Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War opens with US$630m, smashing global record

Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War opens with US$630m, smashing global record
PHOTO: Facebook/Marvel

LOS ANGELES - Avengers: Infinity War took in US$630 million (S$834 million) in its first weekend, the highest global opening of all time, industry estimates showed on Sunday (April 29).

"The latest Marvel juggernaut... opened with $630m worldwide, making it the largest global weekend tally in the history of film, and this was done without China," which has a later opening, industry tracker Exhibitor Relations said.

That topped The Fate Of The Furious, the eighth instalment of the high-octane action series starring Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and Michelle Rodriguez that opened with more than US$530 million globally in 2017.

Infinity War, which features more than two dozen superheroes fighting to save the universe, also broke the record for highest North American opening weekend, raking in US$250 million at US and Canadian box offices.

That beat The Force Awakens, the seventh film in the long-running Star Wars space saga that made US$248 million in its opening weekend in 2015.

SAVING THE UNIVERSE

Infinity War is the 19th film in the so-called Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), combining a whopping nine franchises and a cast list that reads like a who's who of Hollywood's A-list.

Robert Downey Jr dons the red and gold metal suit once again as Iron Man; Benedict Cumberbatch is Doctor Strange; Scarlett Johansson is back as Black Widow; and Australia's Chris Hemsworth is Thor.

Black Panther - the Marvel breakout of the year after the standalone pic's massive opening in February, Captain America, the Hulk, Spider-Man, Hawkeye, the Guardians of the Galaxy and their assorted allies.

Their mission is to prevent the powerful purple alien Thanos (Josh Brolin) from destroying the universe.

"We took a picture of every single person whose character has been in the MCU. We hung it up on a wall all around us," co-director Anthony Russo, who helms the film with his brother Joe, told reporters ahead of its release.

"We basically spent months and months and months talking about where we could go with each character, how we could draw them through the story," he added.

"Every one of these characters... has been on a very specific journey through the MCU to arrive at this moment." This is the third Avengers film, before the final, untitled saga set for next year.

Avengers: Infinity War stars in Singapore

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    The orange soul stone, the last of the six colour-coded Infinity Stones that supervillain Thanos is seeking, is right here in Singapore at Marina Bay Sands.

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    The stars were quick to express their appreciation of the screaming fans who had queued to get access, and then waited outdoors for the cast to appear.

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    Cumberbatch said: "It's utterly surreal. People have been waiting out here for hours. I just want to thank the fans - you're the best fans you really are."

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    Co-star Downey Jr declared: " This has to be the coolest fan event I've ever been for."

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    Downey Jr. also joked about his new “bromance” with his co-star Cumberbatch.

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    Actress Karen Gillan, who plays Nebula, as well as director Joe Russo, were also at the event, where the usual red carpet was replaced by a purple shade in honour of the movie's villain.

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    An average of one or two new Marvel Cinematic Universe films have been released each year over the last decade, and at least another 14 are in the works. So how does the franchise keep audiences interested?

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    The trick, says Iron Man actor Robert Downey Jr., is never to repeat something, even if it has proven to be successful in the past.

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    He was fielding interviews in Singapore alongside Benedict Cumberbatch and Karen Gillan - who play superhero characters Doctor Strange and Nebula respectively - to promote their highly anticipated new Marvel movie Avengers: Infinity War.

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    There is immense hype over Avengers: Infinity War as the movie gathers the most Marvel superheroes in the same project than ever before.

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    Besides the Avengers superheroes, Guardians Of The Galaxy superheroes are also added to the mix for the first time.

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    Iron Man actor Robert Downey Jr brought cheer to 37 children with critical illnesses, leading them in a pledge that turned them into "little superheroes".

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    Thousands of fans turned up early Monday (April 16) for a chance to attend the Avengers: Infinity War red carpet event later at night, with some of Hollywood's biggest names set to be in attendance.

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    While the event is free and open to the public, fans are required to register in person for a non-transferable wristband to gain access, due to venue capacity limitations.

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    Registration will be on a first-come-first-served basis. There are 4,000 wristbands available.

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'NORTH STAR'

An important source of inspiration is the Marvel canon - the storylines developed over decades in the original comic books.

Infinity War is drawn from the Infinity Gauntlet series of the early 1990s.

"It starts with those comics and us beginning to rip pages out or rip copies of pages out and put them on the walls and start to be inspired," explains Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios, which is owned by Disney.

"It's a North Star for us as we lead these giant productions into reality." In the movie's trailer, Gamora (Zoe Saldana) - Thanos's daughter, of sorts - explains that the villain believes that if he annihilates half of the universe, he can save the other half.

He needs the so-called Infinity Stones to do it. So, the heroes need to keep him from getting them.

The film cost an eye-watering US$300 million to make, according to Hollywood media.

"It was about the most fun creative exercise I think I've ever been through in my life," said Anthony Russo. "We thought about everybody in the MCU.

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