What words could possibly describe the estimated $350 million Avengers: Endgame has grossed in its domestic theatrical debut, and the $1.2 billion it has earned worldwide?
Colossal? Gargantuan? Hulkmugous?
As it stands, the 22nd film produced by Marvel Studios has not only shattered practically every single box office record imaginable — the biggest worldwide debut, the biggest domestic debut, the biggest domestic opening day — it has fundamentally altered what Hollywood perceives is even possible for a film’s financial success. It’s as if, after years of trying to land on the moon, humanity suddenly reached Mars.
Roughly 27% of that titanic (elephantine? Thanostrinomical?) global haul came from China. As is the case in virtually every international market, Endgame broke the all-time box office record in China, earning roughly $217 million in US dollars in its first three days, and an estimated $330.5 million through Sunday.
Due to the country’s longstanding quota system allowing for only 34 non-Chinese films per year (give or take), it’s still not terribly common for a Hollywood movie to open over the same weekend in China as it does in the US and elsewhere — Infinity War didn’t, nor did Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But Endgame’s massive haul in China underscores not only how critical the country is now to Hollywood’s bottom line, but how deep an impact Marvel Studios has made within China’s carefully stage-managed cultural landscape.