LOS ANGELES: “Avengers: Infinity War” took in $39 million on Thursday evening at U.S. and Canadian box offices, the biggest opening for a Marvel Studios film and the fourth-highest of all time, distributor Walt Disney Co said.
By Sunday, the movie is expected to come close to, or even break, the weekend record set in 2015 by “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” according to box office analysts. “Force Awakens” grossed $248 million over its initial weekend.
“Infinity War” features more than 20 superheroes from Marvel’s ever-expanding cinematic universe, including Iron Man, Spider-Man, Black Panther and the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Critics have largely praised the movie for its ambition, scale and wit and for a jaw-dropping ending that seems designed to get audiences hooked for another installment next year. Plot details have been shrouded in secrecy, but several major characters die or appear to be killed off.
“Marvel hits the jackpot again,” said The Hollywood Reporter, while USA Today loved its “unexpected returns, true surprises, real sacrifices and a cliffhanger ending that’s going to freak fans to their superhero-loving core.”
Variety called the movie “overstuffed and bedazzling” and predicted the ending would be much talked about. “It is dark and spooky and, in its way, chancy and shocking. Do any of our beloved characters die? Well, yes. But, in fact, the ending is so audacious that you realize it’s all an elaborate card trick.”
Among the less enthusiastic were Time Out, which called it “an overstuffed sausage of summer entertainment,” and Slant magazine, which said it was “all manic monotony” but “passably numbing in the moment.”