LOS ANGELES (AFP) -The Avengers have assembled for the last time, and they are destroying the competition – even before hitting US movie theatres.
Avengers: Endgame, the last in a 22-film arc featuring the beloved Marvel Universe superheroes, shattered records upon its release in Asia, specifically in China, Disney – which owns Marvel Studios – announced on Thursday (April 26).
The movie raked in US$169 million (S$230 million) on Wednesday, its first day of release in 25 markets including China, Australia and several countries in Europe.
It set single-day box office records in China, Australia, New Zealand and other countries, said Disney, which bought Marvel Studios in 2009.
The film’s performance in China was impressive – US$107.5 million.
In France, Endgame scored the biggest opening day for a Marvel film. It set an overall opening day record in the Netherlands, Greece and Egypt.
The figures indicate that Endgame will surpass the receipts generated by the previous episode in the Avengers saga – Infinity War – which came out last year, it added.
The film will go into wide release in the United States and Canada on Friday, with showings in select cities from Thursday.
Experts predict the well-reviewed Avengers finale – featuring Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson and a raft of other stars – could make US$200 million to US$260 million in its opening weekend in North America.
The film clocks runs just about three hours, leading US movie chain powerhouse AMC to schedule showings around the clock in several dozen cinemas to satisfy demand from moviegoing fans.
In India, the country’s main ticket trader said advance sales had exceeded 2.5 million, and some cinemas in the usually Bollywood-mad country are planning around-the-clock screenings.
Pundits are predicting a debut weekend that could break records with the first billion-dollar worldwide opening in history.
The 21 preceding films – featuring many of the comic book heroes created by the late legend Stan Lee – have earned about US$19 billion globally.