U.S. fans are counting down the days until Avengers: Age of Ultron opens, but the superhero movie already debuted this past weekend in 44 territories and to a big box office gross. Variety reports that the film raked in $201.2 million after opening in 55% of the international marketplace including France, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia, Korea and Australia.
The importance of international box office can’t be understated. Now that the DVD market has dried up, studios depend even more heavily on international box office gross, and while everyone will be seeing if Age of Ultron can crack the first movie’s opening weekend record for the U.S., the real money from a box office perspective goes far beyond our shores. Of course, merchandise is where the real money is made, and this movie will sell no shortage of toys no matter what.
It will be interesting to see how Age of Ultron shifts the box office once it opens in the U.S. on Friday. Furious 7 has had free reign and zero competition since opening at the beginning of April, and in that time drove to the 5th highest grossing film of all time world wide. In three weeks. Age of Ultron will certainly go big, but with a crowded summer ahead, it will be interesting to see if it has Furious 7’s speed and staying power.