BO Report: Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Endgame’ smashes industry records

Marvel Studios' AVENGERS: ENDGAME..Thor (Chris Hemsworth)..Photo: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2019

‘Avengers: End Game.’

Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame made history last weekend with record-shattering debuts in the US and internationally including Australia.

The 22nd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise notched $US1.223 billion globally – $US357.1 million in the US and $US866.5 million in the rest of the world.

Among the milestones, the action adventure is the first film in history to surpass $US1 billion in the opening weekend and the first to make more than $US300 million domestically, trouncing Avengers: Infinity War’s $US257.7 million debut. In China, it already ranks as the fourth biggest non-local title of all time with $US330.5 million.

In Australia, the Joe and Anthony Russo-directed juggernaut generated $34.1 million in four days and $44.4 million on an unprecedented 1,112 screens including the Wednesday opening. That eclipsed Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ previous four-day record of $27.2 million and Avengers: Infinity Wars’ $29.9 million in five days.

So the movie produced by Kevin Feige and scripted by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely is sure to beat the previous edition’s $61.9 million lifetime total.

However the daily figures suggest the film is front-loaded, meaning it may not have the legs to reach Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which had the benefit of Christmas holidays and finished with $94 million. Avatar remains the all-time champ with $115.7 million.

“I think it will be touch and go about surpassing The Force Awakens. Given its great reviews, it has a chance, it just depends how many people come back for multiple viewings,” Majestic Cinemas CEO Kieren Dell tells IF.

“It was certainly front-loaded but it still held up pretty well over the weekend. School is back in all states now so we shall wait and see over the next week or so to see where it heads.”

Wallis Cinemas’ Bob Parr doubts Endgame will beat JJ Abrams’ sci-fi epic but only because the latter had Christmas playtime.

In the US some pundits calculated the Disney/Marvel release has already reached break-even, despite the hefty estimated $356 million net negative costs and global $150 million P&A spend. Some predict Endgame will generate profits of $600 million- $650 million.

The finale of the Avengers saga, which stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Mackie, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen and Chadwick Boseman, single-handedly boosted the weekend box office in Australia by 206 per cent to $39.3 million, according to Numero.

The downside: the movie sucked the life out of most of the other titles. Positioned as counter-programming, Studiocanal’s The Chaperone opened respectably and could build as older audiences discover the drama produced by Aussies Victoria Hill and Andrew Mann.

Among the limited releases, Roadshow’s Gloria Bell had a decent launch while Madman’s The Hummingbird Project and Icon’s 1985 struggled.

Exhibitors were delighted with the turnout for paid previews of Wayne Blair’s Top End Wedding, which opens on Thursday via Universal Pictures. “I think we may have the next Australian movie hit with this one; it is good counter programming to Avengers: Endgame,” Dell says.

Tim Burton’s Dumbo was a distant second, advancing to $11.5 million after making $691,000 in its fifth outing. The Disney movie starring Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Eva Green, Danny DeVito, Finley Hobbins and Nico Parker has taken $107 million domestic and $327.6 million globally, still well short of recouping the $170 million budget plus hefty P&A spend.

Paramount’s animated fantasy adventure Wonder Park fetched $686,000 in its fourth, climbing to $5.8 million. The tale of talking animals that run an amusement park has collected $45 million in the US and $58.1 million in the rest of the world, a lousy return for a reported $100 million budget.

Warner Bros’ Shazam! reached $16.2 million after making $633,000 in its fourth. The DC comics-based superhero adventure starring Zachary Levin has hauled in $131.1 million in the US and $346.3 million globally. WB’s The Lego Movie 2 drew $403,000 in its sixth, rising to almost $10.6 million.

Disney/Marvel’s Captain Marvel ascended to $41.2 million after collaring $373,000 in its eighth frame. The sci-fi fantasy co-directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck has amassed $1.11 billion worldwide.

Roadshow’s horror movie The Curse of the Weeping Woman plunged by 61 per cent to $351,000 in its second weekend, delivering a tepid $1.7 million. The film starring Linda Cardelli as a social worker with two kids who is attacked by a female ghost is resonating far better in the US with $41.2 million.

Scripted by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and directed by series director Michael Engler, The Chaperone rang up $350,000 on 175 screens and $595,000 including previews. Pro-rata, that is way ahead of the US where the 1920s-set movie starring Elizabeth McGovern, Haley Lu Richardson, Campbell Scott and Miranda Otto has scraped up a meagre $US335,000 in 32 days.

Roadshow’s Five Feet Apart topped $7 million after nabbing $235,000 in its fifth, outperforming the US where Justin Baldoni’s drama starring Cole Sprouse and Haley Lu Richardson petered out with $45.2 million.

The Aftermath won’t be remembered among Fox’s more significant releases as the post-World War 2 drama starring Keira Knightley, Jason Clarke and Alexander Skarsgård crawled along to $1.6 million after its $215,000 third frame and won’t do much more than the US’s $US1.6 million.

Chilean filmmaker Sebastián Lelio’s Gloria Bell, a remake of his 2014 hit Gloria, snared $158,000 on 38 screens and $250,000 with previews. The drama starring Julianne Moore, John Turturro, Michael Cera and Caren Pistoruys has mustered a solid $5.5 million in the US.

Glowing reviews don’t seem to have any added value to The Hummingbird Project, Kim Nguyen’s thriller starring Jesse Eisenberg, Alexander Skarsgård and Salma Hayek, which fetched $37,000 on 32 screens and $44,000 with previews.

Yen Tan’s drama 1985, which follows Gotham‘s Cory Michael Smith as a closeted young man returning to his Texas hometown for Christmas during the first wave of the AIDS crisis, grossed $13,000 on eight screens and $18,000 with sneaks.