The Avengers' box office gross overseas has broken a number of official records. In 39 territories, the Disney / Marvel release earned an estimated $178.4 million, with much more to come once the action flick opens in Russia, Japan, and China. The Avengers' budget, by the way, is an estimated $220 million. In other words, without the international market, movies like The Avengers would never get made.
According to Disney International, The Avengers had the best opening weekend ever in territories as varied as Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, New Zealand, and The Philippines. The top international market was the United Kingdom ($24.7 million), followed by Australia ($19.7 million), Mexico ($15.9 million), South Korea ($12.9 million), France ($12.7 million), Brazil ($11.3 million), and Italy ($10.4m).
Though at the no. 1 spot this weekend, The Avengers performed more modestly in Spain ($7.3m) and Germany ($6.7m). In both markets, by the way, the biggest 2012 hit to date is not a Hollywood blockbuster — but the French comedy-drama The Intouchables, starring François Cluzet and Omar Sy.
Now, remember to take those "best opening ever" claims with a boulder of salt. When discussing international territories, not only is inflation a factor, but also currency fluctuations as well.
Even so, The Avengers' opening is definitely one of the most cash-generating in history. For comparison's sake: After 18 days and most major territories — excepting China, Mexico, and Brazil — Peter Berg / Taylor Kitsch's Battleship has collected an estimated $170m internationally. Earlier this year, Gary Ross / Jennifer Lawrence's The Hunger Games opened with $59.5 million in 67 territories. Late last year, Kristen Stewart / Robert Pattinson / Taylor Lautner's The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 opened in 54 territories with $152.9m.
The Avengers opens May 4 in the United States and Canada. Directed by Joss Whedon, The Avengers features Captain America: The First Avenger's Chris Evans as the red-white-and-blue Captain, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows's Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man, Shutter Island's Mark Ruffalo as the Incredible Hulk, Lost in Translation's Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow, and Red Dawn's Chris Hemsworth as Thor.
Also: The Town's Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, War Horse's Tom Hiddleston as Loki, The Storm Awaits' Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill, Django Unchained's Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Contagion's Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, and Light Years' Clark Gregg as agent Phil Coulson.
And finally: Stellan Skarsgård, Alexis Denisof, Powers Boothe, veteran Jenny Agutter (Walkabout / Logan's Run), and Deep End director / Roman Polanski's Knife in the Water screenwriter Jerzy Skolimowski, in addition to the voices of Paul Bettany and Lou Ferrigno.
Chris Hemsworth / Clark Gregg / The Avengers photo: Zade Rosenthal / Walt Disney Studios.