Box Office: ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ begins its reign with $27.6 million Thursday

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” finally hit American shores on Thursday night and the battle for the biggest opening of all-time has begun.  The highly anticipated sequel came in with $27.6 million from evening shows which is significantly higher than the $18.7 million the first “Avengers” earned in 2012.  The first “Avengers” is currently the largest opening of all-time in the U.S. with $207.4 million.

The record holder for early Thursday numbers is still “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 2” with $18.7 million.  Last year, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” took in $10.2 million from early showings.

Most industry observers and other Hollywood studios believe “Ultron” can make up to $220-230 million which would set a new record.

Internationally, Joss Whedon's blockbuster has already taken in $287.3 million.

Look for updates on “Ultron's” attempt to make history all weekend long on HitFix.