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Weekend Box Office: Infinity War scores the biggest opening weekend of all time

Four of the dozens of characters in Avengers: Infinity War, gazing in wonder at the box-office receipts
Photo: Chuck Zlotnick/ Marvel Studios

We all knew Avengers: Infinity War was going to have a huge opening weekend, as is right and proper for a Marvel Studios blockbuster. But, much as the film stuffs dozens of characters into one 156-minute movie, Infinity War multiplied the box-office returns even of this February’s mega-hit Black Panther, decimating the global box office with a staggering $630 million worldwide opening. That’s almost $100 million more than the previous champ, The Fate Of The Furious, which opened at $542 million worldwide last year. And Infinity War hasn’t even opened in the lucrative Chinese or Russian markets yet.

Infinity War also smashed the record for biggest domestic opening of all time with $250 million, just barely edging out Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens’ $247.9 domestic opening weekend. (Black Panther opened to $242 million, including the Presidents’ Day holiday.) Although impressive, the film’s record-breaking opening isn’t totally surprising, given its impressive Thursday preview receipts and the fact that it opened on 4,474 screens, the widest release yet for a Disney film—not to mention the $150 million (per The New York Times) that Disney spent to promote it.


Compared to that sort of box-office muscle, the rest of the week’s releases were as helpless as civilians dodging shrapnel: Eighty-four percent of this week’s domestic top 12 was occupied by Infinity War, and other major studios cleared their release schedules accordingly. That allowed holdovers like John Krasinski’s sleeper horror hit A Quiet Place, which dropped from No. 1 to No. 2 (about the best it could ask for in this situation), and Amy Schumer’s exercise in product placement and/or pop-feminist empowerment I Feel Pretty, which stayed steady at No. 3 (same), to stretch out a little bit and quietly add to their domestic box-office totals.

The Infinity War effect even retroactively benefitted Black Panther, which rose from No. 8 to No. 5 in its eleventh week in U.S. theaters. (These could be repeat viewers, or the last people in America to see Black Panther catching up, or MoviePass holders adopting the Demi Adejuyigbe loophole for public restroom access.) Meanwhile, in specialty release, arthouse viewers in search of counter-programming gave a big boost to the forbidden lesbian love of Disobedience, which scored the weekend’s second-best per-theater average of $48,225 on each of its five screens—about $9,000 per screen behind you-know-who.

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