Holy cow! Avengers: Infinity War did the unthinkable. It managed to break Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ US opening weekend box office record, to be the biggest box office opening weekend ever, in the US. That’s right, Infinity War raked it US$ 257.6 million in its opening weekend, in the US. Of course, these numbers do not take inflation into consideration.
Naturally, that would also make Avengers: Infinity War the highest grossing comic book movie opening of all time, at the US box office, too, a record previously held by the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first team-up movie, The Avengers ($US 207.4 million). But Infinity War isn’t just a behemoth in the US.
Outside of the United States, Infinity War is the second highest grossing opening weekend of all time ($US 382.8 million) only behind — get ready to vomit blood — The Fate of the Furious ($US 443.1 million). However, we must keep in mind that the latest Avengers movie is yet to hit the big screen in China (May 11) and Russia (May 3), two of the biggest moviegoing markets outside of the US. Some are estimating that Infinity War will gross approximately $US 136 million in China, in its opening weekend. Assuming the estimates are true, Infinity War would’ve grossed over $US 518 million outside of the US, had it been released in China the same time as the rest of the world, breaking the record held by The Fate of the Furious.
Worldwide (US + Outside US), Infinity War is the box office opening weekend KING, raking in over $US 640.5 million. Coming in at second place is The Fate of the Furious ($US 541.9 million) and right behind the eighth Fast and Furious movie is Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($US 529 million).
We all knew Infinity War was going to be a monster at the box office, but what many did not predict is how big of a monster it was actually going to be. Turns out it’s a pretty f**king huge monster. And with the opening weekend out of the way, the next question on a lot of people’s minds is:
Will Avengers: Infinity War be the highest grossing movie of all time, worldwide?!
Here’s the list of top 20 highest grossing movies of all time, worldwide.
Let’s work our way upwards, shall we? Considering Infinity War is the highest opening weekend of all time, worldwide, it is safe to say that it will definitely crack the top 20. Heck, I feel silly even typing that out. In fact, there is little doubt in my mind that Infinity War will even beat the likes of Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Avengers: Age of Ultron. Easy.
This is where things get interesting. I am rooting hard for Infinity War, but I predict that it’s going to struggle to even break into the top 5 and this has nothing to do with quality, nor hype. It is a kickass movie that everyone is excited to see, from the most hardcore fans to the back alley hobos, that is until Deadpool 2 comes out. In a couple of weeks time — May 17th to be exact — Deadpool 2 will hit the big screens worldwide. And then a week after that, Solo: A Star Wars Story and two weeks after that Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and the less threatening, Ocean’s 8.
- 17 May — Deadpool 2
- 24 May — Solo: A Star Wars Story
- 7 June — Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom + Ocean’s 8
- 14 June — Incredibles 2
Look, I’m not saying these movies are going to prevent people from watching Infinity War altogether. But the thick (or as the millennials say t h i c c) competition will definitely be a major hindrance to Infinity War‘s repeat viewing. It will also affect the revenue stream brought in by super casual viewers — I’m talking about the peeps who randomly walk into a cinema one day and watch THE BIG movie that’s screening at any given time.
Four out of the top five movies did not face that problem. The Avengers was released in the first week of May in 2012. Its only competition in that month was the critically crapped on Battleship, starring Rihanna, and Men in Black 3. Look, I enjoy the Men in Black franchise, but those movies aren’t exactly in the same league, box office wise, as a Deadpool or a Star Wars or giant nostalgia dinosaurs. In fact, the first real competition The Avengers had to face was The Amazing Spider-Man, which was released eight weeks later, in July.
Furious 7 had a much more challenging time than The Avengers. It was released in the first week of April of 2015 and did not have any competition for four whole weeks, until Avengers: Age of Ultron hit the big screens in the first week of May.
Nevertheless, I have confidence that Infinity War will be able to do in three weeks of no competition, what Furious 7 accomplished in four weeks of no competition, considering Infinity War‘s massive GLOBAL appeal, compared to Furious 7‘s pull, which was mostly outside of the US. Furious 7 grossed merely $US 353 million in the US but raked in $US 1.1 billion outside of the US.
Then there’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was released on the 17th of December 2015. Not only did it have all the hype in the world, it also had ZERO competition, unless you consider the critically shat on Daddy’s Home, and a bunch of Oscar movies — The Big Short, The Revenant, The Hateful Eight — competition. It had a clear road ahead until the last week of January, with the release of Kung Fu Panda 3, which is good counter-programming, but again, NOT a comic book movie, or Star Wars or Jurassic Park.
Titanic is a movie that was released in December 1997 and even without adjusting its box office numbers to inflation, it still remains the second highest grossing movie of all time, worldwide. It is the first movie to hit the $US 2 billion dollar mark at the global box office. That is INSANE! It also had literally no competition for six whole months. These days, we have 12 – 15 BIG movies coming out every year. The landscape of cinema was very different back then, with only 2-3 big movies in a single calendar year. So Titanic took the ball and ran with it, from December 1997, all the way to July 1998, where it finally met its match in Michael Bay’s Armageddon and Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan. Besides, Titanic has had multiple re-releases over the years, which can be considered cheating, but still helps its box office numbers regardless.
Avatar is another December release. Released on December 18, 2009, Avatar didn’t just make $US 2 billion dollars, it raked in a staggering $US 2.7 billion. It’s only competition was Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes (pffft) also released in December and the forgotten loser child of the YA genre, Percy Jackson, released in February of 2010.
No, I did not forget about Jurassic World, which hit the big screens on 12 June 2015 (yeap, another 2015 movie). I saved this dino movie for last because it actually counters my argument. Jurassic World faced immediate competition the week after, with the release of Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out. And then the week after that, Terminator: Genisys and then a couple of weeks later, Minions (which believe it or not is a global phenomenon grossing over $US 1 billion) and then finally Ant-Man. Despite its relatively steep competition, Jurassic World grossed over $US 1.6 billion at the global box office, making it the fourth highest grossing movie of all time, worldwide. I don’t have an explanation for this, besides nostalgia always wins.
I’m always rooting for good movies to do well at the box office. And Avengers: Infinity War is going to do extremely well. It’s going to breeze past the $US 1 billion dollar mark and then limp past the $US 1.4-1.5 billion. Heck, if Marvel is really, really lucky, Infinity War might even crawl past the prestigious $US 2 billion line. But there’s just no way in hell it’s going to beat The Force Awakens, Titanic, and Avatar, not with the competition it’s going up against, one of which includes Jurassic World: A Fallen Kingdom, a sequel to a movie that has as much global appeal as a comic book movie. Ice water on me if I’m wrong.
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