Box Office Writethru, Friday 9:30PM: Industry estimates have Disney/Marvels Avengers: Infinity War at $104M today (including that $39M Thursday night) and $237M over three days, which would put the pic second behind Star Wars: Force Awakens recordopening of $247.9M. Some even believe that Infinity War could beat Force Awakens ($247.9M) but a lot of that will depend on tomorrows momentum. Disney is being cautious not to call records reporting a $225M-$235M range, but rivals see Infinity Wars start at the high end. Word of mouth is huge with Screen Engine/ComScores PostTrak reporting a massive 83% definite recommend besting Captain America: CivilWars buzz(75%). Infinity Wars opening day is the third-best ever behind Star Wars: Force Awakens ($119.1M) and The Last Jedi ($104.7M) and easily sends Disney past the $1 billion mark today, making it the fastest major studio to that B.O. threshold ever at 117 days.
A look at the top pics this weekend per industry estimates for the weekend of April 27-29:
Why is this Avengers sequel not behaving like a fourthquel filing behind Avengers ($207.4M), Avengers Age of Ultron ($191.2M) and Captain America: Civil War ($179.1M)? Some might say its because it stars all the Marvel superheros, but its much more than that. Fans know this is a huge jaw-dropping turning point in the MCU, and thats what the driver is here and word of mouth is being passed along. Disney can only hope that Star Wars: Episode IX builds up this much anticipation after leaving Luke Skywalker for dead and few cliffhangers in Last Jedi. CinemaScore is an overall A for Infinity War.
Screen Engine/ComScores PostTrak scores are huge showing 93% overall positive so far which bests the positive score for both Avengers: Age of Ultron (90%) and Captain America: Civil War (88%). Five amazing stars for Infinity War. Audience makeup is 66% guys to 34% females which is the same breakdown as Civil War. Fifty-eight percent are over 25 for Infinity War versus 51% over 25 for Civil War and 55% under 25 for Age of Ultron.
Current halo effect from Infinity War: Fandango reports that 36% of the pics Thursday night ticket sales were driven by the online ticket sellers presales or $14M-plus. Roughly one out of every three Infinity War tickets yesterday were purchased on Fandango, with more than 2,500 showtimes selling out on their site before the film opened. Infinity War outsold Black Panther in pre-sales before opening night, with Fandango repping 30% of TChallas $242M four-day opening or $72M. In addition, Infinity War bested Fandangos previous April pre-sales champ, Furious 7.
Over at MoviePass, theyre battening down the hatches before this summer blockbuster and others bleed them silly. We reported a while ago that they were going the route of four movies a month for $9.95 + iHeart digital service, but today subscribers received a note that theyre not allowed to see the same movie twice. Helios and Matheson Analytics CEO Ted Farnsworth told us recently that MoviePass isnt worried about summers onslaught of big pics like Infinity War. “Due to the lack of seats, our subscribers typically dont go on opening weekend because they cant get in,” specifically given the last-minute purchase nature of the app, rather “they go second or third or fourth week. With an inventory of different movies, when we push one above the other, it turns out that the big ones arent a big threat.”
RelishMix reports that Infinity War on social media is breaking the internet with the largest and most dynamic pic tracked in the companys history. Infinity Wars social media counts an overwhelming 2.1 billion followers and views, and thats swelling daily. Even more impressive, none of these figures include any of Infinity Wars sponsors, i.e. Quicken, etc. “This campaign has fully leveraged a film series ten years in the making, an immense cast that is either socially activated or fully participating in the promotional campaign and perhaps most importantly, a fan base that is so engaged with the characters, storylines and comics that they make their own clips, costumes and materials to celebrate,” says RelishMix. Infinity Wars 2.1B social media universe broken down consists of a near 357M on Facebook, 232M Facebook video views, 86.2M Twitter Followers, 1.2B YouTube Views and 221M Instagram Followers. For comparison, the largest movie campaigns by SMU are Fate of the Furious (1.8B), Beauty and the Beast (1.3B) and Despicable Me 3 (1.2B). Infinity Wars daily average YouTube views are off the chart with 131K, again, easily exceeding the genres typical 47K.
Over on Twitter, the engagement with hashtags exploded to 644K hashtags/tags in a day and 4.5M over the month for #InfinityWar and @Avengers this week. For perspective, Twitter hashtags/tags for #BlackPanther and @TheBlackPanther on Feb 20th set an all-time movie record since Thursday night, with 559K unique Twitter posts in one day (100K per day is exceptional).
The leading social media stars for Infinity War include Robert Downey, Jr. with 60M across Twitter, FB and Instagram, as well as Christ Hemsworth and Chris Pratt who are tied at 25M each. The Infinity War cast got together on The Tonight Show to sing their rendition of “The Brady Bunch” theme song, counting 4.1M views.
Shout out to Bleecker Streets Disobedience which is headed toward a $40K per theater from five bookings in New York and Los Angeles for a $200K opening. Bleecker scored U.S. rights to the pic following its TIFF premiere. Disobedience centers around a rabbis lesbian daughter as she returns from New York to her Orthodox Jewish community in Hendon, London. The Rachel Weisz-Rachel McAdams movie is 90% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, a great score that will pull in sophisticated, older audiences.
UPDATED, Friday AM with studio number: And so summer begins early in late April. Disney/Marvels Avengers: Infinity War scored $39 million Thursday night, making it easily the best Marvel preview number ever stepping over Avengers: Age of Ultron ($27.6M), and the fourth-best ever behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens first night ($57M), Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($45M) and Harry Potter:Deathly Hallows Part 2 ($43.5M)
Earlier forecasts last night had pegged the number as high as $45M+, with some believing Thursday could go as low as $36M-$38M. Still, its a Marvel preview night record, making Infinity War another hit for the Teflon Marvel.
Why is this Avengers so big? Without spoiling anything — theres a lot that goes down that impacts the Marvel Cinematic Universe and has fans left with their jaws open. This sequel from filmmakers Anthony and Joe Russo, they cannot miss. This is beyond a bloody fight between Iron Man and Captain America as we saw in Civil War.
Previews started at 7 PM on Thursday, however, with some theater chains like AMC holding fan events starting at 6 PM with tchotchke handouts. Avengers: Infinity War opens today in 4,474 theaters — the widest release for a Disney title ever and the second-widest ever after Universal/Illumination Entertainments Despicable Me 3 at 4,529.
The halo-effect of Infinity War is in full effect touching all parts of the cinema biz: All motion-seat 4DX locations are sold out for the weekend at its two New York and two Los Angeles theatres. For advance ticket seller Fandango, the Russo brothers movie is third-ever bestseller passing Rogue One and ranking behind Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. For mobile ticket pre-seller Atom Tickets, Infinity War is a record in regards to pre-sales volume 7% higher than The Last Jedi and 250% higher than Black Panther at the same point in their sales. Going into release week, tickets for Infinity War were doubling daily with Atom reporting that its the fastest rate of increase theyve seen for any MCU title during release week.
Among big Marvel previews, Age of Ultrons Thursday repped close to 33% of its $84.4M opening day before seeing a $191.2M opening, while Black Panther with a $25.2M preview night also repped 33% of its $75.9M first day which yielded a $202M three-day weekend. Going further, Last Jedis $45M translated to an amazing 43% of its $104.6M first Friday and a $220M opening weekend.
In its first day abroad, Infinity War made $39M.
More updates to come.