Sunday, May 6, 2012

*UPDATED* Box Office Report: "The Avengers" Crushes All-Time Opening Weekend Record

Wow. We all knew "The Avengers" was going to be big, but I don't think anyone projected it was going to do quite this well in its first weekend. Before this weekend, the all-time opening weekend record for total gross (nationally) was held by "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2" with $169MM. That even beat the mighty "The Dark Knight" by $11MM, a number that many thought would stand for some time. But then this weekend, we just threw all of that out the window and found a new measuring point to further go by. Generally I don't like to reveal the total weekend gross until after the break (keep some of that suspense and drama), but I just can't help it this time. This past weekend, "The Avengers" blew the door off and recorded an estimated $200.3MM! That's over $30MM more than what Harry Potter put up. That difference is more than some films would be happy to make in their entire theater run!

*UPDATE: The official weekend tallies are in, and "The Avengers" did even better than estimated! The final weekend total for the film comes in at $207.4MM, adding another $7MM and change to its record-breaking total! All attached links will still work and provide updated info when necessary. I'm not going through and changing further totals below, so just keep in mind the minor (better!) changes!

Check out a further breakdown after the jump. And oh yeah, there were still some other movies in theaters this weekend too, but I don't think anyone really noticed.

So as I already prematurely announced, "The Avengers" put up just over $200MM this weekend. Many projected that it would fall somewhere between Harry Potter and "The Dark Knight", probably doing about $160MM. That still seemed like an impressive tally, given it puts you in the discussion for the highest opening gross of all-time. But apparently the film wasn't happy with that number, and neither were its fans.

First, we need to start with the midnight numbers. The film gathered an $18.7MM in its midnight tallies and was just able to edge out "The Dark Knight" for the highest superhero midnight opening of all time. That of course is an impressive feat, but it still only put them in eighth place overall. Films like Harry Potter, Twilight, and even "The Hunger Games" all recorded higher midnight grosses than this film. This isn't surprising though if look into it a little more why the film landed where it did: the Harry Potter and Twilight films are generally released in July, in the middle of summer, when no one is doing anything; it's much easier for more fans to get to the midnight showings. With a film like "The Avengers", where its prime target audience is probably 20-somethings, you can't open the week of finals for most universities throughout the country and expect to maximize profits. Marvel has acknowledged this though, and knew they were giving up some midnight numbers with a release this weekend. It doesn't look like it was too much of an issue, but I think we can assume that if the film was released even just a few weeks later, it would have put together stronger midnight numbers. But like I said, I don't think Marvel is too concerned.

So we move on to our overall Friday numbers. After falling short of Harry Potter's opening Friday gross, $91MM compared to the $80MM which "The Avengers" recorded, most projections seemed sound, and the film was falling right where experts expected. It still took an impressive second place on the all-time opening Friday list, but was still behind what Harry Potter had done in the past. But then Saturday and Sunday came, and the film showed no mercy. It recorded the highest opening-weekend totals for both days. "Spider-Man 3" previously held the record on an opening Saturday gross with $51.3MM, but "The Avengers" managed to blow by that and record an estimated total of $69.7MM, $18MM more than its predecessor. Likewise on Sunday; the record was $43.5, held by "The Dark Knight". "The Avengers" managed $50.1MM, beating it out by $7MM. So overall, it may not have won out on Friday, but it still finished in the top two spots all three days, something no other film has ever done before (well, maybe some of the early blockbusters like "Jaws" or "Star Wars" back in the day, but I wouldn't even know how to check that).

So that takes care of its national opening weekend gross. Now on to its foreign gross. We already knew that it recorded the ninth highest Foreign Opening Weekend Gross of all-time last weekend when it made $185MM. That was impressive, but still not really close to what "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2" was able to do. Regardless, the numbers were strong last weekend, and even stronger this weekend. with a few more expansions and country openings, the film put together an impressive total of almost $300MM overseas. That brings its international total up to just over $440MM now. In one week.

When we put all of these numbers together, we're looking at overall numbers never before seen from a movie. Its seven days overseas mixed with its three here in the states give it a grand total of $641.8MM so far. And with a massive budget of over $220MM, the film has basically already tripled its investment in one week. Think about that. It's already three times over what they needed to clear the red, and we're just getting started.

This thing is massive and I can't wait to see what it can/will do over the next couple of weeks. It's already easily the fastest film to $100MM, $150MM, and even $200MM (nationally), breaking records previously held by "The Dark Knight" by two full days. The next tent-pole of $250MM and each step up to $450MM are all held by the same film. It set the fastest record to $250MM in eight days. "The Avengers" is only $50MM behind right now, and has five full days to break it - something it should do with ease.

So as I said, right now I'm just excited to watch this thing work and see what it can do. I saw the film Friday afternoon, and I loved it! I was going to try and get back today for a second showing, but I don't think I'm going to be able to get there. Regardless, I'll be contributing at least a couple more tickets to this film's overall numbers before it's all said and done.

The film has not only performed amazingly well at the box office, it's also a critical favorite too, with a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes right now - something very impressive for a Marvel comic book movie. So if you haven't seen the movie yet - which, with these numbers, I'm not sure there's anyone left in the world that qualifies for that - go see it. It's a great movie and a lot of fun. We'll be talking about it at length on this week's CinemaCast, so be sure to tune in for more reactions and reviews on the film there.

Oh yeah, and I said there were still some other films in theaters this weekend too. "Think Like a Man" was able to put up the most money in this record-breaking weekend, scoring a total of $8MM. This seems like about what I could have expected with "The Avengers" taking as much as it did. Before the weekend, I thought it had a chance at $10MM, but that was obviously before I thought "The Avengers" would shatter the opening weekend record by as much as it did. So $8MM seems respectable in a time like this. Like last weekend, our next block of films were all very tightly grouped. Between "The Hunger Games" ($5.7), "The Lucky One" ($5.5), "The Pirates! Band of Misfits" ($5.4), and "The Five-Year Engagement" ($5.1), alll four of those films fell within $600,000 of each other. "The Raven" and "Safe" swapped spots this week, but both still only managed $2MM and change.

Check out the full numbers for all films in the top 15 below, courtesy of Box Office Mojo: