Marvel's Avengers: Endgame film has not just shattered American and global cinema records but also box office records in South Africa, East Africa and West Africa, where it raked in respectively, a massive R34 million, kes 33 million, and N214.4 million to become the biggest industry opening weekend opening in SA and the other two African territories.
Filmgoers in South Africa and elsewhere across Africa assembled to watch the 22nd and final film in Disney and Marvel's so-called "Infinity Saga" with over 377 000 attendances for its opening weekend in South Africa, including Thursday night previews.
This debut ranks as the biggest industry opening weekend ever in South African Box Office history, beating out previous record holder, and its predecessor, 2018's Avengers: Infinity War.
Avengers: Endgame raked in just over $1.209 billion over the weekend in its box office debut to instantly land at the 18th place of Wikipedia's list of the highest-grossing films ever - reaching the milestone after just three days with weeks left to earn more.
It has become the first film ever to surpass making $1bn worldwide in its cinema debut, earning $859m internationally.
Besides South Africa and the West and East African territories, Avengers: Endgame so far led to the highest opening weekend in film industry history in 44 other markets outside of the United States, including China, the United Kingdom, Australia, Korea, Brazil, Mexico and Spain.
On big-screen IMAX, the film also broke global records becoming the super-format's new all-time worldwide opening record contributing $91.5m so far in tallied box office sales, bigger than the debut of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In 3D, Avengers: Endgame has also become the biggest global cinema debut ever.
LOCAL BOX OFFICE
Friday 26 April saw Avengers: Endgame take in over R9.2m with over 100 000 attendances in South Africa - making it the biggest industry opening day ever at the local South African box office, toppling the prior holder of the title, again Avengers: Infinity War, which opened on 27 April last year.
Furthermore, the film's Saturday takings totalled more than R11.8m, making it the biggest single day at the local box office and the first to pass the R11 million mark in one day in South Africa.
In addition to the biggest opening weekend of all time in South Africa, Avengers: Endgame passed a number of other milestones, including the biggest ever opening weekend of any superhero, Marvel Studios and Disney film, and it has become the fastest film to hit the R30 million mark in South Africa.
"These records showcase the extraordinary support the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) continues to garner from fans across the continent, following last year's historical runs of both Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War and Black Panther, with the latter becoming the number one film of all time in South, East and West Africa," says Disney Africa.
In a statement, Alan Horn, chairperson of The Walt Disney Studios, says "Kevin Feige and the Marvel Studios team have continued to challenge notions of what is possible at the movie theatre both in terms of storytelling and at the box office."
"Though Avengers: Endgame is far from an end for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), these first 22 films constitute a sprawling achievement, and this weekend's monumental success is a testament to the world they've envisioned, the talent involved, and their collective passion, matched by the irrepressible enthusiasm of fans around the world."
Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios president, says "From the very beginning with Iron Man, all we've wanted to do was tell stories that brought these characters to life on-screen the way we've experienced them as fans of the comics".
"That we've had so many other successes in this journey leading to this unbelievable result with Avengers: Endgame has been almost entirely due to the fans around the world who have supported us through it all."
"Our directors, Anthony and Joe Russo, and our writers, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, really brought this story home, and I am also incredibly thankful for our cast and filmmakers from across the MCU and all who've worked so hard to make these films the best they can be, including the amazing teams at Marvel Studios and Disney. And of course, without Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, none of this would have been possible".
The directors Anthony and Joe Russo say "We poured our heart and soul into Avengers: Endgame, hoping to tell a story that would inspire audiences around the world. Our family of cast and crew felt honoured to be entrusted with bringing the Infinity Saga to a close. To Kevin Feige, everyone at Disney and Marvel, and the incredible, global community of fans - thank you."