Infinity War's Worldwide Release Pattern
The current record-holder for largest opening weekend worldwide is Fate of the Furious, which debuted to a whopping $541.9 million last year. In terms of the MCU, The Avengers has the best global start at "only" $392.5 million (and America outgrossed the rest of the world). Even when the MCU became the unstoppable force it is today, none of their films could reach $400 million in one weekend. Age of Ultron also made $392.5 million, and Civil War brought in $379.5 million. It doesn't take a math major to realize going from $392.5 million to $541.9 million is quite a jump, but there are some important factors to keep in mind. Chief among them is Marvel's notorious history of staggering release dates around the world.
Related: MCU Crosses $14 Billion Globally
In an effort to combat spoilers from leaking out, Marvel made the decision to premiere Infinity War in a majority of countries on the same weekend. After Friday, April 27, there will be only two territories waiting to see the film (more on that in a second). It's for this reason projections for the global opening (flirting with $500 million) are so much higher than any previous MCU movie. However, this day-and-date release strategy may not be enough to push Infinity War over the hump and top Fate. It all boils down to the all-important market of China, which is one of those two aforementioned countries who remain sans Infinity War. Marvel's blockbuster won't open in the Middle Kingdom until May 11.
Over the last several years, China emerged as a power player in the film industry, and a movie's performance there has the potential to make or break it, commercially. In fact, Ready Player One was able to turn a sizable profit due to it posting record-breaking numbers in the country, so China clearly remains viable. Marvel has found astronomical success there; Age of Ultron made $155.7 million in its Chinese opening weekend, while Civil War grossed $93.6 million. Even Black Panther debuted with $65.1 million in China earlier this year. Any of those figures would be more than enough to push Infinity War clear of $541.9 million (considering it hits the high end of projections), but that seems unlikely to happen with the way things are.
As surprising as this is, Infinity War is going to be hard-pressed to earn one of the top three all-time worldwide openings. Even if it hits an even $500 million, it would still be behind Jurassic World ($525.5 million), Force Awakens ($529 million), and Fate of the Furious. The lowest estimates (in the neighborhood of $472 million) would have Infinity War trailing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 ($483.2 million), but in either case it looks like Avengers will pass The Last Jedi ($450.8 million) and net at least the fifth-highest debut in history. It'll be interesting to keep tabs on how this develops over the next few days.
While Infinity War doesn't look like it will break any opening weekend records (and admittedly, both are high bars to clear), there's absolutely no reason for Marvel to hang their heads. Just the fact a movie consisting of a collection of one-time B-list and obscure comic book characters even warrants this discussion is nothing short of incredible. It wasn't that long ago when the MCU was seen in some circles as an overly-ambitious project that was too risky to land, but Kevin Feige spearheaded what is this generation's defining cinematic property and something that altered the fabric of Hollywood. No matter how much money Infinity War ends up with, it's something worth celebrating.
Source (for projections): Deadline
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019