Avengers fans gather at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. File/ Reuters
"Avengers: Endgame," the hugely anticipated series-ender from Disney and Marvel, set a new standard for Hollywood blockbusters this weekend with stunning hauls of $350 million in North America and $1.2 billion worldwide, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations estimated Sunday.
To put the North American figure in perspective, that means the final chapter in the adventures of Iron Man, Hulk, Thor and company took in 43 times what the No. 2 film, Disney's "Captain Marvel," earned for the three-day weekend: a more pedestrian $8.1 million.
"Avengers" looks likely to remain strong, having drawn a sky-high 96 percent rating from critics on the Rotten Tomatoes website. With a star-studded cast including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Bradley Cooper and Josh Brolin, it took in a jaw-dropping $329 million in China alone, Variety reported.
"Avengers" could lead to "the biggest revenue-generating summer (and year) in box office HISTORY," according to Comscore's Paul Dergarabedian.
Back on Earth, last week's top film, Warner Bros.' horror flick "The Curse of La Llorona," slipped to third spot at $7.5 million. It stars Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz and Patricia Velasquez in the story, loosely based on Mexican folklore, of a Los Angeles woman trying to protect her children from a ghost.
In fourth was "Breakthrough," at $6.3 million. The faith-based story of a mother (Chrissy Metz) who refuses to abandon hope after her son (Marcel Ruiz) falls into an icy lake, was produced by NBA star Stephen Curry.
And in fifth was Warner Bros.' lighthearted superhero tale "Shazam!” at $5.5 million. It stars Asher Angel as Billy Baston, an unhappy foster kid who becomes a muscular superhero (Zachary Levi) when the secret word is pronounced.
With a stacked supporting cast, a script crackling with densely packed jokes and a bravura, awards-worthy comedic performance from star Beanie Feldstein, “Booksmart” more than earns its high marks and hype.
Peter Mayhew, who became known to fans worldwide as the lovable Wookiee Chewbacca in the "Star Wars" galaxy of films, has died. He was 74.
The comedy, arriving in movie theatres next week, tells of struggling British musician Jack who wakes up after a traffic accident and finds himself in an alternate timeline where only he can remember the music of the 1960s band.
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