In the US alone, Avengers: Endgame took in approximately US$350 million to set a new benchmark for box office success.

The incredible success of Avengers: Endgame is very much a global phenomenon. The film made an estimated US$859 million worldwide on its first weekend.

The film, which is the final instalment of the ‘Infinity Saga’, also broke the record for the fastest film to US$1 billion worldwide. It reached this milestone in just five days. The previous record holder was one of its prequels, Avengers: Infinity War.

The blockbuster is now a strong chance of overtaking the current highest-grossing film ever, Avatar, which made US$2.79 billion worldwide. By worldwide gross, it is already the 18th biggest film of all time. Two others Avengers movies are among the titles it is poised to overtake in the coming weeks.

Avengers: Endgame continues the success of the mega-popular franchise

Greg Marcus, CEO of the Marcus Corporation, told NBC that the company’s theatres went “all in” on the film after it smashed all records for pre-sales.

He said that each of the company’s 90 theatres was devoting between 60% and 80% of its screens to showing Avengers: Endgame. Other cinemas stayed open all night to meet the incredible demand.

The film enjoyed an 87% market share on its opening weekend, underscoring the complete box office dominance of Marvel films in recent years.

Megan Colligan, President of Imax Filmed Entertainment, said the film had been a boon for the entire industry. “It shows the power of theatres — the ability, even in a hyper-fragmented culture, to deliver that wildly big communal experience,” she said.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe films have now grossed a collective US$19.9 billion.

The film has a 96% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a tally of 77% on review aggregator Metacritic.

Runway success of Avengers: Endgame a boon for Disney as it prepares to launch its streaming service

The ongoing popularity of the Avengers franchise underscores the incredible value of Disney’s intellectual property. Holding the exclusive rights to Avengers: Endgame (at least initially) will be immensely beneficial to the entertainment giant when it goes head to head with Netflix with its streaming service later this year.

Avengers: Endgame also sets up a number of streaming series set to appear on Disney+ later this year.

Disney has already withdrawn from licensing agreements with Netflix, shifting the balance of power in the streaming space.

The stunning box office figures for the film complete a marked upswing for Hollywood’s fortunes in terms of theatre attendance in North America. In 2017, US movie theatre attendance hit its lowest level since 1992 and revenue fell some US$300 million despite higher ticket prices. This trend was offset, however, by stronger revenue in international territories, primarily China.

Last year saw movie attendance rates surge in the US and the UK. Despite the absence of a Star Wars franchise film, ticket revenue approached US$12 billion, up 10% from the previous year.

Some critics and filmmakers have expressed misgivings about the dominance of Marvel and DC films. Chief among these concerns is that the ‘middle class’ of films between tentpole franchise instalments and relatively tiny on-demand releases is all but vanished. The industry looks set to continue to be top-heavy in the near future, with Marvel planning further Spider-Man and Captain Marvel features.

Yet another Marvel film, Black Panther, had been the highest-grossing domestic film of 2018 in the US, ahead of Avengers: Infinity War.