‘The Avengers’ Smashes U.S. Box Office Record For Opening Weekend With $200.3 Million

Hollywood is celebrating after “The Avengers” achieved easily the biggest film opening of all time.

Chris Hemsworth, left, stars as Thor and Chris Evans stars as Captain America in "The Avengers." Photo: YouTube

‘The Avengers’, the Joss Whedon-directed movie, riding stellar reviews and a tsunami of Twitter love, piled up $200.3 million at theaters in the U.S. and Canada, according to an estimate from Disney, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Adding international ticket sales since opening April 25 – including openings in Russia, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Malaysia, New Zealand, Bolivia, and the Philippines – and ” The Avengers” has already amassed $641.8 million in its first 12 days.

“There aren’t even words, to be honest. I’m running low on double takes. Every time we looked at a number, it just got bigger than what we could have hoped for in the best-case assumption,” said Dave Hollis, Disney’s head of distribution. “With this film, this weekend, anything is possible.”

“The Avengers” features Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.

“Coming in, I was worried about Robert Downey Jr.,” Whedon said, as he watched the actor prepare for a fight scene decked out in his Iron Man armor. “There’s that reputation, that he wants to rewrite everything. … I’ve been the master of the universe on the sets I’ve walked on, but I’m not on this one.”

‘The Avengers’ is set to become one of only a handful of movies to gross $1 billion worldwide, according to The Telegraph. At the same time, more than half of those who watched it in America on its opening weekend paid extra to see it in 3D.

“If `The Avengers’ is any indication, we’re going to see a leap rather than a gentle little nudge into new territory, and the lineup is there to justify it going forward,” said Greg Foster, chairman and president of the huge-screen IMAX cinema chain.

The movie’s ultimate domestic haul is well ahead of the $168 million “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2” conjured up in its opening weekend domestically in July, reports CNN.

“‘The Avengers’ kicks off what looks to me to be the summer box-office equivalent of the 100-year flood,” said Hollywood.com analyst Paul Dergarabedian. “This is perhaps the most perfect summer lineup in box-office history.”

Before the “Harry Potter” finale, 2008’s “The Dark Knight” had held the revenue record with a $158.4 million debut. Until that, the record-holder was 2007’s “Spider-Man 3” with $151.1 million, according to The Huff Post.

In 2008 “Iron Man” opened with $98.6 million and went on to gross $318.4 million while “Iron Man 2” had $128.1 million and $312.4 million.

According to Filmonic, “The Incredible Hulk” made $55.4 million on its debut and finished with $134.8 million, while a year later, “Thor” opened with $65.7 million and stopped at $181 million.

“Captain America: The First Avenger” had a $65 million start and $176.6 million at the end. The weekend 2nd place is occupied by “Think Like a Man,” leader twice in a row.

“The Hunger Games” $5.7 million ($4.3 million international) is in the 3rd place, followed by “The Lucky One” with $5.5 million ($5.5 million international) and “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” with $5.4 million.

“The Avengers” was distributed by the Disney studio which is recovering from releasing one of the costliest flops ever in March. A spokesman for Disney said: “It’s been a fantastic weekend on every single front.”

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