It’s by far the biggest opening ever, shooting past the previous record of $US169.2 million for the debut of last year’s Harry Potter finale.
The Avengers added $US151.5 million overseas over the weekend to bring its total to $US441.5 million since it began opening internationally a week earlier.
That raised the film’s worldwide haul to $US641.8 million in barely a week-and-a-half, more than its Marvel superhero forerunners Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America took in during their entire runs.
If distributor Disney’s domestic estimate Sunday holds when the final weekend count is released Monday, The Avengers would be the first movie ever to haul in $US200 million in a single weekend.
A $US200 million total for every movie in release is considered a great weekend for the business as a whole, so The Avengers redefines the standards for a blockbuster debut.
If The Avengers is any indication, we’re going to see a leap rather than a gentle little nudge into new territory, and the lineup is there to justify it going forward,” said Greg Foster, chairman and president of the huge-screen IMAX cinema chain.
Crowds were so anxious to see the film on IMAX’s giant screens that Foster said the company had only one problem: it ran out of seats to sell.