Marvel's The Avengers not only set a new opening weekend record this weekend, but also became the first film ever to open with more than $200 million in three days. The highly anticipated 3D superhero film from Disney opened with $207.44 million, which was an impressive $7.1 million larger than Sunday's studio estimate. After a huge $80.81 million start on Friday, the film held up extremely well on both Saturday (down 14 percent to gross $69.56 million) and Sunday (down 18 percent to gross $57.07 million) by mega-blockbuster standards. That is a great early sign for the film going forward, as is the A+ rating it received on CinemaScore.
The Avengers topped the $169.19 million start of previous opening weekend record holder 2011's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 by a whopping $38.25 million. Deathly Hallows: Part 2, 2009's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and 2008's The Dark Knight where the previous co-record holders for fastest film to $200 million, with all three films having reached the mark in five days. The Avengers also easily claimed the largest all-time adjusted opening weekend of all-time, topping the current $172.75 million adjusted gross of The Dark Knight, though it should be noted that 3D admissions were an obvious advantage for The Avengers in that comparison. 3D sales accounted for 52 percent of grosses for The Avengers this weekend.
The Avengers simply demolished the $128.12 million start of 2010's Iron Man 2, as it opened 62 percent stronger. Even more impressively, The Avengers has already surpassed the final domestic grosses of last year's Thor ($181.03 million), last year's Captain America: The First Avenger ($176.65 million) and 2008's The Incredible Hulk ($134.81 million). The audience breakdown for The Avengers skewed towards male moviegoers (60 percent) and was evenly split between moviegoers under 25 and over 25.
Internationally, The Avengers remained a powerhouse by grossing $151.5 million from 52 territories this weekend. That places the film's international total at $447.4 million and worldwide total at $654.8 million. Key international starts this weekend included $18.0 million in China and $17.9 million in Russia.
With The Avengers dominating the marketplace this weekend, holdovers across the board took significant hits. Sony's Think Like a Man placed in second with $8.11 million, which represented a 54 percent fall from last weekend. Lionsgate's The Hunger Games fell 48 percent to take third with $5.59 million. The Hunger Games has now grossed $380.61 million in 45 days (which currently ranks as the 14th largest unadjusted domestic gross of all-time), while Think Like a Man has grossed $73.14 million in 17 days. Holdovers will hope to re-stabilize next weekend, especially with the aid of Mother's Day on Sunday.
On the platform front, Fox Searchlight's The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel opened with $737,051 from just 27 locations. That gave the John Madden directed film starring Judi Dench a healthy per-location average of $27,298. The film has grossed $72.8 million internationally since its debut in late February, with it having been especially strong in both the United Kingdom and Australia. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is set to expand into more domestic locations throughout May.