I think it’s safe to say that Avengers: Endgame has been the most anticipated movie in the history of movies. Never in the history of movies have this many people made an appointment to see a movie. I believe it was an appointment 11 years (and 21 previous movies) in the making.
Watching the film, I found myself realizing one good reason this franchise has taken on such unmatched power. Over the years, we have come to care for these characters. They have become part of our family. We tape videos of our kids playing or doing mundane things but they hold much more value to us (than videos of other people’s kids)…simply because they are our kids.
If an Avenger does something or feels something, it has just that bit more gravitas/effect than if some superhero from another universe (which I won’t name) does the same. Now, you would think this film would coast on sentiment and fanservice (and there’s tonnes of it) but it also delivers in many other arenas including action, and (most importantly) the feels!
Even when my brain recognized a moment as being nearly cheaply crafted to elicit tears from the audience, it couldn’t stop my tear ducts from acting up. No, I didn’t bawl. I let a lone manly tear trickle down. Yes just that lone one. Wait, let’s not talk about me. We’re here to discuss box office!
Endgame, as expected, broke all sorts of opening records. Its predecessor, Avengers: Infinity War had broken its own share of opening records only for the movie to end abruptly (yes I know it was two and a half hours long!). Of course people were going to line up around the block (globe, more like) for the continuation. Endgame ended up doubling the worldwide opening of Infinity War (more like x1.5 if you consider that Infinity War didn’t open in China in the first week). Now, let’s crunch the numbers.
Let’s start with the domestic numbers. We’re going to work with weekly numbers (Friday to Thursday) rather than weekend numbers. Endgame’s first week domestic take is approximately $474 million. This is the figure we will use to calculate drops and what not.
I think it’s safe to say that Endgame is better received than Infinity War (the bigger opening comes with more noise/hype, and a better CinemaScore). However, let’s pretend that, going forward, Endgame only does as well as Infinity War with similar drops. Actually let’s pretend that Endgame’s second week drop is harder than Infinity War’s no thanks to the gargantuan opening implying that nearly everyone who wants to see the film has seen it. Infinity War dropped 56.4% in the second week. I believe a 60% change for Endgame is a good pessimistic bottom based on the day to day changes so far.
Yes, said gargantuan opening usually spells a big drop no matter how awesome the film is. However, if enough people feel like this is one of the best film experiences they’ve ever had, they’re likely to see it again and maybe drag some people along with them. Nonetheless, let’s get back to our pessimistic 60% week drop.
After this second week drop, we’re going to assume that Endgame drops at the same rate as Infinity War did at the same point in its run. This gives us $852 million domestically by week 5 and nearly $905 million by week 10. All the weeks after week 10 will probably bring in an additional 5 million (again judging by Infinity War’s performance).
So we see how this film can realistically reach over $900 million. Let’s pretend that Infinity War didn’t end in an upsetting cliffhanger and that people are less unanimous about Endgame being the best superhero movie they’ve ever seen in their lives. Let’s pretend that 11 years and 22 movies only means “meh”. Let’s pretend that this film won’t have some crazy momentum over the next couple of weeks. Yes, it is possible for this film to do much more than $900 million, but let’s take it down to $800 million so we can be pessimistic.
Those that read my articles know I run pessimistic numbers for heavy hitters, and I run optimistic numbers for films that I know don’t stand a chance…so that it can be clear to all that they don’t stand a chance. I’ll probably try not to be as outlandish this time.
Over to the foreign markets. This will be harder to guesstimate because, unlike Infinity War, Endgame opened early in China and did major gangbusters there. The Fate of the Furious, which launched early in China ended up with a multiplier of almost 2.5. Captain Marvel, which also launched early in China seems to be looking at a similar multiplier.
Endgame opened with over $860 million in the foreign markets. A multiplier as big as 2.5 means it ends up with $2.15 billion from international markets alone. This gives us an optimistic yet realistic cume of well over $3 billion! Sadly, you’ve got me as writer. I won’t start with the optimistic end for such a movie. Let’s assume Endgame is all played out and the multiplier is as low as 2 after all these weeks of fangasming. That’s still a whopping $1.72 billion!
If we add our pessimistic $800 million from the domestic market, we get 2.52 billion. This is my low bar for this film. I’m going to go with the possible $900 million domestic plus a foreign multiplier of 2.3 (1.98 billion) to get a final cume of 2.88 billion which should be enough to topple Avatar’s $2.79 billion, plus loads of change.
In earlier years, I’d said whichever film would topple Avatar would have to change the game in a major way and introduce something we’ve never seen before. Well, a well-connected 22-movie franchise that spans only 11 years, well executed to high critical (and commercial) acclaim has never been done before. Meeting that degree of high expectations and anticipation hasn’t been done before, because, like I said earlier, no movie in the history of movies has ever been this anticipated and emotionally invested in.
My prediction: Endgame is very likely to topple Avatar. If it doesn’t, it will end up well within striking distance.
Artist who loves spreadsheets.