That's it, folks. Time to pack it up and go home. There won't ever be another moment like this.
By Tim Briody
April 28, 2019
Avengers: Endgame threw out every single basic rule of box office this weekend, taking over just about every box office record you can think of in only three days.
The surefire bet this weekend was that Avengers: Endgame would almost certainly top Avengers: Infinity War's opening weekend record of $257.6 million. There probably wasn't anyone who saw that record falling by sometime Saturday evening.
After a reported $60 million on Thursday evening, besting Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Thursday record of $57 million (Infinity War was actually the third best Thursday with $39 million, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 had second place with $43.5 million), that was rolled into Friday's figure, which was an insane $156.7 million. The Force Awakens used to hold that record, with a mere $119.1 million. I used to joke that any website with a "single day box office records" should just display a The Force Awakens one sheet, but now that should probably be replaced with an Endgame one.
So yeah. If there had been no other showings beyond Friday, Endgame would have been the 17th biggest opening weekend of all time just based off that one day alone. But that's not how movies work, so the Infinity War record was most certainly going to fall.
But maybe there was front-loading! I mean, there had to be! This is arguably the most anticipated movie of all time! (Take that, Star Wars!) There were around the clock showings in nearly every theater! Everybody saw it in the first 24 hours!
Narrator: There was no front-loading.
Well, not as much as you would expect after the largest single day of box office in history. The estimated weekend gross for Avengers: Endgame is $350 million.
It didn't even sneak by the Infinity War record, or even do a modest 10% bump above that weekend total. Nah, Endgame went for the jugular and topped Infinity War by $92.4 million. A 35.8% increase. That's really not supposed to happen at all when you're dealing with numbers this big.
The culmination of a story essentially told through 22 movies starting with Iron Man in 2008, Marvel was rewarded by earning the trust of audiences from film after film. In a year where we've lamented that there is a measurable sea change in viewer behavior, where more are willing to wait for digital to see movies unless it's something truly special, it was clear that Endgame was something truly special.
And as if I needed to drive the point home further, worldwide, Endgame is over a billion dollars already. That's of course the biggest opening of all-time. Infinity War topped out at just over $2 billion worldwide, good for fourth place, with the leader remaining Avatar at $2.7 billion. That's definitely something else we'll keep an eye on as well.
By the way, this ridiculous opening weekend absolutely blows away any of the remaining fallacies about box office: There is not a finite amount of box office dollars available on each weekend. I mean, technically there is, but that number is much much higher than you think, and Endgame adding nearly $100 million to the opening weekend record is proof of that. Also, Endgame was three hours long, which some have long said theoretically limits the number of showings a theater could have in a day and therefore, its box office. This has long been silly, especially in the age when it's very easy for a theater to just put a high demand film in multiple theaters for nearly round the clock showings.
As Kim Hollis mentioned yesterday, Marvel films now make up six of the ten biggest opening weekends of all-time, and for another fun fact, Marvel has each of the first films to cross the $300 million opening weekend mark, $200 million (Avengers in 2012) and going all the way back to 2002, the $100 million opening weekend barrier (Spider-Man in 2002).
There will be much more to discuss about Endgame's otherworldly weekend, especially since nothing much of note releases next weekend, before we get a premium release almost every weekend beyond that, starting with Detective Pikachu, of all things. But I feel pretty secure in saying that this opening is a record that's going to stand for a long, long time.
About the only thing Endgame didn't do in its first three days is take over as the biggest film of 2019. I mean, that'll happen by like, Wednesday, but for now, it remains Captain Marvel, which takes second place this weekend. As if we didn't need more evidence on how much Marvel and Disney dominate the entertainment industry right now.
After an increase last weekend, people once again apparently decided to pregame their Endgame viewing with a showing of Captain Marvel, as the film slides just 12% from last weekend, giving it $8 million and $413.5 million after eight weekends in theaters. Yes, the oldest film in the top ten was the second highest grossing film this weekend. Captain Marvel has reached the promised land it was looking for, as it's going to be the highest earning Marvel movie that's not an Avengers film or Black Panther.
After Captain Marvel's great hold, it's a bloodbath for the remainder of the top ten, as everything lost screens and showings to Endgame, and it's not pretty.
The Curse of La Llorona plunges 72% to $7.5 million and $41.2 million in two weekends. The combination of a franchise with a short shelf life plus Endgame becomes a tremendous fall, though with a price tag of just $9 million, Warner Bros. is still very happy with this. The Conjuring franchise, which this is supposedly connected to, is quietly a very profitable one.
Breakthrough drops 44% to $6.3 million and $26.1 million after three weeks. The faith based entry only had a $14 million budget, so Fox comes out ahead on this one.
People did not pregame their Infinity War showing with Shazam! as DC's superhero fantasy falls 66% to $5.5 million and $131.1 million in four weekends. It hasn't had the legs it was hoping for despite the good word-of-mouth, but it's almost made $350 million (or "one Endgame opening weekend") worldwide which makes it one of the more successful DC entries.
Little adds $3.4 million in its third weekend and has an okay $35.8 million in three weekends.
Endgame's performance means Disney probably doesn't care that Dumbo is still a disappointment with $3.2 million in its fifth weekend and $107 million to date.
Horror films take eighth and ninth as Pet Sematary and Us both fall 73% to $1.2 million and $1.1 million respectively. Pet Sematary has $52.6 million and Us is right behind Get Out's $176 million with $172.8 million in six weekends.
After missing the top ten last weekend, Disney's annual nature documentary, this one called Penguins, sneaks in despite a 54% decline to $1 million. It's got $5.7 million in two weekends.
Your top 12 films have earned $389 million this weekend, of course that's the biggest weekend in history. Last year, when Infinity War opened to the then box office record, the top 12 earned $305.4 million.