Avengers Endgame earned around $22 million on its first Thursday, dropping just 14% from a $25.25 million Wednesday. Not only is that a pretty terrific set of day-to-day weekday holds, but it brings the film’s week-long domestic cume to $474 million. That’s just below the $474 million gross of Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace (counting the 2012 3-D reissue but not adjusted for inflation). In just one week of domestic release, Avengers Endgame is the 15th-biggest grosser ever and the 100th-biggest inflation-adjusted earner of all time.
It will pass $500 million today and take a shot at not just passing $600 million but ending Sunday night ahead of The Last Jedi ($620 million) and The Avengers ($623 million). After that, it’s just a matter of how quickly it gets past Jurassic World ($652 million), Titanic ($658 million), Avengers: Infinity War ($679 million), Black Panther ($700 million) and Avatar ($760 million). I still think the $937 million domestic gross of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a longshot.
The big (and possibly insurmountable) obstacle is that it’s not going to have the whole “Christmas-to-New Year’s” legs situation that so benefited The Force Awakens. That film earned only 21% less in its second Mon-Thurs frame ($112 million) as its first Mon-Thurs frame ($143 million). For reference, Avengers Endgame grossed $118 million in its first Mon-Thurs frame, and I’m guessing it’ll earn a lot less than $90 million in its second Mon-Thurs frame.
Yes, it has a $110 million head start after opening weekend, but (once again), its second Friday and third Friday won’t fall on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Even if it holds up well enough this weekend to gross more than The Force Awakens’s $149 million second-weekend (which is possible), it’s still going to have a normal decrease in its second Mon-Thurs frame, while Force Awakens had the aforementioned holiday boost. Speaking of which, the second-weekend gross will balance strong word-of-mouth and a relative lack of competition with the sheer size of the opening weekend.
Absent strong buzz and with better competition, I’d expect a bigger drop (closer to 65% than 55%). And if the opening weekend hadn’t been so huge, I’d expect a smaller drop (closer, to 45% than 55%). But all things told, I’d expect a drop close to the 55% second-weekend-fall of Avengers: Infinity War last year. That would be a $160 million weekend and a $635 million ten-day cume. At worst, think a 62% drop and a $135 million weekend for a “mere” $610 million ten-day cume.