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‘Avengers’ finale shatters records with $1.2bn debut

“Avengers: Endgame,” the hugely-anticipated superhero series-ender from Marvel, set a new standard for Hollywood blockbusters this weekend with stunning hauls of $357 million in North America and $1.2 billion worldwide, industry data showed on Monday.

The fourth and final chapter in the adventures of Iron Man, Hulk, Thor and company managed 43 times the domestic take of the No. 2 film, Marvel’s “Captain Marvel,” which made $8.1 million.

With a star-studded cast including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Bradley Cooper and Josh Brolin, it took in a jaw-dropping $330 million in China alone, the highest ever opening in the Middle Kingdom.

With a sky-high 96 per cent rating from critics on the Rotten Tomatoes reviews website, “Avengers” could lead to “the biggest revenue-generating summer (and year) in box office history,” Comscore’s Paul Dergarabedian said.

Packed with spectacular fight scenes, special effects, gags and tear-jerking moments, it almost doubled the previous world record opening weekend take held by its predecessor, “Avengers: Infinity War.”

The movie cost around $500 million to make including marketing costs and was expected to break even during its debut weekend, a feat unheard of for a major blockbuster.

Entertainment media are predicting a final global take of up to $2.5 billion, which would give it a place among the most lucrative movies of all time alongside “Avatar” ($2.8 billion), “Titanic” ($2.2 billion), “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” ($2.07 billion), and “Infinity War” ($2.05 billion).

“(The) Marvel Studios team have continued to challenge notions of what is possible at the movie theatre, both in terms of storytelling and at the box office,” said Alan Horn, the chairman of Walt Disney Studios, which owns Marvel.

– Around the clock screenings –

Among the many other superlatives being thrown in Marvel’s direction, “Endgame” is the widest release in North American history, showing on 4,662 screens in the US and Canada, according to box office monitor Exhibitor Relations. It averaged $75,075 a screen — another record.

Around the world, “Avengers” fans reserved their tickets well before the movie’s release. In India, 2.5 million tickets were pre-sold in a variety of languages including English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.

Others who had failed to do their advance planning had to line up for hours at box offices to see the final instalment of the story that began with 2008’s “Iron Man.”


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