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Early projections currently have Infinity War opening somewhere between 235-255 million dollars, with a domestic sum of $565-650 million. Those aren’t bad numbers by any stretch, but it's possible that analysts are underestimating the film's overall performance. Let’s do the math and see how, well, or far off the current predictions are for Infinity War's domestic box office haul.
The Other 'Avengers'
First off, let's match low with low and high with high. $235 million opening with $565 million at the end of its run, and $255 million with the end goal of $650 million. That makes the opening weekend hold anywhere between 41.6 percent to 39.2 percent of the domestic total. Now let’s pair worst with best; $235 million and $650 million, and $255 million and $565 million. If it’s the former, that’s still a lower percentage holding than the first movie, which is very unlikely in this scenario. If it’s the latter, then that’s a performance worse than Age of Ultron, another unlikely case.
It does make one wonder: how can it have the potential to beat The Force Awakens for highest opener but not have enough legs to outrun Black Panther? Of course, no company wants to make a bold claim, only to be served a heavy dose of reality. So, this conservative prediction may be coming from keeping said reality check from biting them in the backside. To get a better understanding, let’s do some more digging…and math.
For best cast scenario, let’s look at The Avengers and how much their opening weekend made up for the total gross. At an opening weekend of $207 million, that would come to account for 33.3 percent of its revenue. If we plug that for Infinity War, with a middle of the road $245 million opening weekend, that makes $735 million by the time it leaves theaters. However, if we look at the track record of previous releases, we may see the cause for a lower gross. Whenever Marvel releases a movie in the first weekend of May, it's just about made the most of its money by the third weekend. On average, an MCU film that's released in that fateful time slot will make just $86.2 million between its third weekend and the end of its run in North America. If we use the Avengers drop between each weekend, that brings Infinity War to a sum of $508 million.
A (Super) Strong Performance
At this point, that "conservative" prediction sounds pretty ambitious. But there are two factors at play: the lack of any strong competition, and its early release date. Marvel's date change for Infinity War wasn't just doing a favor for the fans, it was giving itself an extra weekend competition-free. They realized that they lost a lot of potential revenue after the next big tentpole came in their third weekend, so instead of Deadpool 2 coming out in IW's third weekend, it was releasing in its fourth. But let's suppose it has one of the best runs of an MCU film.
The Force Awakens opening made up about 26.5 percent of its domestic run, thanks to lackluster competition and being the peak example of hype culture, it nearly made $1 billion in North America alone. While Infinity War is still highly anticipated, it doesn't have the advantage of being the return of a beloved franchise. It will end up being leggier than previous Avengers outings, so a fair estimate would to put it between the percentages of The Avengers and The Force Awakens and say that the opening weekend will make up around 29.9 percent of the domestic take. If it wants to beat Black Panther and hit $700 million, than all it needs is a mere $209 million opening weekend. However, when plugging in the $235-$255 million predictions, its end total should sit very comfortably from anywhere between $785-$852 million.
Regardless of whether it blows away records, or lives up to the lower expectations, Infinity War is going to be a tremendous success. Although it is the penultimate chapter of the current MCU era, rather than the big finale, seeing an entire interconnected film universe under one banner will be the event of a generation.