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‘Avengers’ finale shatters records with $1.2 billion debut

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Fans of the Avengers strike a pose while dressed in costumes for a costume contest before the first screening of “Avengers: Endgame” at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California on April 25, 2019

“Avengers: Endgame,” the hugely-anticipated superhero series-ender from Marvel, set a new standard for Hollywood blockbusters this weekend with stunning hauls of $357 million in North America and $1.2 billion worldwide, industry data showed Monday.

The fourth and final chapter in the adventures of Iron Man, Hulk, Thor and company managed 43 times the domestic take of the No. 2 film, Marvel’s “Captain Marvel,” which made $8.1 million.

With a star-studded cast including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Bradley Cooper and Josh Brolin, it took in a jaw-dropping $330 million in China alone, the highest ever opening in the Middle Kingdom.

With a sky-high 96 percent rating from critics on the Rotten Tomatoes reviews website, “Avengers” could lead to “the biggest revenue-generating summer (and year) in box office history,” Comscore’s Paul Dergarabedian said.

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Packed with spectacular fight scenes, special effects, gags and tear-jerking moments, it almost doubled the previous world record opening weekend take held by its predecessor, “Avengers: Infinity War.”

The movie cost around $500 million to make including marketing costs and was expected to break even during its debut weekend, a feat unheard of for a major blockbuster.

Entertainment media are predicting a final global take of up to $2.5 billion, which would give it a place among the most lucrative movies of all time alongside “Avatar” ($2.8 billion), “Titanic” ($2.2 billion), “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” ($2.07 billion), and “Infinity War” ($2.05 billion).

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“(The) Marvel Studios team have continued to challenge notions of what is possible at the movie theater, both in terms of storytelling and at the box office,” said Alan Horn, the chairman of Walt Disney Studios, which owns Marvel.

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