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‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Crushes Everything in Its Path, but It’s Still Not Quite the Biggest Opening Ever

"Star Wars" barely holds the domestic record, but it doesn't matter: It's the MCU, and we just live in it.

Marvel Studios' AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR..L to R: War Machine/James Rhodes (Don Cheadle), Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson)..Photo: Chuck Zlotnick..©Marvel Studios 2018

“Avengers: Infinity War”

Marvel Studios

Avengers: Infinity War” opened at an estimated $250 million, at least 10 percent ahead of its biggest advance guesses. Even $200 million (just below “Black Panther”) would have been incredible; at this level, it’s historic. Unadjusted, it will beat out “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which opened to $248 million in December 2015.

Worldwide (which does not include China, yet to open) is another best ever, totaling $630 million and substantially ahead of “The Fate of the Furious” last May, which debuted to $541 million worldwide. “Fate” did better in its foreign bow, but the release patterns make this a difficult comp; “Avengers” overseas did $380 million, but that doesn’t yet include China. (Oddly, for most countries “Avengers” didn’t score as the best opening ever.)

In North America, it is the biggest reported number of all time — but then there’s adjusting for the killjoy reality of ticket prices. In adjusted numbers, “The Force Awakens” is still number one at $261 million. That could suggest “Infinity War” sold fewer tickets, but even that comes with a caveat given the relative percentage of premium versus non-3D or IMAX tickets sold. (Disney reports 62 percent of the gross for “Infinity” came from 2D, while “Force” was a slight majority premium). We’ll never know for sure, but it appears about an equal number of tickets were sold.

Marvel Studios' BLACK PANTHER..Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o)..Ph: Matt Kennedy..©Marvel Studios 2018

“Black Panther”

Matt Kennedy

The bigger picture is that the domestic total for “Avengers” was $48 million better than the phenomenal “Black Panther.” It is ahead of both earlier “Avengers” titles (adjusted $235 million and $204 million), and it didn’t even have the benefit of holiday or summer dating. That it comes less than three months after “Black Panther” made nearly $700 million shows that “Panther” only created more interest — and likely, more fans — for its world.

Other studios vacated the date ahead of this behemoth and “Infinity” sold about 83 percent of all tickets this weekend, leaving about $51 million worth of business for other films. It also means that 2018 no longer lags behind 2017 year to date and with several strong titles arriving soon and more throughout the summer, the prognosis looks strong. That “Infinity” scored so much better than estimates suggests the franchise machine is what matters most to keeping Hollywood running at full strength.

Its dominance knocked the wind out of nearly all competitors; only one film in the top 10 fell less than 49 percent. That would be “Black Panther,” which fell only 11 percent, jumped from #8 to number #5, and had a per-theater average even better than last weekend’s. All that makes the potential battle between the two Marvel titles for Marvel’s ultimate #1 that much more interesting.

Paramount Pictures

Under the circumstances, “A Quiet Place” held up well. At second place in its fourth weekend, it’s made $148 million. However, #3 title “I Feel Pretty” also fell 49 percent; the Amy Schumer comedy needs a better hold to justify its $32 million budget.

The more male-oriented “Rampage” fell 65 percent and “Ready Player One” was down 67 percent. Dwayne Johnson’s star vehicle will get to $90 million domestic, scoring the far side of $300 million foreig. Spielberg’s film will see over three quarters of its take overseas.

The Top Ten

1. Avengers: Infinity War (Disney) NEW – Cinemascore: A; Metacritic: 68; est. budget: $300 million

$250,000,000 in 4,475 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $55,878,000; Cumulative: $250,000,000

2. A Quiet Place (Paramount) Week 4; Last weekend #1

$10,650,000 (-49%) in 3,565 theaters (-243); PTA: $2,987; Cumulative: $148,173,000

3. I Feel Pretty (STX) Week 2; Last weekend #3

$8,130,000 (-49%) in 3,440 theaters (no change); PTA: $2,363; Cumulative: $29,574,000

4. Rampage (Warner Bros.) Week 3; Last weekend #2

$7,105,000 (-65%) in 3,508 theaters (-607); PTA: $2,025; Cumulative: $77,931,000

5. Black Panther (Disney) Week 11; Last weekend #8

$4,381,000 (-11%) in 1,650 theaters (-280); PTA: $2,655; Cumulative: $688,009,000

6. Super Troopers 2 (20th Century Fox) Week 2 ; Last weekend #4

$3,600,000 (-76%) in 2,125 theaters (+87); PTA: $1,694; Cumulative: $22,085,000

7. Truth or Dare (Universal) Week 3; Last weekend #5

$3,210,000 (-59%) in 2,420 theaters (-648); PTA: $1,326; Cumulative: $35,317,000

8. Blockers (Universal) Week 4; Last weekend #7

$2,945,000 (-57%) in 2,324 theaters (-810); PTA: $1,267; Cumulative: $53,215,000

9. Ready Player One (Warner Bros.) Week 5; Last weekend #6

$2,435,000 (-67%) in 2,365 theaters (-843); PTA: $1,030; Cumulative: $130,683,000

10. Traffik (Lionsgate) Week 2; Last weekend #9

$1,620,000 (-59%) in 1,046 theaters (no change); PTA: $1,549; Cumulative: $6,752,000

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