Friday Box Office Analysis
By Tim Briody
May 5, 2012
Superhero combo platter The Avengers kicks off the summer movie season with an astounding $80.5 million Friday, good for the second highest single day of box office of all time.
Of that Friday figure, $18.7 million is attributed to midnight showings. That would give an actual Friday take of $61.8 million, which is incredibly impressive. Looking back to the film with the biggest single day of all time, last year's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, started with $92.1 million but $43.5 million of that came from midnight screenings. Officially, Harry Potter 7.2 still has the all-time single day record but given how much of that single day was earned at midnight, The Avengers has the much more impressive opening day.
To try and figure out where The Avengers will end up at the end of the weekend, we'll look back at The Dark Knight, which earned a now-quaint (but then all-time single day record) $67.1 million on its opening day in 2008, and had a $158.4 million weekend. It earned $18.5 million via midnight showings, so that was a 2.36 multiplier without removing the midnight showings and a 2.89 with them. Let's also look at The Hunger Games from a few weeks ago, which opened with $68.3 million ($19.7 million at midnight) and a $152.5 million weekend. The multipliers there are 2.23 and 2.73 with and without the midnight figures respectively.
The multiplier ranges for The Dark Knight seem a pretty likely destination for The Avengers weekend total. It won't be nearly as front loaded as Deathly Hallows Part 2, and that gives it a leg up on it to break the opening record. Also in its favor is that audiences are eating up the Joss Whedon penned and directed film, to the tune of an A+ Cinemascore, an absolutely unheard of rating, showing that The Avengers is pleasing even the most hardcore and hardest to satisfy comic fans. If it comes in with a 2.7 multiplier for the weekend, which is entirely possible given the past weekend performances of The Dark Knight and The Hunger Games, once you add the midnight sneaks total back in, that would make The Avengers the new opening weekend record holder with $185.5 million.