Just six days after debuting in overseas markets, Marvel's "The Avengers" has already grossed $218 million, breaking opening-day records in nearly a dozen countries along the way. But as The Hollywood Reporter notes, the Joss Whedon-directed action film is only getting started: By Sunday, it's expected to rocket past $500 million in the worldwide box office.
That Hulk-like boost will come from the movie's midnight Thursday premiere in North America, where it's on track to bring in somewhere north of $150 million, followed by debuts in China and Russia, which should raise the film's foreign gross to $350 to $400 million.
At that rate, "The Avengers" will quickly surpass the $623 million worldwide total of 2010's "Iron Man 2" to become Marvel Studios' most successful release. By comparison, last year's "Captain America: The First Avenger" finished with $368.6 million globally, and "Thor" with $449.3 million. The studio's first self-produced film, 2008's "Iron Man," earned $585 million worldwide.
"The Avengers" stars Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as the Incredible Hulk, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Clark Gregg as S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Phil Coulson, Cobie Smulders as S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Maria Hill and Stellan SkarsgÃ¥rd as Dr. Selvig.