Although it’s still late spring, the summer tentpole season opened offshore with a blast on the weekend as Marvel’s The Avengers opened in 39 territories on the foreign theatrical circuit, grossing a jaw droppingly robust $178.4 million.
Playing in about 70 % of the international marketplace, the $220-million-dollar, action-packed mélange of comic book heroes – the first Marvel release marketed and distributed by Walt Disney -- set all time opening records in Mexico ($15.9 million), Brazil ($11.3 million), Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, Central American and Bolivia.
Also, opening launch records were set in Hong Kong ($4.6 million), Taiwan ($7.7 million), Malaysia, and the Philippines. Opening day records were set in New Zealand and in Iceland.
Costarring Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), Mark Ruffalo, (The Hulk), Tom Huddleston (villain Loki) and Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), The Avengers score especially well in key English-speaking markets -- the U.K. ($24.7 million at some 530 situations) and Australia ($19.7 million at some 260 sites, the second biggest market opening ever).
Continental European territories provided these opening numbers: France ($12.7 million), Italy ($10.4 million), Spain ($7.3 million) and Germany ($6.7 million). Korea generated $12.9 million while the Philippines came up with $6.5 million.
Disney opened The Avengers foreign a week before its U.S. and Canada bow to leverage May Day and other national holidays in Europe. For various piracy-related issues, a Russia bow was set later for May 2. China opens May 5 in accordance with government dictates, and Japan premiers Aug. 17 permitting a market-specific promotional campaign to take root.
The Avengers, directed by Joss Whedon, is far and away 2012’s biggest hit on the foreign circuit so far, eclipsing Titanic 3D, which grossed $98.9 million a fortnight ago.