It’s probably not a surprise to many that the highly anticipated Avengers: Infinity War blockbuster would perform exceptionally well at the box office. Still, a Marvel-record $39 million (according to Box Office Mojo) on Thursday preview night alone is even more than expected.
For context, the previous record in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for domestic sales on preview night was the last Avengers film, Age of Ultron, which raked in $26.7 million. That’s quite a jump, considering the other frontrunners, Captain America: Civil War and Black Panther, clocked in at $25 million and $25.2 million, respectively. Outside of the MCU, the Infinity War total ranks fourth all time.
Avengers: Infinity War is the culmination of an entire decade of filmmaking for Marvel Studios. The third in the Avengers lineup, the movie promises to finally unleash the mighty Thanos for the first time since his initial tease in 2012.
Pretty much the entire lineup of heroes, from the original Avengers, to second-wave additions like Scarlet Witch and Vision, to recent introductions like Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, are present for the big showdown fans have been waiting for. Thanos, the Mad Titan, seeks the all-powerful infinity stones that bestow their wielders with control over the elements. The heroes of earth (and the galaxy) must protect the stones they already possess and strive to wrest the others from his grasp.
The film currently has a fairly good 84% freshness score on the aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, with the audience score resting at 93%, but those numbers will fluctuate greatly throughout opening weekend.
As far as box office success goes, current studio projections guess that the latest Avengers entry will gross around $210 million by the close of the weekend, which would rest it at around third place all-time. With such an impressive first night, perhaps it could rise to even greater heights.