'Avengers' takes off with $18.7M at midnight shows

In this film image released by Disney, Chris Hemsworth portrays Thor, left, and  and Chris Evans portrays Captain America in a scene from

In this film image released by Disney, Chris Hemsworth portrays Thor, left, and and Chris Evans portrays Captain America in a scene from "The Avengers," expected to be released on May 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Disney, Zade Rosenthal)

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Iron Man and his fellow avengers are off to a solid start as they bring their save-the-world act to U.S. theaters.

"The Avengers" launched domestically early Friday with $18.7 million from midnight screenings. That puts it at No. 8 all-time for midnight debuts, just behind the $19.7 million start for "The Hunger Games" in March.

But it's well under half the amount for the No. 1 midnight draw - the "Harry Potter" finale last fall with $43.5 million.

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" also went on to the biggest domestic opening weekend ever with $169.2 million.

While "The Avengers" started modestly compared with the last "Harry Potter" flick, it still may end up among the top weekend openings ever. "The Hunger Games" followed its midnight start with a $152.3 million debut weekend, the No. 3 opening behind "Deathly Hallows: Part 2" and "The Dark Knight" at $158.4 million.

Produced by Disney's Marvel Studios unit, "The Avengers" already is a blockbuster overseas, where it opened last week in 39 markets.

Disney reported that through Thursday, "The Avengers" had taken in $304 million internationally. In barely a week, "The Avengers" has pulled in far more overseas than some of Marvel Studios' earlier releases in their entire run, including "Iron Man," "Thor" and "Captain America: The First Avenger."

"The Avengers" assembles key Marvel Comics superheroes introduced in earlier films, including Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Chris Evans as Captain America and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye. Samuel L. Jackson reprises his role as superhero recruiter Nick Fury, and Mark Ruffalo makes his debut as the Incredible Hulk.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to webmaster@wvlt-tv.com. Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus


6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 150215265