While Thanos was collecting Infinity Stones over the weekend, Disney and Marvel were collecting money in record-breaking amounts.  Over the course of its opening weekend  Avengers: Infinity War made $258 million domestically and $640 million worldwide.  Shattering both domestic and worldwide box office records, and it doesn’t open in China until May 11th.  Even without China, Infinity War had the biggest debut among other Disney and Marvel properties.

Black Panther opened with $202 million, the first Avengers movie opened with $207 million, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens made $247 million during its opening weekend.  Those three movies were the top three grossing movies for Disney until Infinity War‘s release.  Two of them (Black Panther and Avengers) made over $1 billion during their runs in theaters.  Black Panther is still in theaters and pulled in $4.38 million this weekend, bringing its total gross to $688 million domestic and $1.3 billion worldwide.

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As for non-Disney and Marvel films, the third Avengers movie annihilated The Fate of the Furious‘ worldwide debut of $541.9 million.  A debut that included China and was at the top until Disney and Marvel unleashed Thanos and his plan upon moviegoers.  While Infinity War did not have any major competition this week, it will come May.  As Deadpool 2 and Solo: A Star Wars Story will be released.

When it comes to Marvel’s plans after Infinity War, Kevin Feige is already planning beyond 2020.  “We had meetings about 2024 and 2025 earlier today,” said Feige to the Associated Press on April 24th.  Of course no word has come out about what those plans may include.  Hopefully those plans include Namor The Sub-Mariner getting his own movie.

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Despite its huge opening weekend, drop-offs in ticket sales do happen.  So it will be interesting to see if Infinity War can keep up its momentum and cross $1 billion.  The reason Avengers crossed $1 billion was because it was the first of its kind.  A big-budget superhero movie that told a linear story over a number of years, using various movies to bring its characters together.

Black Panther reached the $1 billion mark in part because of its cultural and historical milestones.  Yes part of it was also because it was released in February which doesn’t see a lot of quality releases.  However, there is no denying Black Panther‘s story, strong characters, and its pertinence to both culture and history, played a role in people seeing it over and over again.

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Its story allowed people who haven’t seen any or all of the Marvel movies to immediately immerse themselves in it.  Whereas Infinity War is the foreseen conclusion to a story and event 10 years in the making.  While it has T’Challa and other fan-favorite characters, its story relies on moviegoers knowing who characters are.  More important how they got there.

So unless they have a good enough feel for them and their history, they might not feel so inclined to see it again and again.  Plus it’s almost three hours long.  Whatever the final box office total is, it really is impressive to see the movie have this type of opening.  If it doesn’t cross the $1 billion mark is it a failure?  No.

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It’s just nice to see a movie centered around comic book characters being praised and well-received by people of all backgrounds.  To be honest the Marvel movies have done a lot to bring nerd culture into the mainstream.  They have also done a lot to make people within the nerd community feel accepted.

That is something worth more than box office success.