Rocketing past early estimates, Marvel's "The Avengers" opened this weekend to a record-shattering $200.3 million in North America, easily unseating "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2" to become the largest domestic debut of all time. Earth's Mightiest Heroes, indeed.
The final installment of the "Harry Potter" franchise debuted last summer to $169.2 million, brushing by the $158.4 million record established three years earlier by "The Dark Knight." Now both numbers seem almost paltry by comparison.
Overseas, the Joss Whedon-directed film has already raked in $441.5 million, bringing its worldwide haul to a staggering $641.8 million in just 12 days, according to The Hollywood Reporter. In that short time, "The Avengers" has already eclipsed the $623 million global total of 2010's "Iron Man 2," which until this weekend had been Marvel Studios' most successful release.
"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.