‘Avengers: Infinity War’ opens with massive $39 million in Thursday night showings

Disney-Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War” has launched with a massive $39 million in Thursday night preview showings.

It’s the fourth-highest preview total in history, trailing only “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2.”

Avengers: Infinity War” opens Friday  in 4,474 theaters — the widest release for a Disney title ever and second only to “Despicable Me 3” at 4,529. It’s forecast to open between $225 million and $245 million, with a possibility of crossing the $250 million mark. The hefty launch should go a long way to justify its reported $300 million-plus price tag.

As of now, the biggest opening weekend of all time belongs to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which bowed with $248 million in 2015 and went on to make over $936.6 million domestically. Only five films in history have hit the $200 million mark in their debuts.

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'Avengers: Infinity War' premiere: Red carpet arrivals
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'Avengers: Infinity War' premiere: Red carpet arrivals
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Brie Larson attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 18: Angela Bassett arrives at the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Gwyneth Paltrow attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Robert Downey Jr. attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Zoe Saldana attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Chris Pratt attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Scarlett Johansson attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Elizabeth Olsen attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Samuel L. Jackson attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Chris Hemsworth attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Jennifer Connelly attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Bradley Cooper attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Tom Hiddleston attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Danai Gurira attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Paul Rudd attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Mark Ruffalo attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Evangeline Lilly attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Letitia Wright attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Sophie Hunter and Benedict Cumberbatch attend the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Chadwick Boseman attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Tom Holland attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Bridgid Coulter (L) and Don Cheadle attend the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Vin Diesel attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Scarlett Johansson, Colin Jost arrives at the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Courtney B. Vance and Angela Bassett attend the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Chloe Bennet attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 18: Samuel L. Jackson and Tom Hiddleston arrive at the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Mario Lopez attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Joss Whedon attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Monique Ganderton attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Wyatt Oleff attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Jennifer Grey attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Karen Gillan attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Olivia Holt attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Paul Bettany attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Pom Klementieff attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Lydia Hearst attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Sarah Finn attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Michael James Shaw attends the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
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“Infinity War” picks up two years after the events of “Captain America: Civil War” with the Avengers teaming up with the Guardians of the Galaxy to stop the evil Thanos from inter-galactic dominance. The star-studded cast includes Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, Chris Evans’ Captain America, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther, Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord, Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange, and Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk.

Joe and Anthony Russo directed from a script by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. “Infinity War” is the 19th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The original “Avengers” had the highest opening to date for a Marvel film, debuting with $207.4 million in 2012. Its sequel, “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” launched with $191 million. The first movie earned $623 million in North America, while the second made $459 million.

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Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost at 'Avengers: Infinity War' premiere
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Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost at 'Avengers: Infinity War' premiere
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Scarlett Johansson, Colin Jost arrives at the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost attend the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost attend the premiere of Disney and Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 23: Actors Scarlett Johansson (L) and Colin Jost attend the Los Angeles Global Premiere for Marvel Studios� Avengers: Infinity War on April 23, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Scarlett Johansson, Colin Jost arrives at the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Scarlett Johansson, Colin Jost arrives at the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 23: Actors Scarlett Johansson (L) and Colin Jost attend the Los Angeles Global Premiere for Marvel Studios� Avengers: Infinity War on April 23, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Scarlett Johansson, Colin Jost arrives at the Premiere Of Disney And Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War' on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 23: Actors Scarlett Johansson (L) and Colin Jost attend the Los Angeles Global Premiere for Marvel Studios� Avengers: Infinity War on April 23, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Disney)
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“Infinity War” arrives two months and two weeks after Disney-Marvel’s “Black Panther” opened to a sensational $202 million domestically. “Black Panther” has topped $683 million in North America to become the third-highest domestic grosser of all time, behind only “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Avatar.”

Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with comScore, said it’s not surprising that “Infinity War” should dominate.

“‘Infinity War’ is an irreirresistible confection, a pure popcorn movie that boasts an unprecedented level of concentrated superhero star power that will deliver massive and enthusiastic crowds to multiplexes around the world and prove once again that the power and allure of the communal and immersive movie theater experience for which a film like this is tailor made, remains undeniable,” he added.

A trio of holdovers will be in a battle for second place at about $10 million each — the fourth weekend of John Krasinski’s “A Quiet Place,” the second weekend of Amy Schumer’s “I Feel Pretty,” and the third weekend of Dwayne Johnson’s “Rampage.”

“Black Panther” has generated nearly 20% of 2018’s overall domestic business of $3.52 billion, as of April 25. That figure is down 2.8% over the same period in 2017, according to comScore.

 

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