"The Avengers" Breaks All Time Weekend Box Office Record with $200M, Your Move "Dark Knight"

The Avengers: Black Widow

Wow. It certainly didn’t look that way after Thursday’s disappointing midnight screenings, but here we are. “The Avengers” has broken the all-time opening weekend box office record with a phenomenal $200.3M. That’s at least $30M more than the most optimistic projections from box office analysts.

In the beginning of the week, I was predicting that it’ll smash the all time opening weekend record held by “Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” which was $169M. It just had too much momentum going for it. First, the reviews were glowing. Second, the buzz was ultra high - better than even “The Hunger Games.”

The first indication as to how the movie would do was the Thursday midnight box office. That came out to be $18.7M. Although it was one of highest of all time, it was disappointing that it didn’t come anywhere close to the record, which is $43.5M by “Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows: Part 2.” It didn’t even beat “The Hunger Games”’s $19.7M. It was, however, the best for a superhero movie.

I then lowered my expectation and put Harry Potter’s weekend record out of range. I figured the best it would do was get close to “The Hunger Games”’ $153M, which would be good enough for sixth best of all time.

On Friday afternoon, Deadline.com reported that based on early matinee sales, "The Avengers" would do $65M-67M on Friday, including midnight sales. Again, it was a huge number but no record.

I went to see a 5pm screening. When it was done, I walked out of the screening and into a madhouse. I've never seen that particular theater so packed before. It was kinda crazy.

I woke up Saturday morning and saw the Friday figure on my Twitter feed: $80.5M, which included midnight screenings. That’s the second best of all time behind the $91M by “Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” which also includes the $43.5M from midnight screenings.

What’s amazing about that is “The Avengers” made $61.8M on Friday excluding the Thursday midnight figure. According to BoxOfficeMojo.com, that’s a record.

It followed that record with another one on Saturday, nearly $70M, which leads us to the $200M opening record.

While some, like me, had expected a record-breaking opening weekend, no one had expected that it would blow away “Harry Potter”’s opening record by nearly $31M. That's just crazy, amazing, and unexpected. It could be a record that would hold up for a very long time.

We’ll see if Christopher Nolan’s “ The Dark Knight Rises” can topple “The Avengers”’s new record. Now, it seems very unlikely. The trailers for Nolan’s concluding film in the Batman franchise hasn’t exactly inspired confidence. What it has is a lot of good will from Nolan and the previous films. If early reviews are glowing, then it might have a chance. We’ll see.

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Senh created and operated Rotten Tomatoes out of his apartment at one point before coming together with friends to turn it into a real company. He's back to doing what he loves with Movies With Butter.

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