Analysts had warned that 'The Avengers' opening could be a big one, though nobody expected the Marvel Studios flick to break the record for the best opening weekend in Hollywood history. In the end, the superhero epic smashed the record set by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 by some $30 million, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The Joss Whedon directed movie had received stellar reviews before its release, and audiences flocked to theaters in the U.S. this weekend. According to estimates, the movie has taken $200.3 million, with around 50 per cent of those who saw it opting to shell out the extra few bucks to watch it in 3-D. Sources say some IMAX cinemas ran out of seats to sell to moviegoers. The Avengers has already taken $614 million worldwide, jumping past 'The Hunger Games' and setting it on target for $1 billion. In his glowing review of the film, Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers said, "The Avengers has it all. And then some. Six superheroes for the price of one ticket... It's also the blockbuster I saw in my head when I imagined a movie that brought together the idols of the Marvel world in one, shiny, stupendously exciting package".
The huge opening sets up an interesting battle for the year's biggest grossing movie, with Christopher Nolan's 'The Dark Knight Rises' tipped to rake in a similar amount after its release on July 20, 2012. Marvel is already looking to capitalize on the resurgence of popularity in comic book movies, with 'Iron Man 3' scheduled to begin production soon.