‘The Avengers’ Is The Biggest Movie Opening Ever [Updated]

Published 3 years ago by , Updated May 13th, 2012 at 12:01 pm,

The Avengers Box Office The Avengers Is The Biggest Movie Opening Ever [Updated]

The box office estimates are in for the May 4th weekend and SHIELD’s Helicarrier just destroyed Hogwarts. Marvel’s The Avengers has become the world’s biggest film opening ever, dominating previous record holder Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 and The Dark Knight by over $30 million domestically.

The Avengers isn’t just winning the love from moviegoers and fans however, as it’s also earning high critical praise with a 94% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 4.5/5 score in Screen Rant’s own review of The Avengers. Let’s take a look at the numbers and comparisons.

According to the Walt Disney Studios estimates up on Box Office Mojo, The Avengers ranked in $200.3 million domestically (including a record-breaking $15.5 in Canada) over the weekend after also succeeding as the biggest midnight opening ever for a superhero film ($18.7 million vs. The Dark Knight’s $18.5 million), along with breaking a multitude of international records.

[Update: The actuals are in and The Avengers made even more! $207,438,708 to be precise.]

[Update 2: Disney’s CEO confirms The Avengers 2 is in development.]

The top five domestic opening weekends ever:

  1. The Avengers ($207,438,708)
  2. Harry Potter 7-2 ($169,189,427)
  3. The Dark Knight ($158,411,483)
  4. The Hunger Games ($152,535,747)
  5. Spider-Man 3 ($151,116,516)

For comparison, here are the previous Marvel Studios opening weekends:

  1. Iron Man 2 ($128,122,480)
  2. Iron Man ($98,618,668)
  3. Thor ($65,723,338)
  4. Captain America: The First Avenger ($65,058,524)
  5. The Incredible Hulk ($55,414,050)

Worldwide, The Avengers has now brought in nearly $642 million and is on track to approach James Cameron numbers for Titanic and Avatar, which both sit above $2 billion thanks to the recent Titanic 3D re-release.

Actuals will hit tomorrow, but for now we can safely say that Joss Whedon has directed the biggest opening movie of all time and is finally going to get the credit he deserves and the ability to do what he wants going forward. For Marvel Studios, they’ve successfully branded The Avengers and all of its respective characters and should have a lot more leeway and hopefully, creative freedom, to take more risks going forward with their future projects and Avengers sequels. The success of this film could change Marvel’s plans for 2014 and 2015 where three-four films remain unannounced.

The Avengers are here to stay and fans have welcomed them with open arms.

Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man was the first film to break $100 million in one weekend at the box office so it’s fitting that another Marvel film breaks the $200 million barrier. We now await what The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises can do at the box office and in the eyes of fans and critics when they release in July.

If you’ve seen The Avengers, please refrain from talking spoilers – we have a spoilers discussion thread for that and check out ourdiscussion on The Avengers post-credits scenes.

The Avengers stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Clark Gregg, Tom Hiddleston and Stellan Skarsgard. It is of course written and directed by Joss Whedon.


Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes if you’re a Marvel fan.

Source: Box Office Mojo

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  1. TDKR does not have the 3D price so we already know it won`t happen. :)

    • But it does have IMAX prices! But yeah, it probably won’t happen.

  2. Shows are still selling out everywhere, definetly has a shot at $2 billion. I think the only movie that i might like more than this, this year, is The Hobbit, Peter Jackson’s work is incredible and you gotta love LoTR. Anyways, Avengers is one of the best movies of all time now, Joss Whedon FTW!

    • I concur Nate, it looks like we may have a new champion when it comes to the number one movie of all time if this keeps up with the numbers. Well done Joss Whedon!~ Can’t wait for the Blu-ray edition for this one.

    • Has a shot, this movie is going to break a billion by the end of the month. It’ll do 2 billion before it even goes to DVD. Then they’ll re-release it near the end of the year with 10 minutes of extra footage in 3D and IMAX, and people will go back to the theaters in droves. I probably will too,

      • Oh, i’m sure it probably will break a billion by the end of the month. What makes you think though, that they’ll re-release it near the end of the year with 10 minutes of extra footage in 3D and IMAX ? Joss Whedon said that there will be 30 minutes of Deleted Scenes from the Avengers on its Blu-ray release!

        • I am definately looking forward to it, Sean!

          • Yes, i am looking forward to it too!

  3. Well well well nice. Next bring on the Hulk,cap,thor,and Ironman solo sequels, and don’t forget the Leader in the hulk film, and let the cap meet peggy as she is old and at least give him and her their missed dance. thor needs to have Enchantress try and come between him and portman’s characters, and of course ironman needs to go againsta tech based Mandarin, and have Hank Pyme, and Jnaet in the film. then i would say do a Avengers sequel with Thanos, and Ultron, and maybe have him recruit a army of super villains, and use the Infinity Gauntlet, that battle would really be great seeing others villains go agains other heros like abomin ation,going against the cap and such. next tho looking forward to Prometheus,spiderman,and dark knight. next year hope to see a great x-men flick, hope they are still going to do a wolverine film,first class sequel adding characters like Beak,Cylops,Jean,Storm,Sabretoothe,Glob Herman,Husk,Sinister,Stryker,john sublime,Omega Red,Younger Juggernaught,and the sentinels, then go back to the original cast and do x-men 4 and 5 and do them back to back, bring in older Bashee, and others and their kids.

  4. Avengers will be the year’s top grossing film.
    The Dark Knight Rises will be relegated to 2nd place.

    • Yes, that’s probably exactly what’s going to happen.

      • Sean how do you think the new Spider Man will do? It looks, well, Amazing. lol

  5. Sad that people are losing faith in a movie and haveing a possibility to beat the 200mil mark because it’s not in 3D.

    “Oh maybe it made so much because people really wanted to see it because it was promised to be a movie event AND LOVED IT!”


    3D prices was a advantage but we need to take into account as to who had the most sales? 2D showings or 3D showings.

    • Here in Berlin(Germany) we can’t even choose.
      I wanted to see it in 2D, but it was impossible.
      “The Avengers” plays only in 3D, in every single theatre I’ve seen and checked :(

    • I agree.
      The 3D prices do have to be taken into account, but if we remember all the other 3D movies that have been released over the years… they never made this kind of cash – a good movie is a good movie, whether it’s in 3D or not.

      Give credit where credit is due – and Avengers deserves all the credit in the world IMO ;)

  6. Who cares if TDKR or The Hobbit will beat Avengers! Can’t we just be happy for Marvel/Disney and Josh Whedon giving us such a great ride?! If other movies do better, GREAT! Right now, the hot girl in the party is Avengers.

    Marvel/Disney and Josh Whedon, congratulations on a truly magnificent movie!

    • Well said Kahless.

    • Kudos, good sir. Kudos. I can’t wait to see TDKR and The Hobbit this year. Will probably end up seeing The Avengers a couple more times. I have a feeling that, like TDK, TDKR isn’t going to be as rewatchable as The Avengers. I can see myself throwing The Avengers in the Blu-Ray player multiple times, as I have Iron Man. I have only watched TDK once since the BR came out.

    • Actually Kahless I hope they all make over 200 million…it means the genre is fine and we will see a lot more from it..Well done Mr. Whedon…the movie was exceptional in every way and I will be seeing it several more times in theaters before I buy it on Blu-Ray..

    • Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    • no…because i want MY movie to make more money than THEIR movie, even though I had NOTHING to do with making the movie, nor do I know anyone involved, but I am such a competition freak, I have to make a contest out of EVERYTHING!!!
      I wonder if that’s some of the thought processes of some of the competitive persons out here are like.

    • I CARE……oh wait, no I don’t :)

      The only thing I care about is the movies I like watching do well so they will continue to be made.

  7. I hope DC is paying attention. Not saying they should copy Marvel’s formula but I hope they see that crap like that green lantern movie isn’t going to cut it. Oh, and I’m a BIG DC fan so, not saying this as a marvel fanboy.

    • I liked GL.

    • Green Lantern was a major joke. so many things went wrong with that movie.

      - they should of had a better script
      - a director who understand GL
      - they should of got ILM or Weta t odo the special fx
      - have a actually costume not CGI costume
      - never should casted Ryan Reynolds.

      also GL was going to be a hard sell to the general public when u got a character who gets a power ring and creates any thing from the ring. it seems kind of corny if they kept his powers simple i.e. shooting laser beams or creating a force field.

      • I also like it but like is not love and some of your points are valid.

        Better script – yes. The changes they made to how the yellow comes into being was just a silly mixing of some of the GL canon. They should have stuck to the correct history instead.

        I think that even though Green lantern: First Flight wasn’t centered around Hal Jordan, it would have made a vastly superior story. Too bad DC/WB demanded that the plot centered around Hal’s angst and the need to have it be earth-centric.

        Director – I thought he did a good job with what he had but you can only do so much with the script you are handed.

        FX – I thought they were pretty good and if the story had been better, this would have been a non-issue.

        Real Costume – yes. it should have been a real costume with CGI enhancements. The overly detailed naked muscle look was just…../sigh. And the mask, that damned mask that looked like it was grafted to his skull.

        Actor – I thought RR did a good job and again, if the story had been better this also would have been a non-issue. I do think however, if I was to assign RR a DC character it would have been Flash and not GL.

      • i agree accept the last two, ryan did good, and the costume looked good. Green Lantern was good, could’ve been better, but it does deserve a sequel with just WB making sure its good.

      • I thought Reynolds did a good job (he did the best he could given that terrible script).
        As for the rest of your points? I agree.
        GL was a terrible movie IMO.

  8. Never had a doubt that the opening for the avengers would be epic. I predicted $200 to $225 mil on its opening weekend. Imo its the greatest superhero movie of all time. I’m looking forward to avengers 2 but till then I will return to the theater several times for the epic ride that is marvel’s the avengers. I can’t wait for the avengers Blu-ray, I’m curious as to how much extra content will be included especially deleted scenes. One last thing thank you Joss Whedon for the incredible and truley epic thrill ride that is the avengers. Now off to the theater for another epic ride with the avengers. :-)

    • Whedon said there’ll be AT LEAST 30 minutes of deleted scenes.
      I’m also REALLY hoping for a SHIELD Data Vault 2.0

  9. Non-spoiler alert: The Avengers was awesome and I hope it’s success leads to a sequel.

  10. Even if TDKR isn’t a crowd-pleaser, it’s still going to have a huge opening weekend and make at least 750 million worldwide during it’s initial run. So I’m just hoping for a great movie and a great finish to the trilogy. I hope they’re just going with what they want to do at this point. That or they could change the name to “Bruce the bad-guy slayer” and dub in all kinds of ironic snarky humor. Bane is now referred to as “Mr. Bad-day-at-the-orthodontist.”

  11. Hey fellow ranters!
    Thought I’d share my illustration that ran this past Thursday in my local paper i work for:
    Sometimes my job can be really fun. :)

    • Ink, that art looks sweet!

    • Great work Ink!

    • Mighty fine work there….

    • THanks all!

      • I’ve said it before: you should illustrate comic books.
        I’m dead serious. Marvel’s current artists don’t match up to those drawings.

  12. i do not regret seeing it in 3-D, was going to see in 2-D, but showings were sold out. 3-D was decent enough. i would have enjoyed it just as much in 2-D.
    ……….and they finally got the HULK right, i enjoyed the first hulk movie a little, the second one with ed norton was a lot better, but this hulk has that “IT” factor and mark ruffalo is a fitting bruce banner.

    if you haven’t seen it, stay through all the credits….all the credits

  13. well said i too hope they all make over 200, and prometheus i love sci fi/Horror films

  14. The Avengers was totally worth the wait. The movie had a great flow and was never boring. As much as I can’t wait for Avengers 2, which is probably 3 years away, the next batch of Marvel movies should tide us over till then. Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Captain America 2, no to mention the new superheros. Could the summer box office battle be over in May?

    Kudos for the person who liked Green Lantern. Posting that you liked a movie that is universally hated is what forms are all about. I liked the first GI Joe movie for what that’s worth.

    • um,,,hello, i’m jeffro, and i liked batman & robin. it was a halfway decent throwback to the adam west era show
      thank you

  15. At the very least, the unmitigated success of The Avengers may just fuel the Marvel Studios fires and convince them to bump up the yearly movies to 3. They can certainly afford to if the numbers keep going.

  16. Good to hear, This movie was well worth my money. Nothing better than epic non-stop action! Thank you Marvel, You deserve every penny!

  17. See, this is what happens when a company VALUES its product, cares for it and protects it. They put the scripts in capable hands, get proven producers (looking at you, Favreau!) and then get a proven director that equally cares to helm it all. THAT is a recipe for success. Just make it good, deliver the goods and have the Hulk steal the show to EVERYONE’s surprise!
    Also, put together the right cast with a bunch of talented folks with real chemistry between them. I swear, the post-credit schawarma gag was epic in its simplicity.

    Awesome, awesome, awesome movie. And kudos to Marvel for not sucking out and for actually going the high, hard road and introducing Thanos. Most brilliant decision ever. Anything less that Thanos (or Ultron) for the Avengers would have been laughable and a let down.

    I can not wait for everything coming down the road. As a life-long Marvel fan, I am in heaven.

    Sure would be nice if DC/WB could get their act together…

    • Dude, not everyone has seen the movie. Spoiler warning next time, please.

    • yes, thank you very *@#%#*@##$ much. Very gormless maneuver there Tex.

      (and no, I HAVEN’T seen it yet because I hate packed theaters)

    • To be honest, Skylordric, was ANYONE surprised at the Hulk ‘stealing the show’?

    • Sir, regarding your comments, you got calls in line 2 & 3. Galactus & a representative from Skrulls government would like to have words with you.

      • I mean Mr. Skylordric, sir. Those calls are for you sir.

  18. What about actual ticket sales? Grosses are such misleading figures as ticket prices rise steadily and you now have to figure in IMAX and 3D. A film could sell many fewer tickets now and make more money than a film more people saw 5 years ago. Thoughts?

    • Hey Jon, I think the final tally should be in tomorrow and then we will know the exact numbers as I am sure of this writing people are still seeing The Avengers.

    • i have said the same thing many times, it should be the number of tix sold

  19. I loved this movie, already saw it 3 times. I’m looking forward to tdkr but I don’t think it will top Avengers, not because of the 3d although that is a factor, but Avengers is more aimed at all audiences where as batman is much darker, and will not bring in the younger age groups. Either way I’m looking forward to it.

  20. The Dark Knight Rises will rise above The Avengers and be the largest opening ever! Don’t doubt me on this.

    • We’ll have to wait and see about that, Wes. It all looks good and don’t forget about Spiderman as well. That looks really good, too.

    • I doubt that because The Dark Knight Rises is a sequel to the Batman Begins/Dark Knight Batman franchise and is the third movie in that franchise. Third movies in movie franchises tend to usually not do as well as the first and second movies do in the box office.

      • Huh? Spiderman 3 is the highest grossing spidey film and so is return of the kings

      • Not true at all. It’s the opposite, actually.

  21. The success of this film could change Marvel’s plans for 2014 and 2015 where three-four films remain unannounced.

    mastering online

  22. The thing that was weird was everyone I know and have met recently who are NOT into CBM’s(comicbook movies) were all talking about they’ve either already seen the money once and thoroughly enjoyed BUT they actually liked it so much that they were going to see it in theaters again. I mean ever person who’s told me they’ve seen it all said they will be seeing this movie again, that’s including forums on unrelated stuff and talking to people about unrelated stuff. Even most people who previously knew about the movie and doubted it but later saw it, mostly all said that they were surprised to see how good it was and are going again. That says a lot.

    • That means it’s become bigger than just being a “movie”. It’s now an event and the thing to do, even if you don’t know what it’s all about. You go to be a part of it and see why everyone else is seeing it.

      This has happened a couple of times. Star Wars was one of those “events”. I was young but I knew people who’s goal was to see it 50 times (yes, that was fifty) and heard about others who went 100 and even 200 times. Just a crazy amount of times.

      Another from memory was Ghostbusters. The summer that came out it became the movie to go see. Bored, didn’t know what else to do? You went and saw Ghostbusters (again….and again). I just became the thing to do. Of course back then ticket prices (and concessions for that matter) were relatively cheap so you could afford to do that unlike today where both cost a small fortune.

      So this is good for Marvel/Disney and not so good for Sony and WB, especially if it’s still rocking theaters in 3 weeks.

      • Hi Mongoose, I was 10 when I first saw Star Wars back in ’77 and I loved it. Paid $2.50!! I saw it, then got back in line right there to see it again.
        As far as The Avenger’s, I think this is another event movie myself. It could take number 1 movie of all time in my opinion.

        • THAT is what I’m talking about. Who does that anymore? Prices are just too expensive to see a movie more than once in most cases (and not in the same day). Too bad really. :(

  23. The Avengers is a good movie. I enjoyed it very much, and I say that being a die-hard Batman/Nolan/Dark Knight fan. I think it will be hard for The Dark Knight Rises to beat it. The Avengers does have a advantage with the 3D ticket prices. But there is some heavy HEAVY turnout for this film. It puts the turnout by TF3 to shame. All the showings at my theater were sold OUT. Lines of people everywhere all day + night. So I have to commend the fans of The Avengers( both Die hard and moderate like me) for really turning out and breaking some boxoffice records. I don’t think any of the movie “experts” predicted The Avengers would hit the 200 million mark. That is one hell of an impressive feat to knock Harry Pothead off. Now as far as which movie will be better aka The Avengers vs The Dark Knight Rises. Let’s face it, that is all a matter of opinion. Everyone will have a different opinion, each movie has its respective fan bases, the majority of which like BOTH Avengers and Batman. So it is what it is. We Can All Agree To Disagree. Most of the folks going to see Avengers will be going to see Dark Knight Rises( why not,treat yourself) This Die Hard Batman/Nolan/Dark Knight fan went and enjoyed The Avengers film,and will see it again. All this VS stuff can be fun, Yeah i want Dark Knight Rises to beat Avengers at the boxoffice,even wore a Dark Knight Rises t-shirt to the theater LOL,but if the Avengers wins the boxoffice meh who cares, enjoying these two films matters more to me than which film makes the most money. But in fun I will wear my Dark Knight Rises t-shirt again for my 2nd viewing of Avengers, have to let those Avengers fans know that the “DARK KNIGHT” is still the KING of comic book heroes. :)

    “When Gotham Is Ashes, You Have My Permission To Die”

  24. Super excited about this I’ve seen it twice now and loved it both times. Really love the thought that this major success will allow Marvel Studios to take more creative risks and do more things (Black Panther, Doc Strange, Luke Cage, and others may happen sooner than we think here is hoping). I decree that Joss Whedon should direct every team based superhero from until the end of time!!!!!!! Because honestly no one else has really been able to find a good balance in team based films on giving each character their own moment in the sun. I wish TDKR the best and Spidey well I hope it turns out like Xmen first class and becomes a pleasantly surprising movie

  25. Hhhmm….Somewhere within that $200 Mil is my $5.75. Somewhere…. :-P

  26. It didnt beat Potter for midnight opening ;)

    Im just glad this is doing well, I didnt expect this at all.

    • I believe it beat the midnight opening of TDK, though by 200,000.

  27. I saw it yesterday(it’s @12am now) and I’ll be seeing it again this Wed. If you haven’t seen it It’s That Good! Loved it.

  28. I cant wait to see it , but nothing will beat Avatar besides Avatar 2.. :)
    I wonder if Avengers can beat Titanic? Hmmm. Not betting on that one yet, but beating HP7 Final Part 2′s 1.3B looks in the cards… If it holds like crazy. All bets are off. But Avatar’s 2.8B and Titanic 2B plus look unbeatable for now

    • Sheldon, it now stands at near half a billion worldwide in 3 days…you don’t think it will beat Titanic or Avatar? we will see….

  29. Wow! Heck of Weekend for The Avengers & for Whedon, the cast, & Marvel/Disney. Id say their risks payed off well so far & it’s only been the first weekend. I still haven’t seen the movie becaused it’s been sold out. Wished my money was included in the films first weekend success,lol. Hopefully i can see it tonight.