish. Right now we're expecting a three-day just shy of $9 million, finishing the weekend with a domestic cume over $30 million.

Rounding out the top five is Fox Searchlight's Super Troopers 2, which we're expecting to dip over 60% this weekend for a $5+ million three-day. Come the end of the weekend the film's domestic cume should be just short of $25 million, nearly doubling its $13.5 million production budget after just ten days in release.

This weekend's forecast is directly below. This post will be updated on Friday morning with Thursday night preview results followed by Friday estimates on Saturday morning, and a complete weekend recap on Sunday morning.

  • Avengers: Infinity War - $230.0 M
  • A Quiet Place - $10.2 M
  • Rampage - $9.0 M
  • I Feel Pretty - $8.9 M
  • Super Troopers 2 - $5.9 M
  • Truth or Dare - $3.7 M
  • Ready Player One - $3.4 M
  • Blockers - $3.4 M
  • Black Panther - $2.9 M
  • Isle Of Dogs - $1.7 M

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