3D superhero extravaganza also earned a glowing A+ CinemaScore from moviegoers. Throughout Friday, Avengers
was on pace to gross $65 million to $70 million for the day, but numbers shot up because of a late night surge in traffic.
Last summer, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
earned $91.1 million on its first day, the biggest day in history. It also scored the top weekend opening of all time in grossing $169.2 million. Box office observers believe Avengers
could best that number and hit $170 million. Avengers
is all but assured of scoring the biggest opening for a superhero pic, beating the $158.1 million debut of The Dark Knight
(the second biggest opening of all time domestically). Dark Knight
-- which didn't have the advantage of the extra upcharge for a 3D ticket -- earned $67.3 million on its first Friday.
Friday's gross for Avengers
included $18.7 million in Thursday midnight runs, a record for a superhero title and the eighth-best of all time.
The tentpole, which unites key Marvel superhero characters, has already $334.3 million internationally -- eclipsing the total lifetime grosses for Iron Man
($267 million), Thor
($268 million), Captain America: The First Avenger
($192 million) and Iron Man 2
($311.5 million) - whose characters also are in Avengers
. It should eclipse Iron Man 2
($311.5 million) by Saturday at the latest.
Including Friday's domestic tally of $80.5 million, the pic has now taken in $414.8 million worldwide.