'Avengers: Endgame' smashes records in global launch

LOS ANGELES, USAThe Avengers have assembled for the last time, and they are destroying the competition  even before hitting US movie theaters.

Avengers: Endgame, the last in a 22-film arc featuring the beloved Marvel Universe superheroes, shattered records upon its release in Asia, specifically in China, Disney  which owns Marvel Studios  announced Thursday, April 25.

The movie raked in $169 million on Wednesday, April 24, its first day of release in 25 markets including China, Australia and several countries in Europe.

It set single-day box office records in China, Australia, New Zealand and other countries, said Disney, which bought Marvel Studios in 2009.

The film's performance in China was impressive  $107.5 million.

In France, Endgame scored the biggest opening day for a Marvel film. It set an overall opening day record in the Netherlands, Greece and Egypt.

The figures indicate that Endgame will surpass the receipts generated by the previous episode in the "Avengers" saga – Infinity War which came out last year, it added.

The film will go into wide release in the United States and Canada on Friday, April 26 with showings in select cities from Thursday. 

Experts predict the well-reviewed "Avengers" finale  featuring Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson and a raft of other stars  could make $200-260 million in its opening weekend in North America.

The film clocks runs just about 3 hours, leading US movie chain powerhouse AMC to schedule showings around the clock in several dozen cinemas to satisfy demand from moviegoing fans.

In India, the country's main ticket trader said advance sales had exceeded 2.5 million, and some cinemas in the usually Bollywood-mad country are planning around-the-clock screenings.

Pundits are predicting a debut weekend that could break records with the first billion-dollar worldwide opening in history.

The 21 preceding films  featuring many of the comic book heroes created by the late legend Stan Lee  have earned about $19 billion globally. –  Rappler.com