The Avengers Smashes Opening Weekend Record
See that little wizard over there, Hulk? SMASH!
Josh Whedon's Disney (NYSE: DIS )-produced superhero movie The Avengers has smashed the opening weekend box office record previously held by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 of $169.2 million, and brought in an incredible $200.3 million.
The movie, which brings together some of Marvel Comic's biggest names including Captain America, the Hulk, Thor, Iron Man and Hawkeye, raked in $80.5 million on Friday, $69.7 million on Saturday and $50.1 million on Sunday. The Saturday figure is a new record for that day also. In addition, 40% of the people that saw the movie this weekend were women .
The slow-build surrounding the movie has been perfectly executed, starting back in 2008 when both the Incredible Hulk and Iron Man movies featured teaser scenes after the credits, both staring Samuel L. Jackson as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury as he looked to assemble an Avengers team. 2010's Iron Man 2 and last year's Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor continued along those same lines.
So, by the time the movie was eventually released this last weekend, the anticipation had reached fever-pitch. The chatter threatened to fill up the internet, and people are already discussing the next movie (which new characters will be introduced seem to be a dominant theme).
It doesn't hurt that the vast majority of the reviews have been positive. Very few people have had anything bad to say about it, beyond the typical cries of "do we need another superhero movie?" The answer, according to the American public, is a resounding yes.
How the forthcoming Amazing Spiderman , Dark Knight Rises and Man of Steel will fare with the bar raised so high remains to be seen, but it is almost unfair, it's hardly an even playing field, because The Avengers is pretty much five superhero movies in one.
"There aren't even words, to be honest. I'm running low on double takes. Every time we looked at a number, it just got bigger than what we could have hoped for in the best-case assumption," said Dave Hollis, Disney's head of distribution. "With this film, this weekend, anything is possible."
To put it in perspective, the Hunger Games brought in $5.7 million in this weekend. Surprisingly, Think Like a Man sits above that with $8 million. The Three Stooges brought in $1.8 million. The Avengers ' $200.3 million dwarfs all of those, albeit on the opening weekend.
Viacom (NYSE: VIA ) and Paramount will be delighted as they have a share, though the numbers are being considered a great thing for the industry as a whole. The Avengers has just redefined what it means to have a blockbuster movie.
If you haven't seen it yet, Assemble.
Follow me @BCallwood .
(c) 2012 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.