Avengers: Endgame becomes the first film to break $1 billion in an opening weekend

In its opening weekend, “Avengers: Endgame” made breaking box office records look like a snap.

The last film in what Marvel Studios dubbed phase three of its rollout of characters and plots in an ever-expanding cinematic universe is a box office marvel raking in an estimated $1.2 billion at the box office.

Benefiting from a $350 million domestic debut and another $859 million in global box office receipts, it’s clear that the Marvel Studios franchise has achieved super heroic returns for Disney since its 2009 acquisition for $4 billion.

“Avengers: Endgame” hit the billion-dollar mark in five days, faster than its predecessor Avengers:Infinity War, which held the previous record at 11 days (but still not faster than a speeding bullet).

Starring deep breath): Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Brie Larson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Brie Larson, Karen Gillan, Danai Gurira, Chadwick Boseman (fleetingly), Bradley Cooper and Josh Brolin; the film was an exercise in fan service, but also a thrilling and moving way to say goodbye to the current crop of Earth’s mightiest heroes, according to our reviewer, Anthony Ha.

In all, the 22 films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have grossed $19.9 billion at the global box office — with the four Avengers films bringing in nearly $6.2 billion.

“Kevin Feige and the Marvel Studios team have continued to challenge notions of what is possible at the movie theater both in terms of storytelling and at the box office,” said Alan Horn, chairman, The Walt Disney Studios, in a statement. “Though Endgame is far from an end for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, these first 22 films constitute a sprawling achievement, and this weekend’s monumental success is a testament to the world they’ve envisioned, the talent involved, and their collective passion, matched by the irrepressible enthusiasm of fans around the world.”

One key to the huge opening weekend for Avengers was its release in China where the film grossed almost as much as it did in the U.S. on opening weekend. The $330.5 million haul made the movie the number one film at the Chinese box office and accounted for a huge chunk of global ticket sales.

“From the very beginning with Iron Man, all we’ve wanted to do was tell stories that brought these characters to life onscreen the way we’ve experienced them as fans of the comics,” said Kevin Feige, President, Marvel Studios, in a statement. “Our directors, Anthony and Joe Russo, and our writers, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, really brought this story home, and I am also incredibly thankful for our cast and filmmakers from across the MCU and all who’ve worked so hard to make these films the best they can be, including the amazing teams at Marvel Studios and Disney. And of course, without Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, none of this would have been possible.”

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