'Avengers' scores No. 2 opening day of all time with $80.5 million
On its first day in domestic release "The Avengers" packed theaters and thrilled audiences.
The team-up of Marvel superheroes including Thor, Iron Man, Captain America and the Hulk took in $80.5 million at the box office Friday, according to an estimate from distributor Walt DIsney Studios. That's the second-biggest day of all time, behind only last year's "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2," which took in $91.1 million.
"The Avengers" grabbed the all-time No. 2 spot for a single day from "The Twilight Saga: New Moon," which took in $72.7 million in 2009.
Just as importantly, moviegoers gave the film an average grade of A+, according to market research firm CinemaScore. Such a perfect score is very rare and indicates word-of-mouth will be excellent and many fans will likely return for repeat viewings.
"Avengers" is now sure to gross more than $150 million through Sunday, giving it one of the biggest opening weekends of all time. If Saturday ticket sales are bigger than they were for the final "Potter" film, the superhero blockbuster still has a chance of recording the biggest opening weekend of all time, beating the $169.2-million record set by "Deathly Hallows -- Part 2."
Meanwhile, as of Thursday, "The Avengers" had raked in a massive $304 million overseas, a figure sure to soar much higher by Sunday.
-- Ben Fritz
Photo: Marvel comics fans in superhero outfits pose at a preview of 'The Avengers' in Madrid. Credit: Luca Piergiovani / EPA