Disney and Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War kicked off the summer box office in high style, opening to a record-setting $250 million in North America and $380 million overseas for a global total of $630 million, the top worldwide start of all time. The superhero mashup accomplished the feat without China, where it doesn't unfurl until May 11.
Fellow Disney title Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($248 million) was the previous record holder for biggest domestic opening, while Universal's The Fate of the Furious had held the record for biggest global start ($541.9 million).
Infinity War's box office victory was aided by the biggest Saturday of all time in North America ($83 million), reflecting a strong family turnout. The tentpole cost close to $300 to produce before a major marketing spend.
Directed by the Russo brothers, Avengers: Infinity War is most ambitious amassing of superheroes in history, and comes as Marvel Studios — led by Kevin Feige — celebrates its 10th anniversary. In 2009, Walt Disney Co. chief Bob Iger paid $4 billion to acquire Marvel Studios, even though many of the superhero characters in Marvel's stable were unproven.
Infinity War is the first film to be shot entirely with IMAX cameras. IMAX theaters in turn delivered $41 million of the total global gross, the biggest showing ever for a Marvel title. The U.S. share was $22.5 million.
Infinity War follows the massive success of Marvel's Black Panther, a cultural phenomenon and fanboy darling that currently ranks as the top-grossing superhero film of all time in North America with $688 million in ticket sales. The superhero, played by Chadwick Boseman, appears in the Avengers film and was no doubt a boost for Infinity War.
In a surprise twist, interest in Black Panther — now in its 11th weekend — once again spiked as Infinity War debuted. Black Panther moved back up the chart from No. 8 to No. 5, earning $4.4 million.
Marvel Studios is unrivaled in its success, boasting six of the top 10 opening weekends of all time. The Avengers ($207.4 million) previously held the record for the biggest superhero launch, followed by Black Panther ($202 million). They are the only two superhero titles to have crossed $200 million in their first weekend.
Infinity War also continues Disney's domination at the box office. The studio has bragging rights to nine of the 10 biggest domestic openings, including the top three; Infinity War, Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($220 million). Universal's Jurassic World ($208.8 million) is No. 4.
Nabbing an A CinemaScore, Infinity War reunites the Avengers gang and friends, including Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Panther (Boseman), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), as they join forces with the Guardians of the Galaxy crew to stop the evil intergalactic despot Thanos (Josh Brolin).
Black Panther stars Danai Gurira, Angela Bassett, Letitia Wright and Winston Duke also appear in Infinity War, the third outing in the Avengers series. Other characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe making a play include Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston).
Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista and Bradley Cooper are some of the stars from the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise appearing in Infinity War.
No other wide release dared open opposite Infinity War. Save for Black Panther, most holdovers felt the pinch, although Paramount's hit horror film, A Quiet Place, still made noise, grossing $10.7 million for a domestic total of $148.2 million. Overseas, the film earned another $6.6 million for a foreign total of $87.2 million and $235.4 globally.
A Quiet Place easily came in No. 2 domestically, followed by Amy Schumer comedy I Feel Pretty, which tumbled 49 percent in its second weekend to $8.1 million for a total $29.6 million. STX and Voltage are partners on the film.
Dwayne Johnson's action-adventure appeared to be the hardest hit by Infinity War, falling 65 percent to $7.1 million for a domestic total of $77.9 million at the end of its third weekend.