Deadline is careful to mention the $43m figure, collected from starting showtimes at 6 p.m., does not come from studio Disney. Its early haul already topples the $39m earned by the preceding Avengers: Infinity War a year ago and could possibly grow to beat the $57m won by Disney's own Star Wars: The Force Awakens in December 2015.
Also of note is Endgame rolling out an hour earlier than Infinity War, which launched with 7 p.m. showings. As noted by Deadline, Infinity War repped 37% of its Friday ($106.3m) for a record-setting $257.6m domestic opening weekend, expected to be soundly beaten by Endgame, which could punch its way to an all-time high $300m-plus domestic opening weekend.
As earlier reported, Endgame sold an estimated $120m-$140m in pre-sale tickets and will play on an unprecedented 4,662 screens in its opening weekend — with some theaters having round-the-clock showings — putting it on pace for an expected global launch somewhere between $850m-$900m. At that pace, a first-week billion dollar haul will be short behind.
In addition to winning the title of biggest pre-seller on Fandango and achieving a "record-shattering" 8,000 sold-out showtimes through the retailer, Endgame sold five times as many first-week pre-sales as Infinity War and has ousted the record of biggest first day sales previously held by The Force Awakens. That film is the third highest-grossing in history at $2.068b, behind James Cameron's Avatar ($2.78b) and Titanic ($2.18b).
Overseas, where Endgame rolled out in most territories April 24 and April 25, the Avengers fourquel has proved its might with a $169m haul. In China, it set the country's opening day record, taking in $107.5m.
Those numbers make Endgame already the top ten highest-grossing movie of 2019 worldwide, before even reaching U.S. theaters.
Endgame only has to climb past The LEGO Movie: The Second Part ($189m), Us and Glass (both $247m), Dumbo ($310m), Shazam! ($326m), Alita: Battle Angel ($404m), How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($515m), The Wandering Earth ($699m), and Marvel Studios' own Captain Marvel ($1.094b) to become the reigning highest-grossing movie of the year — a feat it will accomplish in short order.
Avengers: Endgame is now playing.
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