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How Big Will Avengers Be?

Finally, some good news for Disney in a year that’s seen John Carter bring some ridiculously heavy clouds to the skies over the Magic Kingdom just for being a (relative) flop: Marvel’s The Avengers looks like it’s going to be a big hit, with pre-release tracking giving it an opening weekend of somewhere in the region of $125 million. Impressive? Sure. But also, just maybe a little low…?

Firstly, it’s worth pointing out that tracking numbers can occasionally turn out to be amazingly off, if a movie turns out to bomb or hit it off with audiences in a way that trailers and early publicity don’t accurately predict (See John Carter, for example). But I think the buzz for Avengers feels about right for the level of anticipation out there, which makes the $125 million figure feel like it’s in the right ballpark, if a little low… After all, look at the download numbers for the trailers, which have broken records with their release – there’s definitely excitement and anticipation out there for this movie. And yet… $125 million on opening weekend? For a movie that will have the option of 3D and Imax tickets (i.e., more expensive tickets)? Surely I’m not the only one who thinks Avengers is going to be much closer to Hunger Games opening weekend ($152.5 million) – if not, potentially, even bigger, considering the season and the fact that it’s a sequel in all but name.

Of course, “just” $125 million would make it almost twice the opening weekend of Captain America: The First Avenger, which grossed $65.1 million when it debuted July 22 last year. That’s pretty much the same number as Thor, which got $65.7 million on May 6 2011, almost a year to the day from Avengers‘ opening. Both of those movies, though, were far below Iron Man ($98.7 million in 2008, again first weekend in May) and Iron Man 2 ($128.1 million, first weekend in May 2010). The opening weekend of Incredible Hulk took $55.4 million in June 2008, embarrassingly lower than his last big screen outing, 2003’s Hulk, which had an opening weekend of $62.1 million.

If you want to look at the numbers of non-Marvel Marvel movies, last year’s X-Men First Class had a $55.1 million opening weekend beginning June 3), with a franchise high of X-Men: The Last Stand‘s $102.8 million in May 2006; Spider-Man 3 opened with $151.1 million in May 2007, the franchise high at least until Andrew Garfield takes over this year (we can but hope), and the Fantastic Four movie high was Rise of The Silver Surfer with $58.1 million back in June 2007. Getting off the superhero topic, Blade II was as good as it got for that franchise ($32.5 million opening weekend in March 2002) and Ghost Rider peaked with its first release ($45.4 million opening) in February 2007 (Of course, that might be a little too much information, considering…).

Nonetheless; I’m mildly convinced that, barring a sudden onslaught of terrible reviews, Avengers is going to do at least the $125 million opening weekend currently suggested, even if it somehow tails off and crashes and burns almost immediately afterwards (I don’t think it will, by the way; I just think it’ll open massively no matter what, is my point). That this will continue Marvel’s success with movies won’t be the story, of course, although it really should be; instead, expect to see multiple variations on “The Avengers Save the Day… And Disney’s Bottom Line” in headlines around the internet, come the beginning of May.

Stan and Jack, Disney thanks you for your hard work. Just not with dollars, obviously.

(All numbers from Box Office Mojo.)


  • Mythos

    I dunno, I think this will be as big as The Dark Knight Rises this year. People have been enjoying the other films and this is the big reunion, with a lot of star cred.

  • NotaGraemeFan

    Why does Spinoff accept articles from Graeme? They’re always the same, are never helpful in anyway, and don’t even convey any useful information. His articles might as well be forum posts, because him blathering on about his inane opinions sure isn’t news.

    All Spinoff’s other article writers do a fine job, and their articles actually have a purpose.

    I realize having new articles up makes the site look more active and that helps generate traffic, but I’d rather wait longer for worthwhile articles rather than get articles more often and have them be written by Graeme.

  • Scarletspeed7

     Took the words right out of my mouth.  I click these articles, see Graeme’s name involved, and bugger off immediately.  At least the other articles on this site aren’t purely based on opinion and uninformed conjecture from a non-industry insider or professional.

  • Geistbusters

    LOVE the last line in this article – “Stan and Jack, Disney thanks you for your hard work. Just not with dollars, obviously.”

    And I have to say this was a good analysis of the #s going into this summer’s superhero movies. It kind of puts things into perspective. Good read.

  • Lewis4510

    I don’t think TDKR will be as big as Avengers. For one the trailer for TDKR didn’t have the wow factor and I think that people may have had their fill of the dark, depressing Bat-angst. And the lack of a compelling villian in Bane.  Which in fact looked kind of stupid on screen with the Darth Vader like mask. He looked more like a villian you see in a Road Warrior remake. Whose voice sounded like was speaking through a broken speaker at a fast food joint.

  • sludge

    I love paragraphs-long discussions about a movie – that never address
    whether the movie will be good or not. Reminds me of most thread
    discussions in fact

  • Dzaremsky

    I’m sure it will make a lot of money opening week.  Aside from that all I can say is my tickets are already ordered.

  • Gary

    Whoa! So you’ve already seen it?!? Tough to comment on the compelling nature of a character without having seen the movie. And I highly doubt people have had their fill of Batman. There’s no evidence to support that claim. The last time we saw him, he was smashing box office records. So until a new Batman movie DOESN’T, I’ll reserve judgement. I will agree however that the anticipation doesn’t seem to be there. But I think that’s due to the fact that WB hasn’t really ramped up their marketing campaign or given much info regarding the film. Which is smart at this point. Why try to compete with the Avengers’ marketing when you don’t open till two months after?

  • Jorell Rivera

    $125 million does seem kind of low for a big tentpole movie like this, but I bet it ends up making more on its opening weekend.  The positive buzz is continuing to build and I think it’ll lead to a huge number.

     But personally, The Avengers doesn’t have the “wow” factor that The Dark Knight Rises and Prometheus films have. To me, the Marvel movies have mostly been enjoyable, but on a superficial level. They’re good but I had no desire to see Iron Man, Captain America or Thor again after I left the theater.  I’m afraid The Avengers will be the same.

    Also, John Carter has made close to $200 million outside of the USA, so it’s not a complete disaster. Glad to see that.

  • Mdurst999


  • Jon

    LOL @ “I’m mildly convinced”

    How does one become mildly convinced? Is that anything like being fairly certain or definitely maybe?

  • Cellmonkey23

    Um, opening weekend is still May 4th.
    I’m sorry, what?

  • Waleslyfe

    Whoa, the didn’t predict a $125 million opening for this movie. This article is poorly constructed.

    It’s just being suggested that at the moment based on its awareness in the four quadrants that the film will open with at least with $125 million.

    For more detailed analysis, go to They’re the experts at this and they predict a $155 million opening weekend.

  • sludge

    so you’re a shill/spammer for

    Got it


    yup, there were people who liked iron man but not captain america. people who liked cap but not thor and so on. now all these people, plus the hulk lovers and the buffy crowd- i can only hope it sails past hunger games. i believed the hype and was severely disappointed in, if that can make 150 from a singular hardcore crowd surely avengers can do more? 

  • David Fullam

     He’ll be a better writer when he grows up, I’m sure.

  • Chaim Golgoth

    I’m there for AVENGERS – day one, front row, for sure. But there is a bit of a feeling that it’s marking time for all these heroes until they get their next solo outings. The Avengers comic is the same – never as gripping as the individual books. An ensemble piece isn’t going to allow the character depth of the earlier movies, but I think we’ll see some awesome set pieces. And, seriously, surely nobody can miss this one!

  • Ronnie Connelly

    The team seems a bit unbalanced to me. A comic on the subject:

  • A. Holland

    I don’t think Kirby is thanking them very much. And not because he’s dead either.

  • Jacob

    Reread that statement. It’s saying that Disney is thanking them.

  • Jacob

    People WANT to sit in the front row? It’s always empty at the theaters I go to. I sit in the back so I’m not looking up at the damn screen.

  • Jacob


  • sludge

    character depth??? in ANY Marvel movie??? Lol – that’s a good one man

  • Mac

    The Dark Knight 2nd & full trailer actually beat the Avengers 2nd & full trailer record of 10+ Million downloads by 12.5+ Million downloads!
    & then the 3rd & last Avengers trailer created new record of 13+ million downloads!
    So PLEASE let the 3rd trailer of RISES come & then bless us with ur uninformed Opinion!
    Which is nothing but hate / jealousy for some great films made by Nolan!
    If u don’t like them; don’t see them, just don’t Utter rubbish & stupid words out of ur mouth!
    Plus Avengers is out in less than 3 weeks! (2 weeks in UK)!!!
    Dark Knight Rises is still over 3 MONTHS away!!!

  • sludge

    do you get a rise in your trousers over comparing 2 movies that you had nothing to do with??..

  • sandwich eater

    The last sentence made me LOL (not the citation of the movie openings).

    Overall I don’t know why we fans should care how much a movie makes as long as we like it.  I guess if the movie does well then we can expect a sequel, but beyond that I just don’t care.  I know that the Bay Transformers movies made ridiculous money, but I found them to be boring and soulless movies.  I think the Marvel movies are way better even though economics seems to disagree with me.

  • Lord Prong

    Dark Knight Rises will make as much, if not more than Avengers.  I am eagerly anticipating Avengers on April 25th as it stars my favourite character of all time Captain America.

    What the Nolan/ DC-bashers are failing to consider is this:  Marvel Studios have had to combine four major characters from four major films to even rival one DC character.  That’s a fact.  Batman can generate this type of buzz/ dollars by himself.

    Personally I hope they both do well – I love comics, and I love comic movies.

    Finally – go see John Carter before it’s too late.  It’s an awesome film.

  • Mythos

     Well, Batman is a powerful brand, Nolan has made a name for himself and his take on the Dark Knight was very critically acclaimed. Plus, don’t forget that the character had already starred in countless movies and shows, so he’s quite ingrained in popular culture in a way Iron Man, Thor and Captain America weren’t. It’s the same as Spider-Man, Marvel’s most powerful name.

    That said, we’ll have to wait and see how well both movies fare. While, naturally, most people are betting on Dark Knight Rises, I personally think the Avengers might be generating more buzz for being a very original experience, in the sense that it’s a gathering of icons in one movie. But hey, I’m no expert.

  • Anonymous

    It’s funny when Batfans look down their noses at Marvel fans.  As much as I love Batman, he is invariably the least interesting part of any movie he’s in.  He’s there to scowl, talk like a psycho, and beat up thugs.  It’s his villains who supply all the real character in the movies.

    Marvel movies may not deal with a lot of “deep” issues, but the characters are at least interesting.  This movie look like it’s gonna be the most enjoyable 2 hours I’ve spent in the theater for a long, long time.  I think it’s gonna be pretty huge… maybe even 10-figure huge.  I’m gonna see Dark Knight, but I’m not really psyched for it.  It kinda looks like the last leg of an endurance race.  You’re obligated to see it, but you’re too worn out to really enjoy it.

  • RIM

     Agent Coulson gets stabbed to death by Loki in this movie.

  • Bsavini781

    everything Lewis4510 said is true. Bane, lame villan, his voice no comprehension at all in previews. as well as too many secondary villany in it. catwoman talia and ras aghul, is smelling of batman and robin. too many villans not enough focus. as well as pushing of planned scene releases. that to me stinks of desperation on warner brothers part, because said movie, is not good. and they know it. dark knight rises will do maybe a lttle better than dark knight returns. 

  • Bsavini781

    I have to ask, what wow factor does dark knight rices have? it looks boring with mostly bad costumed characters. non of them look remotely like their comic counter parts. Warner brothers answer to everything comic movies is be dark, since green lantern failed badly. it doesn’t always work. You need a real script. and with too many villans, one you can’t understand, and a hero that sounds gutteral, dark knight rises is gonna have lots of problems. Everyone screams Chris Nolan Chris Nolan, Batman begins was a remake of batman form the 80s beat by beat. including, hey lets poison the people of gotham. Dark Knight had a perfect storm of events that got it noticed and watched. it was a good movie, not a great one. it had really bad editing and pacing. and the fight scenes were subpar. that will be seen more abundantly in dark knight rises.

  • Bsavini781

    I would for once like to pull a sheldon from big bang theory and move seat to seat making noises til I find a seat with the sweet spot for sound LOL

  • Bsavini781

    RMCarpenter you hit the nail on the head perfectly

  • Cjorg2

    I know for a fact that mac is the stand-in for both Chris Evans and Chris Bale in both films.  So, feel free to suck it sludge.

  • fakescorpion

    Begins have three villians (four if including Zsasz), TDK have four (five if including the Scarecrow). So before you actually see the movie, don’t say there’s too many villians and not enough focus.
    Besides, only Bane and Catwoman are set in stone. Talia and Ra’s are both speculations.

  • fakescorpion

    That must be why I enjoy Begins more than TDK *sarcasm*
    But seriously, none of the American Superheroes are interesting at all to me… and most people around here for that matter. Apart from IM, SM2, and BB that contributed to character study, all other superheroes are flat as cardboard and interchangeable.
    TDK and V for Vendetta are a different catagory, they’re studies of society so you’re NOT suppose to focus on any one character (if you do, you don’t see the whole picture).
    Besides, I have yet to see a MarvelCrossUniverse movie villian that’s not the antagonist for the sake of being the antagonist. (And if not for BB/TDK and SM2, I’m compelled to say “I have yet to see a SUPERHERO movie villian that’s not the antagonist for the sake of being the antagonist”.)


    are you serious- you’ve seen 2 and a half minutes of a possibly nearly 3 hour film. see the film then talk shit about it


    At the end of the most comic fans are pretty stupid. Most of us were alive in a time when an x-men movie couldn’t get greenlit. now we have an avengers movie (after 2 iron man movies, and a cap and thor movie), a third batman movie and a fourth spider-man movie. now whatever u think of even some of these films, u can’t deny it’s a great time to be a comic book fan. yet most people are arguing what film will “suck” more. fuck u retards im going to see all three, and if i don’t like any, i’ll thank God i’m not watching another twilight/transformers movie. 

  • Mashed

    $180 million opening heard it here first!

  • Rick

    I have not watched any of the prequels but i’m a hardcore buffy fan so ill probably see it :S

  • sludge

    and you’ve seen 2 minutes of the movie, and you staunchly defend it. What’s the difference

  • Gary

    You serious?  Probably because Nolan has give us EVERY reason to believe he’s going to make an amazing film and absolutely NO reason to believe the film will be as pitiful as what’s being suggested.  So, yeah, I think TDKR warrants defending until the viewing public has been given a reason not to.  My favorite part from Bsavini781? “Dark knight rises will do maybe a little better than dark knight (returns).”  As if that’s some sort of insult!  The Dark Knight made over a billion dollars worldwide!  I’m sure no tears would be shed at WB if TDKR only did “a little better than The Dark Knight.”

  • sludge

    Why would I, a comic book fan, be happy about these crappy, plotless movies that Marvel keeps pumping out every year?

    Yes, I’m so hungry for validation that I’m happy to see Marvel butchering its characters with forgettable movies year after year

  • A. Holland

    Well I don’t know about you, but I find the idea of Batman cooking and eating rice very appealing, I’m very much looking forward to the dark knight rices.

  • A. Holland

    Ah, my bad. Yeah that makes sense.

  • Waleslyfe

    No, I’m not. Did you even read the article??

  • Dopplegager

    Batman Begins was better The Dark Knight. That being said I have hope the Rises will be better then the over rated TDK. 

    Avengers, TDKR and Spiderman are all looking great. Joss Whedon is a genius. So excited. 

  • Dopplegager

    I’ll take any of the Marvel movies over bat nipples. DC has two characters that make them any money and people only care about one of them. . 

  • Lord Prong

    Not to get into a useless and immature DC vs Marvel pissing contest but that one character you so easily dismiss makes just as much, if not more money from one film in comparison to 4 Marvel films.  The other one, Superman, would regularly make just as much money just from merchandising worldwide to more than make up for Superman Returns poor box office.

    But lowering yourself to a Marvel vs DC pissing match is embarrassing dude.  Superheroes are superheroes.  You just get sucked into a marketing ploy by being divisive – but a lot of ignorant “fans” fall victim to that type of behaviour.

    Personally I’m going to enjoy Avengers AND Dark Knight Rises.  Shit – I’m even hanging out for Dredd later in the year!  It’s all good.

  • Roquefort Raider

    I think when a movie grosses 260 millions only to be called a (relative) flop, it is time to make less expensive ones.  

  • Dan Rose

    Uh, Marvel (and DC and Image) have been “butchering” their products (and thats what they are fyi) for many decades. If i were you, Id put down the comic books and start studying for the GED.   Two cents.

  • Dan Rose

    Thank God we arent getting Marvel’s “study of society” movie.  Blech.  A Superhero team movie that focusses on the characters, rather than the plotting and subtext (although the early responses suggest theres plenty of both), is fiiiine by me.  Its possible to make a great superhero movie that is NOTHING like Nolan’s movies.  And invoking V or Alan Moore makes you seem more ignorant of both film and comics, not less.  As is the idea that theres a distinction between American Superheroes and non-American.  Theyre ALL American.  Just like ALL Rock&Roll is American at its roots.  Like Jazz, Superheroes are an AMERICAN creation.  British Superheroes (for example) are simply American supes with accents.  sorry.

  • Dan Rose

    Hes a troll and/or one of those losers who has “taken sides” on the whole Nolan/Marvel debate.  Ignore him.  And they dont tend to read, so dont bother asking.