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Marvel's Avengers Assemble shatters US box office opening record

Marvel Avengers Assemble

Story by Jack Foley

MARVEL Avengers Assemble – or quite simply The Avengers as it is known in America – has shattered the record for the biggest US opening weekend of all-time, according to early estimates.

The superhero blockbuster, directed by Joss Whedon, has taken an estimated $200m (£123m), besting the previous record holder Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2, which opened in July 2011 with $169m (£104m).

The film just failed to beat Harry Potter‘s first day takings record of $91m (£56m) but surpassed it over the following two days.

It did, however, break a number of other records en route to its gargantuan weekend total.

for instance, Avengers is the first film in history to cross $200 million in only three days of play at the US box office and it also scored the biggest Saturday gross of all time in earning $69.7 million.

Put together with its world-wide total (which includes box office receipts from countries such as the UK, where it opened a week ahead of the US), the film has now taken a whopping $641.8 million, thereby surpassing the lifetime totals of Captain America: The First Avenger ($364 million), Thor ($449 million), Iron Man ($585 million) and Iron Man 2 ($624 million).

It is now well on course to reach $1 billion in global grosses.

Welcoming the figures, Dave Hollis, Disney executive vice president of distribution, said: “It’s been a fantastic weekend on every single front.”

Ironically, Avengers is the first Marvel Studios title marketed and distributed by Disney since the Mouse House bought Marvel.

All eyes will now be on several other superhero movies to see whether they can surpass the record now set by Avengers, especially as the top five of biggest openers include two further comic book inspirations, The Dark Knight and Spider-Man 3.

The Dark Knight, starring Christian Bale, took $158m (£97m) in its opening weekend in 2008, while Spider-Man 3, which marked the final outing for Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker, took $151m (£93m).

Both of those superheroes will once again be seen on screen during the summer in, respectively, The Dark Knight Rises and The Amazing Spider-Man.

There were only a few other releases making their way into cinemas in the US this weekend, specifically designed to cater for different audiences. Of those, elderly ensemble comedy-drama The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel performed well among its target audience.

The US top five, meanwhile, is comprised of The Avengers, Think Like A Man, The Hunger Games, The Lucky One and The Pirates! Band of Misfits (the latter of which has now grossed $18.6 million in the US for UK company Aardman Animation and Sony).

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