Avengers smashes box office records
Avengers: Endgame smashed Australian box office records after only one day in release.
The movie extravaganza, featuring characters from Marvel's 22-picture franchise, broke the record for the highest ever opening day in Australia with more than $10 million in takings.
Yesterday, Avengers: Endgame played across 1070 screens nationally, also a record.
Earlier, the movie had already broken the presale records, having sold $18 million worth of tickets. It had also broken the presale first-day record when it surpassed $3.8 million within 11 hours.
The first Avengers movie had an Australian opening day of $6 million in 2012. Since then, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has expanded and released a further 16 movies, and excitement for the franchise has reached fever pitch.
Avengers: Endgame is expected to dominate the Australian and global box office in 2019, with projections it could pass the $US1 billion ($A1.4 billion) mark in its first week. American analysts predict it will take in up to $US285 million ($A406 million) in the US in its first weekend.
The financial success of the movie, which reportedly cost close to $US400 million ($A570 million) for its production with another $US200 ($A285 million) million thrown in for marketing, is a testament to the cinematic behemoth Marvel has built, starting with Iron Man in 2008.
The shared universe concept, in which movies tied in together like TV crossover events, has been eagerly adopted by other studios looking to replicate Marvel's success.
A direct sequel to last year's Avengers: Infinity War, Endgame picks up after the catastrophic loss suffered by superheroes Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow and more when villain Thanos made half the universe's population disappear, including many Marvel characters.
The team will rally to try to reverse the event.
While Avengers: Endgame is not the end of the MCU, it is the capper on what's now being termed as the "Infinity Saga", with conclusions to several characters' stories and arcs.
Infinity War racked up $61.8 million in Australia and was the highest-grossing movie of 2018 in Australia. Globally, it made over $US2 billion ($A2.85 billion).
The highest grossing movie in Australia so far for 2019 is another Marvel/Disney property, Captain Marvel, currently sitting at $40 million.