If there’s anything 11 years of Marvel Studios hits has taught us, it is that when one of its films scores a historic opening weekend, that momentum rolls into a second weekend that is similarly massive. “Avengers: Endgame” will prove that true on the largest scale the industry has ever seen.
On Monday, the final numbers were made official: $357.1 million domestic opening weekend — $100 million higher than “Avengers: Infinity War” — $866.5 million overseas, and a global opening of $1.22 billion. All of those figures are new records, and the global total after just five days is higher than the entire theatrical runs of “Iron Man 3” and “Captain America: Civil War.”
But the best part for Disney isn’t these breathtaking figures. It’s that the reception for the film has arguably been the most positive any Marvel Cinematic Universe installment has ever received. Even the most critical of reviews and analyses of the film have noted that “Endgame” is a rousing, crowd-pleasing end to the MCU as we know it, and Marvel fans around the world have been gushing in their excitement over the film. “Endgame” has a 92% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, an A+ from CinemaScore, and a superhero-record 9.4 rating among Chinese audiences on Maoyan.
All of these scores point to one thing: a huge second weekend fueled by repeat viewings from hardcore and casual audiences alike. Even the numbers for Monday reflect this. On its first full weekday in theaters, the film had a $36.7 million domestic total for a 60% day-to-day dropoff. By comparison, “Infinity War” grossed $24.7 million on its first Monday for a 64% dropoff from Sunday.
Today, Marvel Studios will blow past the $20 billion mark in lifetime box office earnings as it is expected to set new weekday grossing records in markets around the world. There’s little reason to doubt that the film won’t set a new record for the largest second domestic weekend ever recorded, beating the $149.2 million set by “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” With the global pace it is setting, it is very likely that “Endgame” will pass the $2 billion mark within the next week, hitting that milestone in roughly the same time it took “Infinity War” to gross $1 billion.
In the shadow of this unprecedented behemoth, three films from studios that have found themselves on the outside of the growing box office market share divide will try to eke out a solid opening. Those films are the Sony/Screen Gems thriller “The Intruder,” the STX animated family title “UglyDolls,” and the Lionsgate comedy “Long Shot.” All three films are projected for an opening in the $12-14 million range this weekend.
Of these three studios, Sony is the one in the best shape, as it has found a foothold with some tentpole franchises and will partake in the riches of MCU-Mania when “Spider-Man: Far From Home” hits theaters in July. But Screen Gems, the producers of “The Intruder,” has been an increasingly smaller aspect of Sony’s release plans. The former “Resident Evil” studio only has four films set for release through the end of 2020, and two of those films — “The Intruder” and “Brightburn” — hit theaters this month.
“UglyDolls” will hit theaters after STX got its 2019 off to a great start with “The Upside,” the distributor’s first No. 1 release ever. But the upside for this animated film remains limited. Even discounting “Avengers” appeal among families, the coming weeks will see the release of films like “Detective Pikachu” and “Aladdin” which will appeal to families with older kids. Expect “UglyDolls,” which is based on a toy franchise, to get most of its sales from kids under the age of 10 and their parents. STX co-financed and produced the film with Alibaba on a $45 million budget.
Finally, there is “Long Shot,” a romantic comedy with star power, positive reviews, and the best chance of finding some sort of foothold against “Avengers.” The film currently has an 86% score on Rotten Tomatoes and the potential to find traction in May as there will be no other adult comedies coming out this coming month.
And Lionsgate could really use the success. Their last release, “Hellboy,” has bombed hard with $21.5 million grossed against a $50 million budget through three weekends. New studio heads Joe Drake and Nathan Kahane have their work cut out for them as they try to turn Liosngate around after two years of flops and disappointments, and it starts this month with “Long Shot” and “John Wick: Chapter 3,” the latter of which is tracking for a $35 million opening. A third of the way through the year, Lionsgate has a domestic market share of 5.5% and $184 million grossed.