Reports are in that Avengers: Infinity War has set a Thursday evening box office opening record for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The early projections suggest that the movie has earned $39 million in its first evening of wide release, far exceeding the previous record of $27.6 million, which was set by the second Avengers movie, Age of Ultron, three years ago.
This is welcome news to Marvel Studios, but not wholly unexpected. Perhaps the most eagerly anticipated movie of 2018, Infinity War sold out over 1,000 showtimes worldwide through advance ticket sales. Its $39 million Thursday evening opening is the fourth-largest Thursday premiere of all time, falling behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Harry Potter And The Deathly Hollows, Part 2.
Variety reported upon the box office earnings and commented upon the projections for the rest of the weekend. Based on this first-day data, Infinity War should easily meet the forecast of earning between $225 million and $245 million before Monday morning. Some think it may even manage to break the $250 million mark during its opening weekend at the domestic box office.
Ignoring ticket sales, Infinity War is setting records in another area - the number of theaters in which it premiered. The movie opened in 4,474 theaters stateside, making Infinity War not just the single largest premiere for a movie set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe; it is the largest premiere for any movie released by Walt Disney Studios. It's not quite the biggest movie opening in history, however. That honor goes to Despicable Me 3, which opened in 4,529 theaters across the U.S. last year.
Regardless, Avengers: Infinity War is a staggering achievement. Though the film still has a long way to go in catching up to Marvel's Black Panther (which has set more than its share of records earlier his year), Marvel's establishment of a shared universe that encompasses 19 films over 10 years is a feat never before accomplished in Hollywood history and not one that is likely to be equaled anytime soon. It remains to be seen if Infinity War will top $200 million in its opening weekend - a feat only accomplished by five films in history, including the top earner, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Time will tell if Infinity War manages to break the $250 million mark and set cinematic history once again.
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019