In just over two weeks in theaters, Avengers: Infinity War has grossed $1.226 billion worldwide, surpassing the $1.215 billion Iron Man 3 took in during its entire time in theaters worldwide. Avengers: Infinity War has yet to open in China, but has claimed the biggest box office opening of all-time stateside, topping Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
So far, Avengers: Infinity War has also surpassed the total runs of huge films like Avengers: Age of Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Captain America: Civil War.
Despite the Marvel Studios film not having what many moviegoers would consider a happy-ending or feel-good narrative, the Russo Brothers never had any other plan in directing the largest ensemble film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's history.
"We always knew that that would be the most profound or some of the most profound beats of the film," Joe Russo said. "We wanted the story, Thanos, even though he's the villain, to follow the traditional arc of hero beats. In that you have to follow through with what he did and carry him to the ending, self-satisfied, sitting on his porch, feeling the weight of what he's done in order for him to have the completion. That's how it wraps up for us and that's why we say it's a self-contained story and that there is an ending, it's just not the ending that you're used to. And Thanos, if you track all his major beats, they tell a complete story."
The ending, however, might look a bit out of place by comparison to previous Marvel films. It's impossible to name a movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe where the Avengers flat out lost. The Russo Brothers admit, they did see the touch of risk which came with such a finale.
"We certainly knew that it was a difficult choice to make, but that's what excited us about it," Anthony Russo said. "Joe and I, I think, we run at... when something makes you nervous or scared on a creative level it's usually because there's something really good there. So, we knew it was a complicated proposition, but it's something that sounds good or exciting to us. The next step to me, to continue to surprise audiences and surprise ourselves with where these stories can go and what kind of an emotional experience that they can give us, it's so important to keep pushing forward and keep these movies evolving and treading new ground. And it's just, we knew that was a very rich choice that would lead us and audiences to new experiences. And I think, seemingly, it's having that effect."
Of course, the dark ending might not just effect moviegoer opinions of the film, but also the business side of the movie. "There was a part of us that always wondered if it would dampen the movies' sort of financial prospects, but we could never answer that question," Anthony Russo admits. "But so far it seems like it's not." As noted in the fact that Infinity War is beating huge Marvel successes at the box office in its first couple of weeks, the risk certainly reaped the rewards.
Avengers: Infinity War is now playing in theaters.