It's been clear for a while that The Avengers would be a box office success, though few people could have foreseen this opening. The superhero team-up got off to an unprecedented $207.4 million start this weekend, which obliterates the previous all-time weekend record set by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 last Summer ($169.2 million).
While it fell short of setting a new opening day record (that still belongs to Potter), The Avengers was responsible for new high marks in most other major categories. It was the fastest movie ever to reach $100 million, $150 million, and $200 million, and it set new records for Saturday ($69.6 million) and Sunday ($57.1 million) grosses. It also had the highest per-theater average ever for a nationwide release with $47,698.
Through its first three days, The Avengers has already grossed more than Thor ($181 million), Captain America: The First Avenger ($176.6 million) and The Incredible Hulk ($134.8 million). It's still behind Iron Man and Iron Man 2 ($318.4 million and $312.4 million, respectively), though it should pass those movies next weekend.
The movie went on to receive strong reviews (94 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes), which made anticipation reach even higher levels.
The big question now is how high The Avengers can go—it will obviously hit $400 million, and with exceptional word-of-mouth (rare "A+" CinemaScore) the movie could even be in line for a $500 million total.
The audience was split evenly between those above and below 25 years-of-age, and it was 60 percent male. 3D screenings accounted for 52 percent of the opening weekend gross, which is an improvement from Captain America's 40 percent but below Thor's 60 percent. That 3D share breaks down to 40 percent traditional 3D, 8 percent IMAX, and 4 percent premium large format. The estimated $15.3 million the movie earned at 275 IMAX theaters set a new record for the format.
The Avengers accounted for 83.1 percent of the $249.7 million the Top 12 earned this weekend. That's the second-highest weekend market share ever, and the weekend itself ranks fifth all-time in revenue (first for a Summer kick-off).
This just again made me think that a dream job would be just to come up with these photo shoots of celebrities doing some random ass thing in some obscure location....and usually in a suit to make it all the more badass.