After a massive opening weekend overseas last week, Marvel’s much-anticipated film adaptation of The Avengers raked in $18.7 million dollars at last night’s midnight screenings, giving it the eighth-best midnight opening in cinema history and the best for a comic book film. The next highest was The Dark Knight, which opened at $18.5 million.
Beating it out were a number of Harry Potter and Twilight films, as well as The Hunger Games, the top-grossing non-sequel, which opened in March with $19.7 million. The Hunger Games, after lofty expectations, was considered a soft opening at midnight but went on to gross more than $150 million that weekend and score the biggest opening weekend ever for a non-sequel.
Last night’s take, along with the overseas numbers, have the movie at more than $300 million and Box Office Mojo speculates that the film may reach $600 million globally by the end of the weekend. Most experts are guessing that the film will make between $150 million and $175 million domestically this weekend, putting it in the running for the biggest opening weekend in history.