Marvel Comics’ gang of mismatched superheroes are quite the draw. The Avengers crashed the billion-dollar mark just 19 days after hitting theaters, scooping up $103.2 million here and in Canada for Disney this weekend, and another in $95.4 million overseas, reports Bloomberg. Dark Shadowscame in second with $28.8 million in its opening weekend. The hungry crowds make it likely movie studios will top 2009’s record receipts of $10.6 billion. Sales are up 18% so far, and attendance has grown 20% over last year.
The Avengers is the first film ever to post back-to-back weekend takes of more than $100 million (besting Avatar’s $75.6 million over weekend No. 2). The film “remains the must-see movie of the weekend,” said an editor at Boxoffice.com “There is a great deal of positive word of mouth, and the must-see factor is definitely there.” Disney is far from finished getting every buck it can out of the franchise: It has big plans to spin off other movies featuring the Marvel heroes, Disney CEO Robert Iger told investors last week.