Long Range Tracking: ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

Somewhat unexpectedly, this week’s long range report takes a first look at the beginning of summer movie season following a bombshell release date change announced by Disney on Thursday: Avengers: Infinity War is now slated to open Friday, April 27 — one week earlier than the previously scheduled Friday, May 4.

This marks the first time an Avengers film has opted out of the traditional first Friday of May slot, and positions the film for something closer to a simultaneous global launch — something the Marvel Cinematic Universe hasn’t seen much as its films have typically opened overseas one or two weeks before North America.

The pivot also distances the film from May 18’s Deadpool 2 and Disney’s own Solo: A Star Wars Story on May 25, giving the trio of tentpoles more breathing room in a May window that’s poised to become a record one at the box office.

Should the current global strategy remain the plan, Infinity War stands a reasonable chance at topping last year’s The Fate of the Furious and its standing record as both the overseas ($443.2 million) and worldwide opening weekend ($541.9 million) champ when the Marvel heroes assemble less than two months from now. (Worth noting is that the film still has a handful of countries — Russia included — slated to debut one week later.)

Domestically, however, is where this report is mainly focused for now.

Never mind 2018 itself, it goes without saying Infinity War is one of this decade’s keystone event films — just as next year’s Avengers 4 likely will be. Bringing together the entire roster of characters, Marvel Studios is in the midst of celebrating its 10th anniversary (marked by the release of the original Iron Man in May 2008) with what studio head Kevin Feige has promised in no uncertain terms will be the culmination of every story they’ve brought to the screen so far.

This will mark the 19th chapter of the universe, and fans are being prepared to expect some sort of finality to the current iteration of the MCU over the course of the next year.

What to Expect

It’s hard to view this as a traditional trilogy-capper within the Avengers sub-set of films. Infinity War and the forthcoming, untitled Avengers 4 slated for May 2019 were filmed back-to-back by Anthony and Joe Russo (Captain America: The Winter SoldierCivil War) and, at one time, planned as a two-parter under the same subtitle. Marvel shifted gears by dropping the IW moniker from next year’s film, but little else has been confirmed in terms of what to expect — likely due to the fact that it would spoil what happens in this film.

Will next year’s “conclusion” similarly boast the full universe cast of Iron Man, Captain America, Spider-Man, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther, Thor, Doctor Strange, Hulk, et al? We simply don’t know yet, and that’s a hugely significant factor to consider in expectations for this film’s box office potential. As such, forecasts for total grosses may be volatile in the coming weeks.

Buzz will undoubtedly be strong — Infinity War‘s Twitter activity is on par with that of Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Age of Ultron at the same point before release, while far ahead of Black Panther and Civil War — and reviews close to release will be key as always.

But, if the film leaves moviegoers on a hard cliffhanger in combination with possible deaths of beloved characters that Marvel films have generally avoided up to this point, staying power could turn out to be more frontloaded like that of the aforementioned Ultron and Civil War, as opposed to the more widely crowd-pleasing first AvengersBlack Panther, first Guardians, first Iron Man, etc. that displayed incredible legs by tripling their already-massive opening weekend grosses.

In terms of opening weekend, the immense level of hype the film is currently generating across the social media spectrum indicates what will likely be the sixth film to ever open north of $200 million domestically. Using the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows two-parter as a close comparison for this and next year’s Avengers entry, Infinity War may not approach the all-time record of $248 million held by Star Wars: The Force Awakens (just as Deathly Hallows I came in well short of The Dark Knight‘s record opening at the time).

That unfair comparison aside, the third place Jurassic World‘s $208.8 million debut is well within reach, and The Last Jedi‘s second-best-ever $220 million bow isn’t out of the question either.

With those caveats aside, it’s ultimately important to remember this: Marvel and Disney have a consistent history of coming in ahead of even the most optimistic expectations, so anything is possible.

Infinity War: Box Office Ranges

At this time, our ranges for the next Marvel tentpole stand as follows:

Domestic Opening Weekend: $200 million – $235 million
Domestic Total Gross: $490 million – $590 million

Current pinpoint forecasts are listed in the table below and will be updated as tracking changes in the weeks ahead.

This Week’s Other Updates

  • STX’s I Feel Pretty moved up one week to an April 20 release in response to the Avengers shift. We currently expect the Amy Schumer comedy to be a strong female-driven option in late April through May based on encouraging buzz following the film’s first trailer. A Mother’s Day weekend boost in mid-May will be good news toward staying power.
  • A slew of upcoming releases have been updated in the chart below as the post-Black Panther/pre-Avengers market continues to take shape.

8-Week Tracking:

Release Date Title 3-Day Wide Opening % Chg from Last Week Domestic Total % Chg from Last Week Estimated Location Count Distributor
3/9/2018 Gringo $3,000,000 -25% $7,500,000 -25% 2,400 STXfilms
3/9/2018 The Hurricane Heist $4,500,000 -10% $11,300,000 -10% 2,500 Entertainment Studios
3/9/2018 Strangers: Prey at Night $7,000,000 $15,000,000 2,400 Aviron
3/9/2018 A Wrinkle In Time $39,000,000 -19% $115,000,000 -19% 3,800 Disney
3/16/2018 I Can Only Imagine $1,500,000 $3,000,000 800 Roadside Attractions
3/16/2018 Love, Simon $13,000,000 $37,000,000 2,700 Fox
3/16/2018 Tomb Raider $28,000,000 17% $70,000,000 17% 3,500 Warner Bros.
3/23/2018 Midnight Sun $4,500,000 -25% $11,300,000 -25% Open Road
3/23/2018 Pacific Rim Uprising $25,000,000 25% $61,000,000 25% Universal
3/23/2018 Paul, Apostle of Christ $13,500,000 -7% $47,500,000 -7% Sony / Columbia
3/23/2018 Sherlock Gnomes $16,000,000 33% $58,000,000 29% Paramount
3/23/2018 Unsane $4,000,000 NEW $8,000,000 NEW Bleecker Street
3/29/2018 Ready Player One $54,000,000 $180,000,000 Warner Bros.
3/30/2018 Acrimony $19,000,000 $46,000,000 Lionsgate
3/30/2018 God’s Not Dead: A Light In Darkness $6,000,000 $15,400,000 Pure Flix
4/6/2018 Blockers $19,000,000 $63,000,000 Universal
4/6/2018 Chappaquiddick n/a n/a Entertainment Studios
4/6/2018 A Quiet Place $25,000,000 25% $78,000,000 22% Paramount
4/13/2018 Overboard $14,000,000 $39,000,000 Lionsgate / Pantelion
4/13/2018 Truth or Dare $23,000,000 $47,000,000 Universal
4/20/2018 I Feel Pretty $21,000,000 NEW $70,000,000 NEW STXfilms
4/20/2018 Rampage $19,000,000 -24% $47,000,000 -24% Warner Bros. / New Line
4/20/2018 Super Troopers 2 $5,000,000 $9,000,000 -10% Fox Searchlight
4/20/2018 Tully n/a n/a Focus Features
4/27/2018 Avengers: Infinity War $215,000,000 NEW $538,000,000 NEW Disney
4/27/2018 Bad Samaritan n/a NEW n/a NEW Electric Entertainment
4/27/2018 Traffik $4,000,000 NEW $10,000,000 NEW Lionsgate / Summit
Shawn Robbins

32 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Orlando March 02, 2018

    A pretty reasonable early prediction on “Avengers: Infinity War”, I think if the film turns out to be great it could certainly exceed those numbers. I’m thinking it ends up reaching $530-$630 million domestic depending on how good the reviews are. If IW’s reviews are strong like the first Avengers film I could definitely see it cracking $600-$630M domestic, but if it’s reviews are weaker like AOU’s we’re than I think it tops out at around $530-$560M domestic. I’m also expecting it to hit $1.5-$1.8 billion worldwide and be the highest global grossing film of 2018. One thing i’m starting to think it won’t be is the highest grossing domestic film this year, I think that title is going to go to “Black Panther” which looks likely to reach between $650-$700M domestic. Either way it’s going to be an insanely monster year for the MCU at the box office.

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    Matt D. March 02, 2018

    No way this film is only making $530 M in its entire run. The film will have a boost from Black Panther and it breaking the most watched trailer in 24 hours. Betting $250 M and making $700-750 in its entire run.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      pepe March 03, 2018

      I agree with you, your prediction is realist, not the official prediction…

      Reply
    • Avatar
      Delfra March 05, 2018

      I could definitely see IW surpassing $530M domestic, but $700-$750M domestic is asking too much man lol. That’s the fanboy in you talking, not being a realist. You’re basically saying IW will legs like Black Panther and I don’t see that happening, this is the third Avengers film and yes I am looking forward to this a lot. I learned that lesson of overhyping a film with AOU, even though I expect this to be a bigger hit obviously. You have to remember that the novelty and freshness of the first Avengers film has worn off and remember that the general movie audience is not like fanboys so you can’t speak for them. Going into 2015 I thought AOU was going to be the biggest film of that and both “Jurassic World” and “The Force Awakens” blew it out the water and even Fast and the Furious 7 made more money worldwide than AOU. That was just one of many examples that told me there is a difference between fanboy hype and what the actual general movie audience thinks. The reason I now think Black Panther will likely end up making more money domestic than IW is because that film has captured the general movie audiences attention and captivated them, it’s giving them something fresh, new and vibrant to get invested in. Yes it’s an MCU film but it’s something movie audiences have not seen before and they’ve attached to and love, that’s what the first Avengers film did. Not trying to down your excitement, just saying it’s best to be realistic. I think IW will be the biggest grossing film overseas and worldwide, but I don’t think this domestic prediction is as far off as you think. IW’s numbers are going to be huge, but learn from me that overestimating a film’s domestic gross will just leave you disappointed because it never plays out quite that way.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Austin March 08, 2018

        You’re quite right, and I couldn’t have said it better myself.

        Reply
  3. Avatar
    J March 02, 2018

    I think the prediction is too low, but then again I could be wrong because nothing is ever a sure bet. I predict a $250 million opening and a $700 million domestic total. Now that I say this it will probably underperform and make less than Black Panther. I hope not, but it probably will(and I loved Black Panther but Infinity War is a movie that I’ve been looking forward to for three years now).

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Delfra March 05, 2018

      That’s exactly what i’m thinking. It’s easy to look at Black Panther’s domestic success and say oh BP is in Infinity War and that films is even bigger and more anticipated so of course it’s going to make more domestic. But it doesn’t work that way, BP has hit a very rare wave of success with movie audiences that only comes along every once in a while. I seen this with “Titanic”, TDKR, the first Avengers, Jurassic World and The Force Awakens most recently, films that far surpass hype and have great buzz and simply radiates with movie audiences. Some people forget that just because they are hyped and excited for something, that doesn’t the general movie audience will feel the same way. I’m telling you the general movie audience is different from fanboys, and they are the ones that truly determine how big a film will be. The general movie audience is loving Black Panther right now and the numbers are showing it, it’s not a guarantee they’re going to react the exact same way to IW no matter how hyped up and excited many of us are to see it. The general audience can be very indifferent at times. With the general movie audience a film can be less successful than people think like “Justice League” or it can be more successful than people think it will be like “Black Panther”, sometimes you never know. But if a film has great reviews and strong buzz going into it’s release that always helps, it certainly doesn’t hurt as we can all see with how BP is currently performing. That film made almost $70 million this weekend, not in it’s first, not in it’s second but in it’s THIRD weekend. That is insane and very, very impressive. I think IW will open it’s weekend with more money than BP did, but I don’t think it will have the legs and consistency to make more domestically in the end. Is it possible that it could yes, but I don’t think it’s likely. BP is looking like it will end up making between $650-$700M domestic, that’s going to be a hard amount of money to top even for IW.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        pdxRaj March 15, 2018

        You forgot to mention that everyone thought that Wonder Woman’s breakout success would help Justice League, which it didn’t. If anything, Justice League damaged the box office potential of the next Wonder Woman.

        Reply
    • Avatar
      Suman March 13, 2018

      No matter where black panther finishes ultimately in terms of box office gross,you can bet your or rather I should my ass,Infinity War is going to end up making more money than it in US alone. As for Overseas market,there is no doubt of IW grossing more than BP by a good margin

      Reply
  4. Avatar
    Al Patrickson March 02, 2018

    I hope IW crushes the global opening weekend record.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      arkdad65 April 15, 2018

      they are now predicting 235-255 opening weekend and up to 700+ total domestic. The prerealease hits have surpassed any movie prior with 2 weeks left. The last prediction I saw was a WW CUME 2.2 B, but only time will tell. I predict 240M OPEN 720M TOTAL DOM. 520M OPEN WW and 1.7- 2.1B TOTAL

      Reply
  5. Avatar
    BL March 02, 2018

    OPening weekend sounds right but with a three space gap between Deadpool 2 and rampage having no buzz and the black panther bump I would be shocked (unless reviews and buzz aren’t strong) if IW doesn’t hit 600-700 million

    Reply
  6. Avatar
    Whodunit March 02, 2018

    Rampage will do better business than that. The Rock sorry Dwayne Johnson somehow got Jumanji close to $800 million WW. So I believe this definitely will open higher than $19 million. I’ll guess $40 million opening weekend. $130-50 domestic

    Reply
    • Avatar
      That Guy BoxOffice.com Keeps Blocking March 05, 2018

      RAMPAGE is currently in very dangerous territory now that it’s only one week ahead of INFINITY WAR, hence the major drops in the estimate. It either needs to move forward a week (restoring the original two-week separation) or else abandon ship and find a new release date post-summer.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Beri March 05, 2018

        international release dates starts from April 14 for rampage and US it will open on April 20 so it means the film have two weeks when the avengers infinity hit the theatres,,so film has a better chances to cover the box office figures,, The Rock is a major draw right now.

        Reply
    • Avatar
      Kev March 05, 2018

      @Whodunit Jumanji is at $928m or so.

      Reply
    • Avatar
      Kevster March 05, 2018

      Whodunit, Jumanji is at $928m or so.

      Reply
    • Avatar
      Beri March 22, 2018

      If infinity war didn’t hit theatres after two weeks of rampage then the movie had a good chances to go to high global figures but still it will earn a good amount because of the rocks global popularity and star power my predict will be 350 million$ to 400million$ globally.

      Reply
  7. Avatar
    DangerS March 03, 2018

    I predict anything between $250-300M on opening weekend and $600-750M total. It should also make $1B overseas.

    Reply
  8. Avatar
    Randal March 03, 2018

    Yeah, 250 and 700 seems like a safe bet. Among other things, that huge fan base—many new to the MCU—ravenous for the further adventures of T’Challa. And then the fact that the film looks very good and feels like the culmination of the series, even if it isn’t.

    Reply
  9. Avatar
    Jacen March 03, 2018

    If Infinity War is a satisfying film–no cliffhanger, character deaths have emotional impact for the audience, strong story and character development, critically acclaimed–then expect a total 50% higher than Avengers Assemble. As to the opening, I think 220-250mil is not only safe but probably close to accurate, because I suspect that this film is going to have the longest running time of any MCU film. Civil War currently holds that at close to 2.5 hours, and IW has a lot more characters. If they develop the story and characters properly, rather than have people just cameo in dissatisfying fashion, then the running time would have to be closer to 3 hours. That would limit the number of screenings a little. The alternative would be to reduce the amount of action in favor of character/story development. Civil War and Winter Soldier each had 1/3 of their run times devoted to action, while Logan and Wonder Woman had more like 20-25% action. If IW is closer to the latter two in development, then we could be looking at a 2.5 hour film that opens closer to 300mil.

    Reply
  10. Avatar
    James Reynolds Jr March 04, 2018

    I Can Only Imagine. Is gonna hit at least $10M opening weekend. Why? 42M MILLION trailer views on Facebook.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      George March 04, 2018

      Nope. Not with a measly 800 screen count.

      Reply
  11. Avatar
    Steve March 04, 2018

    I think Love, Simon has potential to open bigger than this. Especially with the positive reviews. Not sure why Tomb Raider estimates are increasing. The movie looks like another video game flop and is sure to be one once reviews drop. A March 14th review embargo is a very bad sign!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Russell March 12, 2018

      I think “Tomb Raider” could flop like Valerian and Ghost in the Shell did last year, so between $19-22m. I think “Love, Simon” could open to around $20m.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Suman March 13, 2018

        I can safely bet my ass on my confidence towards I Love Simon opening well below the 20 million figure. Dude wake up and smell some HARD coffee

        Reply
  12. Avatar
    Suman March 13, 2018

    I for the life in me will never be able to understand the box office juggernaut Black Panther has ended up becoming. Surely it was a very good movie but still the numbers are simply mind boggling.
    There are quite a few people out here who are doubtful of IW prospects of grossing more than BP. Not only will it gross more than BP,it will definitely be a better movie too

    Reply
  13. Avatar
    pdxRaj March 15, 2018

    One thing no one seems to talk about is that Infinity War will be the FIFTH Marvel movie released in the past 12 months. Infinity War opens just 10 weeks after Black Panther, which will still be in the Top 10! Can the success of Black Panther actually hurt Infinity War? Does Marvel fatigue finally kick in with movie critics and even the general public?

    Also, we have all the superheroes from the first Avengers, plus GOTG, Ant-man, Dr. Strange, Spiderman, and Black Panther. How do you juggle so many major characters in one story? Do you make a 3-hour movie (less show times, bye-bye $200 million opening) or focus on certain characters (upsetting the fans of the characters not getting their due)?

    I do not envy the people making this movie.

    Reply
  14. Avatar
    pdxRaj March 15, 2018

    Um, just last year Dwayne helped The Fate and the Furious open to $98.7 million, then a month later Baywatch opened to only $18.5 million. So Rampage opening around $19 million is not impossible. It really depends on how good the movie is.

    That said, I think your $40 million opening is more likely than the “Pro’s” $19 million. But your total domestic finish is a little high, more like $100-120 million . The competition coming out after it opens that will crush this rock’s legs. Pun intended.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Beri March 22, 2018

      Rampage is a big banner movie 19 million$ opening in US is a complete Bullshit isn’t that too less it’s not a r rated movie like Baywatch it’s monster action film with a lot of big action sequences so it will go around 40 million$ weekend and final gross will be 110 to 120 million$ and overseas it will go bang because the Rock has a massive global popularity and a starpower so the movie will hit 250million$ gross at overseas.

      Reply
  15. Avatar
    Lyle March 31, 2018

    I feel it will way over pass 530 million dollars especially when it’s the most viewed trailer of all time and the boost from black panther

    Reply
  16. Avatar
    TheLegendaryGiraffe April 01, 2018

    I feel like it will $550-650 million domestically depending on its reviews. Worldwide it should make $1.7-2.1 billion. I know that seems like a stretch, but because of the boost from Black Panther and the evidence from the trailers plus pre-booked ticket records, I feel like it will reach those numbers.

    Reply

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