When the latest MCU movie, Avengers: Infinity War, stole the Biggest Opening Weekend crown away from The Force Awakens with a $257.6M bow it looked like it might have a real shot at the All-time Domestic record of $936.6M (also The Force Awakens).
However, some people were skeptical because there were a few obstacles:
- Infinity War is a summer movie with summer competition. Like Avatar before it The Force Awakens had almost no real competition — defined as another $100M+ tentpole movie — for two months. Infinity War is running into both Deadpool 2 and Solo: A Star Wars Story.
- A downbeat ending would chill re-watches by the general audience (casuals). Like my buddy said “Nobody wants to seem them lose twice.” I know that a lot of people reading this will see it twice or more; you are not casuals.
- It’s not Star Wars. Star Wars fans are fanatics. Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia are iconic characters in the American consciousness. Both of these factors really contributed to both repeat viewings and a broad popular appeal.
And now that we have seen Infinity War‘s second weekend drop (55.5%) it looks like it might not even reach Black Panther‘s domestic total of $693.4M.
To put that drop in perspective, Black Panther‘s second week was down 44.7% (against a four day weekend open!) but then actually started dropping less as time went on.
Now we can argue as to why Black Panther is doing so well — it’s got better legs than The Dark Knight — but we know that Infinity War does not have the same level of cultural impact to become a genuine phenomenon. It’s not going to suddenly start performing like Black Panther.
It Doesn’t Look Good
Let’s take the 55.5% drop and project it out over next ten days until Deadpool 2 opens:
Week 1: $338,332,540
Week 2: $150,557,980
Week 3: $66,998,301
That only gets Infinity War to $555.8M, almost $140M short of Black Panther, before it runs into a couple of buzzsaws.
The Avengers and Avengers: Age Of Ultron earned 64.4% and 72.5% of their entire domestic run in their first two weeks, respectively.
So if it takes in a median of 68% of it’s entire run in the first two weeks, Infinity War should end it’s run with around $604M. Good enough for #8 on the All-Time Domestic chart, right under the greatest movie ever made — The Last Jedi.
And neither of the first two Avengers movies had the competition of two mammoth blockbusters in beloved (for now) franchises hitting back-to-back.
They were going up against Catch-It-On-FX hits like Battleship and MIB3 or counter-programming like Pitch Perfect 2. While Age Of Ultron did have to face off against Mad Max: Fury Road in its third frame that movie had nowhere near the out-of-the-gate appeal that Deadpool does.
It doesn’t look good for Avengers: Infinity Wars.