‘Avengers: Infinity War.’

Disney/Marvel’s blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War grabbed $8.7 million on 871 screens at Australian cinemas yesterday: the second biggest opening day of all time.

The action/sci-fi/adventure directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo wasn’t far behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which rang up $9.45 million on 941 screens on December 17 2015 and ended up making $93.9 million.

The movie depicting the showdown between the Avengers and their allies and the powerful Thanos eclipsed Star Wars: the Last Jedi, which earned $7.06 million on December 14 last year and finished with $58 million.

The 19th entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), it stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Mackie, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Jeremy Renner and Chadwick Boseman. Josh Brolin plays Thanos.

The MCU movies including those that were not released by Disney collectively have amassed more than $US14.8 billion worldwide.

Given the superheroes invasion in Oz, all the top 10 titles dropped with the exception of StudioCanal’s The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Mike Newell’s post-WW2 mystery/romance made $288,000, a 4 per cent bump on the Tuesday figure, which brings the first week gross to $1.95 million.

In the US pundits are predicting an opening weekend in the range of $216 million- $235 million, which at the upper end would be the second best of all time, surpassing Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s $220 million.

The most optimistic forecast is $275 million, which would beat the record held by Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ $247.9 million.

Reviews in the US were mostly positive with some caveats. Variety’s Owen Gleiberman compared the movie to going to a theme park and taking three spins on every ride, concluding, “It’s a sleekly witty action opera that’s at once overstuffed and bedazzling.”

IndieWire’s Eric Kohn said the movie contains the most dramatic cliffhanger of any major blockbuster since The Empire Strikes Back but it “channels the best and worst attributes of Marvel’s movies… a fascinating hodgepodge of circumstances designed to move the story forward with dramatic results while resolving it at the same time.”

Rolling Stone’s Pete Travers declared: “Avengers: Infinity War leaves viewers up in the air, feeling exhilarated and cheated at the same time, aching for a closure that never comes … at least not yet.”


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