‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Lands the Biggest Global Opening Ever

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” was a soaring success. “Thor: Ragnarok” opened even bigger. Then “Black Panther” crushed both of them.

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, New York Times

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” was a soaring success. “Thor: Ragnarok” opened even bigger. Then “Black Panther” crushed both of them.

But none of those Marvel movies could compare to the franchise’s shiniest jewel, “Avengers: Infinity War,” which rampaged through the weekend with $630 million worldwide — easily the biggest global opening of all time.

Expectations were high for “Infinity War,” the first installment of a two-part finale, which will wrap up a whopping 20-film Disney franchise. The movie features a litany of brand-name stars — Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Chris Pratt and dozens more — as the heroes assemble to take down Thanos (Josh Brolin), the series’ biggest baddie yet. Disney poured in around $300 million to make the movie and another $150 million or so to market it, sending the extensive cast around the world and to nearly every talk show.

The investments paid off. The $630 million global opening for “Infinity War” crushed the previous record-holder, “The Fate of the Furious,” which arrived last year to a now seemingly pedestrian $542 million. Incredibly, “Infinity War” sprinted to first place without the enormous markets of China or Russia, where it will open in the next two weeks. Domestically, the film put up a cool $250 million and was celebrated in Hollywood as the biggest opening ever. When adjusted for inflation, though, “Infinity War” lags slightly behind “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which arrived in 2015 to about $261 million in today’s dollars.

Disney now holds nine of the top 10 domestic openings of all time — six of which are part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “The result is a reflection of 10 years of work: of developing this universe, creating stakes as big as they were, characters that matter and stories and worlds that people have come to love,” Bob Hollis, Disney’s president of distribution, said in a phone interview.

“Avengers: Infinity War” will next set its sights on records like the fastest film to reach $1 billion and the highest gross ever. The film’s endurance should be lifted by mostly positive reviews from critics, as well as an A from audiences in CinemaScore exit polls. And it’s highly likely that superfans will boost the gross by returning to theaters multiple times.

The ear-popping heights that Marvel reaches with each new movie suggests that superhero fatigue has not set in, and that these kinds of films can break records with relatively little effort. But just last year, “Justice League” crawled into theaters with $94 million — flop territory considering it was roughly as expensive as “Infinity War.”

Other studios cleared their decks in anticipation, so there were no competing major releases this weekend. Paramount’s “A Quiet Place,” a horror film directed by John Krasinski, slid into second place with an additional $10.6 million, according to comScore, which compiles box office data. Its total take has reached an impressive $148 million. “I Feel Pretty,” starring Amy Schumer, strutted into third with $8 million.

And “Super Troopers 2” earned another $3.6 million to arrive at $22 million total, easily surpassing the total gross of its 2002 predecessor, “Super Troopers.”

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