NEW YORK (AP) — The superhero-stuffed “Avengers: Infinity War” is off to a super start, nabbing the fourth biggest preview gross ever and earning $95 million in 43 countries ahead of what could be a record-breaking debut in North America.
Marvel Studios reported Friday that the crossover event “Infinity War” scooped up $39 million domestically from Thursday-night previews, the highest preview title for a Marvel film and the fourth biggest preview gross ever.
The film earned more on a Thursday than “Avengers: Age of Ultron” ($27.6 million) and “Black Panther” ($25.2 million), but was behind “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” ($57 million), “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” ($45 million) and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows-Part 2” ($43 million).
It also has so far earned $11.4 million in South Korea, $10 million in Australia and $9 million in the United Kingdom, as well as scoring the highest movie opening in countries including Brazil, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Chile. It opened in 21 countries on Wednesday and added 22 on Thursday.
Hollywood is watching to see if the film — featuring the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy — can smash the opening domestic weekend box-office record currently held by “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” That film opened to $248 million in sales in its opening weekend in December 2015.
“Infinity War” is a two-part culmination of 10 years of story lines that began with Marvel Studios’ “Iron Man” in 2008. The second installment is due to be released in May 2019.
“Infinity War” reunites the Avengers gang and friends, including Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Spider-Man (Tom Holland) and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) as they join forces with the Guardians of the Galaxy crew — including Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista and Bradley Cooper — to stop an evil intergalactic despot played by Josh Brolin.