Nothing is impossible in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including, it turns out, securing the biggest opening weekend in the history of motion pictures. Whoa.
When early tracking was released on Friday, it looked like "Avengers: Infinity War," the third canonical film in the "Avengers" series and the triumphant apex of ten years of interconnected superhero stories in the MCU, would be huge. But how huge emailed to be seen, with most pegging its opening haul to come in slightly below that of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," which secured $248 million back in 2015. But, as the weekend reached its conclusion, the superhero-stuffed saga, which features virtually every character from the previous ten years of movies fighting a villainous space baddie named Thanos (Josh Brolin), ended up clearing $250 million domestically. With its overseas haul of $380 million, its combined $630 million made it the top worldwide debut of all time too. And it hasn't even opened in China yet.
What makes this accomplishment downright miraculous is that "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" was the first entry in the beloved franchise in more than 10 years, whereas Marvel's last blockbuster, the phenomenal "Black Panther," is playing next door to "Avengers: Infinity War" in most theaters. In fact, "Black Panther," which opened way back in February, is still in the top 5 (it brought in another $4.4 million for a cumulative domestic haul of $688 million).
In fact, "Avengers: Infinity War," seems to have surged, in part, with the goodwill from "Black Panther." That film proved to be a genuine cultural phenomenon, a kind of zeitgeist-capturing flashpoint that only comes along every so often, to the point when a character even mentions the fictional African country of Wakanda, the "Infinity War" audience erupts in applause. (This happened both times I saw "Avengers: Infinity War" this past week.) The latest "Avengers" entry might not be "Black Panther 1.5" but with its third act centralized in Wakanda and many of the characters returning, it at leas prolonged that movie's impact and boosted "Infinity War's" must-see factor.
"A Quiet Place," the surprise smash of 2018, came in at #2 with another $10.7 million, bringing its domestic total to $148.2 million. Not bad for a movie with a budget of less than $20 million. By comparison, Steven Spielberg's operatic "Ready Player One," which brought in $2.4 million (enough to secure the #8 spot), has made only $130.7 million domestically on a budget of $175 million (and that's before a sizable marketing spend).
Amy Schumer comedy "I Feel Pretty" came in at #3 ($8.1 million), with Dwayne Johnson-led monster mash "Rampage" at #4 ($7.1 million). After "Black Panther," which, again, is still in the top 5, it was "Super Troopers 2" at #6 ($3.6 million), "Truth or Dare" at #7 ($3.2 million, for a robust $35.3 total), "Blockers" at #8 ($2.9 million) and thriller "Traffik" at #10 ($1.6 million).
With virtually uninterrupted space at the box office, until "Deadpool 2" joins the party on May 18th, look for "Avengers: Infinity War" to rule the box office and set even more records. And can you blame it? You know how much you want to see it again too.