We’ve grown accustomed to franchise fatigue over the last few years, where once sure bets like Transformers and Pirates of the Carribean have cratered at the domestic box office. Studios are having difficulties keeping viewers interested in even trilogies. Meanwhile, sequels are not typically expected to do as well as their predecessors, and yet, here we are 19 films into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Marvel has delivered with its 18th and 19th films two of its biggest opening weekends yet. The numbers that Avengers: Infinity War put up this weekend are B-A-N-A-N-A-S, particularly when one considers that the last MCU film, Black Panther, is still in theaters.
There is no fatigue here. Each film creates more anticipation for the next, and Infinity War did its job by somehow generating even more anticipation for the sequel. Avengers: Infinity War also had a massive opening weekend, totaling somewhere between $248 and $250 million. Those numbers whopping, and they are so high that we won’t have an official final count until Monday. However, it appears that Infinity War has narrowly broken the record for the biggest opening weekend, previously held by Star Wars: The Force Awakens with $247.96 million.
Absolutely everything worked for Infinity War, perfectly setting up the payoff for a story that’s been a decade in the making. Critics loved it to the tune of 84 percent on Rotten Tomatoes; it got an A from Cinemascore, and 93 percent of moviegoers are recommending the film, according to ComScore. Those numbers are not easy when a film delivers a cliffhanger ending like Infinity War, and where moviegoers walk out of the theater sad, angry, frustrated, anxious, and maybe even confused. It’s a testament to how much moviegoers believe in the brain trust behind the MCU that they’re giving them the benefit of the doubt while we wait for part two a year from now.
Everything else this weekend was holdovers, bygone movies from the pre-Infinity War era. A Quiet Place led the way in at number two with $10 million, only $237 million behind The Avengers (this must also be a record for the biggest gap between the number one and number two films, a record previously held by A Force Awakens and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip). Nevertheless, A Quiet Place has tallied a hefty $148 million, so far, on only a $17 million budget.
Amy Schumer’s I Feel Pretty took a 50 percent tumble in its second weekend, generating another $8 million to bring it near the $30 million mark. The Rock’s Rampage adds another $7 million to bring its total to $77 million, although its domestic gross represents only 25 percent of its worldwide receipts, which is around $300 million.
Black Panther actually got a tiny lift this weekend with the release of Infinity War, growing by 3 percent in its 11th weekend and earning $4.4 million. With $688 million, it’s vying to become only the third film ever to cross $700 million in North America and it has an outside shot of hitting that mark. The Super Troopers superfans all came out in its first weekend, and in its second, it’s seeing a staggering 77 percent drop, although it has still earned $22 million on a small budget, much of which was paid for by crowdsourcing.
Jason Blum’s Truth or Dare hit $35 million this weekend by adding around $3 million, or about what it cost to make the film. Blockers adds $2.9 million to bring its total to $53 million, which is great for a movie that only cost $21 million to make and will make a fortune upon its digital release. Spielberg’s Ready Player One still has a little left in the tank. It went for $2.5 million to bring its domestic total to $130 million, although it’s made well over $500 million worldwide.
Finally, in its second weekend, Paula Patton’s Traffik rounds out the top ten, adding $1.5 million to bring its cumulative total to $6.7 million, which is probably close to profitable a film with a tiny budget. Isle of Dogs, meanwhile, fell out of the top ten, earning $1.4 million to bring its total to $27 million.
Infinity War was originally scheduled for next weekend, and studios are not making any big bets against the film’s second frame. There are three new releases, but all are coming out on fewer than 2,000 screens. Dean Devlin’s horror film starring David Tennant, Bad Samaritan, will take on Anna Faris’ remake of Overboard, while the team behind Young Adult — Jason Reitman, Diablo Cody, and Charlize Theron — reunite for Tully.