LOS ANGELES — Hulk, smash. That’s what Captain America tells the Incredible Hulk to do in “The Avengers,” and that’s what the Marvel Comics superhero mash-up did at the box office, smashing the domestic revenue record with a $200.3 million debut.
It’s by far the biggest opening ever, shooting past the previous record of $169.2 million for the debut of last year’s “Harry Potter” finale.
“The Avengers” added $151.5 million overseas over the weekend to bring its total to $441.5 million since it began opening internationally a week earlier. That raised the film’s worldwide haul to $641.8 million in barely a week and a half, more than its Marvel superhero forerunners “Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2,” “Thor” and “Captain America” took in during their entire runs.
If distributor Disney’s domestic estimate Sunday holds when the final weekend count is released today, “The Avengers” would be the first movie to haul in $200 million in a single weekend. While the number could dip below $200 million, Disney spent the weekend revising its forecasts upward as business kept growing.
“The Avengers” started with solid midnight crowds Friday, though nowhere near a record. Then it did $80.5 million for the full day Friday, second only to the “Harry Potter” finale’s $91.1 million first day.
Revenues held up better than expected with $69.7 million Saturday, and Disney estimated the film would bring in $50.1 million more on Sunday.
Directed by Joss Whedon, “The Avengers” features Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.