Avengers: Infinity War is set to cross the $1 billion plateau this weekend, becoming the quickest film in history to accomplish the feat. Ever since Marvel’s epic team-up debuted at the end of April, it’s been rewriting the history books left and right. Shattering two all-time opening records ($257.6 million domestic, $640.5 million worldwide), Infinity War is already one of the highest-grossing films of 2018 and it’ll only rise up the charts over the next couple of weeks. Deadpool 2 doesn’t open until May 18, giving Infinity War a nice cushion to pad its totals.
Remarkably, the latest MCU installment has been able to post numbers like this without the benefit of China (where it will premiere on May 11). With fans flocking to theaters to see the culmination of the last 10 years of storytelling, all signs pointed to Infinity War being the fastest to hit $1 billion. After only its second weekend, it’s going to reach that mark.
Variety is reporting Infinity War will pass $1 billion worldwide by the end of the weekend, thanks to an estimated $122 million haul in America, plus whatever else it makes internationally. This means the film will hit $1 billion in 11 days, topping the previous record that was held by Star Wars: The Force Awakens (12 days). As of this writing, Infinity War has earned $974.5 million globally, so it’s easy to see why people are already handing it $1 billion.
With this development, Infinity War becomes the 34th member of the not-so-exclusive $1 billion club, and Marvel’s second of 2018. Earlier this year, Black Panther set its own records by blitzing the marketplace to the tune of $1.3 billion. It seems like a foregone conclusion Infinity War will be able to sail past Black Panther before the end of its run. The big question now becomes if it can join the elite company of films that have hit $2 billion. Only three movies in history have gotten that far (Avatar, Titanic, Force Awakens), so it’s a very difficult achievement to reach. This will largely depend on how Infinity War holds later in the month when Deadpool 2 and Solo: A Star Wars Story open. Both of those tentpoles are expected to do very well commercially (and may also break records). Avatar and Force Awakens were December releases that feasted on a weak crop of January offerings after, while Titanic hit $2 billion only after its 3D re-release in 2012.
It’s easy to forget now there was a time when some people were unconvinced the Marvel Cinematic Universe could thrive due to its reliance on alleged B-list characters. Joss Whedon’s original Avengers movie was deemed overly-ambitious, and now the iconic 360 shot of the Phase 1 old guard seems quaint. Looking back, it’s pretty remarkable what Kevin Feige and company have done over the past decade. The MCU is now a $15 billion enterprise that changed franchise filmmaking in Hollywood. Other studios are trying to catch up, but Marvel will likely always be the king.
KEY RELEASE DATES
Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 release date: Apr 27, 2018
Ant-Man & The Wasp release date: Jul 6, 2018
Captain Marvel release date: Mar 8, 2019
The Avengers 4 / Untitled Avengers Movie release date: May 3, 2019
Untitled Spider-Man: Homecoming Sequel release date: Jul 5, 2019