‘THE AVENGERS’ NOW BIGGEST OPENER! Shocking $200M Record Domestic Weekend: Expecting $642M Global From First 12 Days

It’s now official — Marvel’s The Avengers is a monster worldwide hit for Disney in 2D, Digital 3D, RealD, and IMAX 3D theaters. The studio says 52% saw it in 3D, 40% in traditional 3D, 8% in IMAX, and 4% on premium large format. Exit polls showed the actioner attracted a four-quadrant audience with 50% over age 25 and 50% under 25, while 60% were male and 40% female. Also 55% were couples, 24% families, and 21% teens. Hollywood couldn’t be happier because it kicks off the all-important Summer 2012 movie season with sensational numbers. Avengers lived up to its billing as the ‘Superhero Team-Up Of A Lifetime’ by featuring all-in-one pic the iconic Marvel figures Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Nick Fury.

Disney says it’s looking at a record $69.7M grosses for Saturday after making $80.5M Friday (including $18.7M midnights) from 4,349 U.S. and Canadian locations, including 3,364 plays in 3D. Studio confirms it’s on track to shatter the domestic weekend opening record with $200.3M. (Warner Bros’ 3D Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 finale used to hold that record with $169M.) I believe Disney is being overly conservative and the final figure will exceed that since Avengers should make over $50M on Sunday. (And I thought SNL Kagan’s report predicting that $200M domestic debut before the weekend was nuts. Not now…) Disney reports international gross is now $441.5M. The worldwide total is already $641.8M after playing almost everywhere around the globe for the past 12 days including Friday in Russia ($17.9M) and Saturday in China ($17.4M). Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) went to the Beijing Film Festival to help open the film Saturday. One more thing to keep in mind: Avengersaccumulated a massive foreign number without opening yet in the major market of Japan. Globally, IMAX Avengers grossed $21.1+M this weekend and the global IMAX cume will be approx $31.2M as of Sunday night. IMAX Avengers brought in $6.1 mil internationally (which includes an amazing first day gross in China of $1.1M) on 174 digital-only locations. In North America IMAX had one big issue: it ran out of seats to sell. Avengers grossed $15+M domestically on 275 digital-only IMAX screens, which looks to be a virtual tie with the Harry Potter finale for the highest grossing opening weekend in IMAX’s history. It reports 17 of the top 20 engagements in North America playing the film were IMAX runs, and 110 domestic IMAX locations established a new opening Saturday record.

The global pressure was on because Avengers is the first Marvel Studios film from The Walt Disney Studios which took over marketing and distribution duties from Paramount. Disney CEO/President Bob Iger bought the comics entertainment company for $4 billion in 2009. Paramount still gets marquee credit and a portion of the fees. (I’m told that when Disney bought the distribution of Avengers and Iron Man 3, Paramount was paid a minimum of $115M. It gets the higher of the $115M or the combination of its 8% fee on Avengers, plus 9% on next years Iron Man 3. “Looks like there will be overages!” a Paramount exec told me excitedly Sunday. Paramount also kept the pay rights as part of the deal so Avengers will debut on Epix.) Why did this superhero actioner do so well at the box office? As one of my commenters succinctly summarizes: “Note to Hollywood: This is what happens when you let comic fans do comic book movies. Joss Whedon knocked it out of the park. The right mix of humor without camp, special effects without overusage, and action with good script. Having actors who like and/or know the characters doesn’t hurt either. Props to the casting folks.

Read more at Deadline Hollywood.

Comments

Polititainment

George Will to Colbert: Liberals don't want change

Conservative commentator and hapless Chicago Cubs fan George Will swung by "The Colbert Report" Tuesday to plug his new book, "A Nice Little Place on the North Side," but naturally, the conversation didn't stick to baseball.

Clay Aiken: voters 'might wonder'

Former "American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken concedes that voters "might wonder" about his candidacy for Congress for a new ad.

Los Angeles GOP #StandingWithSriracha

Forget #StandWithRand -- the GOP is now choosing to #StandWithSriracha.

WH responds to 'Deport Justin Bieber' petition

Despite the pleas of more than 270,000 Americans to deport Justin Bieber, the White House has chosen not to weigh in on the issue. However, the Obama administration did use a petition calling on the White House to revoke the pop artist's visa to plug President Barack Obama's plan for immigration reform.

Secret Service once threatened Mr. Met

Mr. Met sure has a lot of fans in New York. But the larger-than-life mascot definitely doesn't have one in the Secret Service, who threatened to shoot and kill him if he approached President Bill Clinton, according to a firsthand account.

White House

Donald Trump is really upset with the way Obama walks

President Barack Obama just can't seem to do anything right, especially in the eyes of real estate mogul Donald Trump.

Obama misses 67 percent of his shots playing basketball at Easter event

President Barack Obama went 1-for-3 shooting baskets at a White House Easter event Monday, prompting basketball scouts to question the leader of the free world's scoring ability ahead of this June's NBA Draft.

PETA is peeved with Michelle Obama and used little girls to tell her about it

First Lady Michelle Obama has earned the ire of three young girls. But they're not upset with her less-than-filling "Let's Move!" school lunches. Instead, these youngins are upset about the real eggs used in the White House Easter Egg Roll.

Jay Carney: “Never been a more transparent administration”

Despite consistent objections by journalists that the White House overly restricts press access, Press Secretary Jay Carney believes that there has "never been a more transparent administration."

Jay Carney: Toughest interview for Obama in 2012 was with Jon Stewart

Give comedian Jon Stewart a gold star sticker. The host of The Daily Show was President Barack Obama's toughest interviewer during the 2012 election cycle, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said on Thursday.

Congress

Arkansas US Sen. John Boozman having surgery

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — U.S. Sen. John Boozman is undergoing surgery at an Arkansas hospital.

Republicans are winning the Twitters this year

Congrats, Congressional Republicans -- you're winning the Twitters so far in 2014!

Rep Black: GOP budget makes a path to a bright future

Our nation is $17.4 trillion in debt and out of control Washington spending has no end in sight. In fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that on our current trajectory we will return to $1 trillion annual budget deficits by the year 2022.

Cruz: Impeach Holder

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) pulled no punches when criticizing Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday, as he called on Congress to impeach the Department of Justice head.

Pelosi: GOP not acting on immigration because of race

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pulled the race card when speaking about Republicans' inaction in passing comprehensive immigration reform and said "race has something to do" with the GOP not bringing such legislation to the House floor.