Well, The Avengers was expected to put up big numbers, but the weekend has been a surprise for the folks at Marvel, who are now on pace to easily surpass both The Dark Knight Rises and the final Harry Potter film for biggest first weekend gross. While James Cameron movies are few and far between, this is the one numerical dollar record that movie fans get to see constantly challenged. In 2008, The Dark Knight set the weekend gross record, beating out Spider-Man 3, which has held the title for a few years. The first Spider-Man was the longtime weekend gross record holder with $114 million, at the time, unheard of. Now, we’re in the era of IMAX and 3D and outrageous baseline ticket prices, so it’s no wonder.
When Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt 2 opened, it was a foregone conclusion that the film would be a massive hit. It was the final film in one of the biggest franchises to ever grace the screen, with an insanely wide audience that is full of repeat business, and of course, every kid wanted to see it opening weekend.
So the marketing team behind The Avengers really has something to be proud of. Not only did they trounce Harry Potter‘s opening weekend ($158.4 million) by enough money to have included another big budget hit ($200.3 million is the estimate so far) and while sometimes the estimated gross math gets sloppy, I won’t be surprised to see this movie actually hit $201 or $202 million. Word of mouth has absolutely popped this one into the atmosphere and people are clamoring for a quick taste.
Never mind that this isn’t the best comic book movie of all time. It’s the biggest, and the widest appealing, so I suppose in a way, its record is nothing short of expected, when you really think about it. In this strange world of sort-of sequels, prequels, reboots, and re-imaginings, it makes you wonder what other franchise could possibly top The Avengers, except of course a Justice League movie, which would need a few successful films to lead up to it. You know, like The Dark Knight Rises and Man of Steel, even though WB has kept the two franchises on different plateaus altogether. It’ll be interesting to see, but for a while, The Avengers can hold this record with pride.