Box Office Watch: ‘AVENGERS’ $18.7M MIDNIGHTS! No Record: $322.7 Million Worldwide And U.S. Counting
FRIDAY 8 AM:
Disney reports that the worldwide cumulative for Marvel’s The Avengers is now $322.7 million, including $304M internationally. The U.S./Canada grosses are just getting going and expectedly did not set a record for midnight showings. But The Avengers in Digital 3D, RealD and IMAX 3D still made a gargantuan $18.7 million from about 2,500 North American theaters, or more than Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America conbined. In terms of records, it’s the 8th biggest midnights opening, and the biggest superhero midnights debut, with the rest Twilight Saga or Harry Potter franchise films or The Hunger Games. IMAX reports $1.31M from midnights playing at 273 locations, also not a record. The overall midnights record is still Warner Bros’ Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 with $43.5M.
FRIDAY 12:01 AM
Disney began releasing Marvel’s The Avengers in Digital 3D, RealD and IMAX 3D after midnight into about 2,500 locations around the U.S. and Canada after first playing filmmaker Joss Whedon’s pic overseas for the past week. “It’s tracking off the charts. Biggest in every category and with everyone — men, women, young, old. Any way you slice it and dice it. It’s just a mega-movie,” one rival studio mogul gushed to me Thursday night. And exhibitors hoping for record box office results are trying to accommodate all the crowds lining up for hours (photo above, Miami) for their first look at this rave-reviewed PG-13 superhero spectacle that’s earned $300+M internationally already. Major theater chains are adding shows from 12:01 AM into the wee hours. ”In an effort to handle the mass demand Regal will be adding additional AM shows at many theatres nationally,” Regal announced. At the AMC Empire Theatre in Manhattan, The Avengers was planning to show on 21 screens at 12:01 AM with contingency plans to play it on all 25 screens if needed. Turns out those extra screens were needed – and most of the moviegoers have on their RealD Avengers collector 3D glasses. Many moviegoers bought advance tickets for the ‘Ultimate Marvel Marathon’ – screenings of the Marvel Studios’ movies Iron Man, Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America leading up to the midnight release of The Avengers. The event sold out in several major U.S. and Canadian markets more than a month ago.
Pre-sales were gargantuan with Fandango reporting soaring ticket sales and more than 1,000 showtimes sold out in advance of the midnight opening. ”The Avengers is on track to become one of Fandango’s top ticket-sellers of the year, representing 95% of Thursday’s sales.” The superhero ensemble movie is also outperforming all previous Marvel titles, including all Spider-Man movies and Avengers-related films at the same point in the sales cycle. On top of that, The Avengers is outpacing last summer’s action blockbuster Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon at the same point in that film’s sales cycle. According to a recent Fandango survey, The Avengers is the most anticipated film of this summer, with 66% of fans planning to see it more than once on the big screen.
MovieTickets.com reported back on April 26th that The Avengers has pre-sold over 1.5 times more tickets than Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America combined. It topped Fandango’s “Most Anticipated Summer Movie” survey as #1 movie for men, #2 movie for women, #1 movie for 3D, and most anticipated ensemble cast.
Though extremely big, Disney’s theatre count isn’t the all-time list of widest openings at the box office. It’s #7. (No. 1 is June 2010′s The Twilight Saga: Eclipse which released into 4,468 theaters.) The Avengers will open in 275 theatres, or more than half of the IMAX 3D format in 451 digital theatres worldwide. More IMAX territories are launching in tandem with the North American release this week, including China. Domestic IMAX pre-sales are also strong and significantly ahead of any previous Marvel releases.