Hi everyone. I hope all of you had a relaxing Memorial Day weekend. I’ve been in relax mode for a week now, ever since I followed up my trip to Cannes with taking my wife and daughters to St. Louis; the land of no traffic, cheap gas and a free zoo. While in the STL, I was at a Hibachi-style Japanese restaurant when the guy sitting next to me uttered a quote that triggered today’s article. “Lawrence of St. Louis” said, “Men lie, women lie, but numbers don’t lie.” The quote made me think of “The Avengers,” and how the mega-blockbuster has raked in over $1 billion in 19 days, while shattering a slew of records along the way. So, today we are going to chronicle “The Avengers” rocket launch to international box office domination. Maybe we’ll learn something. Maybe we won’t. Either way, it’s important to take a moment out of our indie film lives and marvel at an outrageously successful distribution effort.

The Records (So Far)

Opening Day (May 4, 2012)
“The Avengers” earned a staggering $80,813,985 in its first day of release. To put that number in perspective, Richard Linklater’s most successful box office release, “School of Rock” (2003), earned $81,267,177, during it’s entire domestic run.

Opening Weekend (May 4-6, 2012)
“The Avengers” continued its domination over its opening frame, with a three-day opening weekend total of $207,438,708 in 4,349 theaters. After earing $80,813,985 on Friday, May 4, the picture earned $69,557,990 on Saturday, May 5, and an additional $57,066,763 on Sunday, May 6. That’s a per-theater average of $47,698, which is beyond amazing. Furthermore, Saturday’s total was only 14% off of Friday’s take, and Sunday’s total was a mere 18% off of Saturday’s earnings.

The $207,438,708 first weekend total smashed the previous record holder, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Part 2,” which earned $169,189,427 in 4,375 theaters over the July 15, 2011 weekend. Thus, “The Avengers,” earned $38,249,281 more than “Harry Potter,” and did it while playing on 26 fewer screens.

Reaching $1 Billion Worldwide in 19 Days
“The Avengers” crossed the billion-dollar mark on day 19, which tied “Avatar” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Part 2.” It’s interesting to note that “The Avengers,” was playing domestically for only 10 of those 19 days. Furthermore, its current domestic total is $513,802,000. Its current international total is $723,300,000, driving its worldwide total to $1,237,102,000 in 24 days of release.

International Final Four At The Box-Office
With $1.237 billion banked internationally, “The Avengers,” has already slid into fourth place on the all-time list at the international box-office. Here are the three films that stand in the way of “The Avengers,” becoming the #1 release ever.


Avatar                                                                $2,783,918,982


Titanic                                                                $1,842,879,955
     2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II    $1,328,111,219 

While I don’t think “The Avengers” will catch “Avatar,” I’m sure “Harry Potter” will lay in its wake within a matter of days, and “Titanic” may relinquish its silver medal to “The Avengers” by the end of summer.

Other Insights into “The Avengers”

The Budget
The $225,000,000 budget for “The Avengers” seems like a steal for Disney, when compared to the studio’s colossal flop, “John Carter” (2012), which had a $300,000,000 price tag and only earned $72,157,379 domestically. Disney also laid out $150,000,000 to make “Mars Needs Moms,” (2011), and that gem only earned $21,392,758 at the domestic box-office. At least when Disney spent $286,000,000 to make “Tangled” (2010), the picture returned $586,581,936 in worldwide box-office sales, and an additional $101,994,783 from domestic DVD sales. Of course, all of Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” films came with huge budgets, but those films justified their costs with their multibillion dollars of worldwide earnings.

As for “The Avengers” justifying its price tag, the picture made over 92% of its budget back in its first three days of release ($207,438,427 of $225,000,000). The comic-book gem has also more than quintupled its budget in worldwide earnings ($1,237,802,000 on a $225,000,000 budget) in its first 24 days of release.

The Men In Black 3 Factors
While “The Avengers” has been ripping up the worldwide box-office, recently released “Men in Black 3,” (2012) just ousted “The Avengers” from the #1 spot at the domestic box-office. Released on May 25, 2012, “Men In Black 3” ended “The Avengers” 21 day streak of being #1 at the box-office, when it MIB3 earned more than $55,000,000 over Memorial Day Weekend. The $215,000,000 budgeted Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones starrer is expected to earn $70,000,000 when Memorial Day Monday’s totals are included, and over $202,000,000 worldwide, according to its distributor Sony. Furthermore, MIB3 came in #1 in 104 of 106 international markets in which it was released. Thus, “Men In Black 3” will certainly crimp the ultimate domestic and international box-office total of “The Avengers.”

 Okay, everyone. That’s what I’ve got for you today. I thank you once again for lending me your eyes, and I look forward to borrowing them again next Tuesday. I can be followed on Twitter @Lonelyseal.

***Statistical data for this article was compiled from www.the-numbers.com and www.boxofficemojo.com.

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  1. shamim Zaidi says:

    Very well written. Keep up the fine job.

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