It was the end of January when Marvel launched a new title that ended up monopolizing both the worldwide box office and the cultural conversation. Three months after the debut of Black Panther, they did it again. In Avengers: Infinity War all heroes of the Marvel universe are on the screen. Besides Black Panther’s Chadwick Boseman we can admire in action Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Captain America (Chris Evans), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Loki (Tom Hiddleston). We can also spot Bradley Cooper, Chris Pratt and Dave Bautista, from the Guardians of the Galaxy, a superhero mash up put together to stop the evil Thanos (Josh Brolin).
And the new investment, reportedly $300 million, has paid off handsomely, with Infinity War kicking off the domestic summer box office with $258.2 million in North America, a record. Add $382.7 million overseas and the global total stands at $641 million, another record accomplished without the boost of the Chinese market, opening on May 11.
At 2-hours and 40-minutes, the number of records broken by Infinity War is beyond impressive. At “only” $248 million, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now second in the domestic market. Its $641 million global start puts Infinity $100 million ahead of the previous global record holder, The Fate of the Furious ($541.9 million), which had the benefit of $185 million from China from the start. Infinity War has won the title of highest debut of all time in South Korea ($39 million), Mexico ($25 million), Brazil ($19 million), the Philippines ($12.5 million), and then Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, the UAE and more.
It was 2008 when Iron Man launched The Marvel Cinematic Universe. A year later Disney paid $4 billion to purchase Marvel Entertainment. 19 films later, Disney and Marvel have found a winning formula that keeps defying expectation at every turn. As for Infinity War, the big question now is where it will land. It may not reach infinity, but the projections indicate that $1.8 to 2 billion worldwide may be a realistic goal, with a lot depending on the outcome from major markets such as China and Russia once they are added to the mix.
There were other contenders at the box office, where interestingly there was a title that has benefited from Infinity’s success: on its 11thweek, Black Panther moved in the domestic charts from No. 8 to No. 5, earning an extra $4.4 million. A Quiet Place grossed $10.7 million, for a domestic total of $148.2 million and a global of $235.4 million. Amy Schumer’s comedy I Feel Pretty suffered a major fall in its second weekend, good for $8.1 million and a domestic total of $29.6 million. Rampage was another victim of Infinity Wars, with a 65% fall from the previous week: it added $7 million, for a domestic gross of $77.9 million. Globally, the Dwayne Johnson film stands at $334 million, with over one third of that amount coming from China.
Infinity War kicks off the summer blockbuster season. In two weeks it will go face to face against Deadpool 2. Then, in the coming months, we will see the debut of Solo, Jurassic World and The Incredibles 2.