Just days after Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron destroyed Hong Kong box office records comes news from Variety that the Avengers sequel is well on its way to obliterating already lofty box office expectations everywhere else. The film hauled in a staggering $201.2 million during its foreign box office opening weekend, winning the weekend across all 44 territories in which the film was released, including such major locales as France, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia, Korea, and Australia.
Marvel parent Disney had projected an expected take between $160 million and $175 million. Disney's distribution chief, Dave Hollis, credited the strength of the Marvel brand in the marketplace and the company's standard in cinematic storytelling.
"The bar was high, but this is a sign of unbelievable momentum in the marketplace. It all goes back to the strength of the brand and the incredible work the Marvel team does in telling stories in such a consistent way and creating these worlds."As Variety points out that the global market now accounts for 70 percent or more of a major film's box office gross, Deadline's Nancy Tartaglione reports that the 44 markets that Age of Ultron dominated this weekend represents 55 percent of its international footprint. The second of four planned Avengers blockbusters has already broken international IMAX records, and all signs point to a monumental and probable record-breaking domestic gross when the Marvel film opens in the U.S. next weekend.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is the second in a throng of eagerly awaited tentpole blockbusters scheduled for release by comic book-turned-movie giant Marvel. Between now and 2019, Marvel is set to see the release of Captain America: Civil War in 2016, as well as the next two films in The Avengers series, Avengers: Infinity War – Part I in 2018 and Avengers: Infinity War – Part II in 2019.
Also slated for release by Marvel in the next three years are Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and Inhumans. Also in development from the Marvel camp are television vehicles for characters Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist as part of Marvel's partnership with Netflix, which saw the recent release of the wildly successful and critically-lauded Daredevil series, which has been greenlit for a second season with rumors already abound of a Daredevil cinematic inclusion, and perhaps, full cinematic reboot.
Avengers: Age of Ultron opens domestically on May 1, 2015.