Early industry estimates for opening night of Disney/Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War Thursday puts the blockbuster at $45 million, Deadline reports.
If maintained, that projection would make it Marvel's best Thursday preview ever, bypassing 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron ($27.6 million), and putting it on par with the second best ever (Star Wars: The Last Jedi's $45 million). That number would put it behind Disney's own Star Wars: The Force Awakens' $57 million.
The site notes the number comes from Deadline sources and is not an official Disney forecast, and the number could fluctuate between higher or lower figures by morning.
According to the site, figures could come in at a lower $36m—$38 million, which would still be a Marvel preview night record. Earlier this year, Marvel's Black Panther held the record for best-ever February Thursday night preview with $25.2 million.
Previews began rolling out across the country at 7 PM Thursday, save for select theater chains hosting fan events launched at 6 PM. When the Marvel Studios production rolls out nationwide, it will be on 4,474 screens — the most for any Disney title and the second-widest ever after Universal's Despicable Me 3 with 4,529.
Infinity War has already pulled in $39 million in its first day internationally.
Marvel Studios' latest blockbuster has a chance of toppling the biggest opening of all time, $248 million, currently held by 2015 Star Wars franchise revamp The Force Awakens.
Earlier this week, Fandango reported more than 1,000 Infinity War showings had already sold out ahead of release day. Before that, the online ticketing site reported the Avengers threequel was out-selling Marvel's last seven movies combined.
Black Panther, released in February, was Fandango's best-selling superhero movie pre-sale in the site's history — figures the crossover event surpassed in just six hours.
Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com, says one reason for the early success is Infinity War acting as the culmination of a decade's worth of films.
"This is Marvel's pièce de résistance," Robbins told CNNMoney.
"It's the payoff to ten years of world-building and character development that have helped change pop culture. The entire concept of a sprawling, multi-franchise universe on this scale is something audiences had never seen before, and that creates a must-see event aura."
Infinity War sold twice as many tickets as Black Panther at the same point in its sales cycle, a clear sign Marvel Studios is on pace to outdo its own superhero hit that proved a global phenomenon over the past three months.
That film grossed more than $1.3 billion worldwide, making it the tenth highest-grossing film of all time.6comments
Infinity War's domination of nearly 4,500 screens outdoes the 4,276 theaters filled by Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015. That film ranks seventh in the top ten highest-grossing movies of all time with $1.40 billion, just two spots behind The Avengers, which pulled in $1.51 billion in 2012.
Avengers: Infinity War is now playing.