'The Avengers' Opens Huge Overseas

Superhero team movie pulls in $178 million in first weekend

avengers
Zade Rosenthal/Marvel
Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Chris Evans as Captain America and Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow in 'The Avengers.'
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The Avengers, the film adaptation of Marvel Comics' superhero team, won't be in theaters until Friday, but is already a massive hit overseas, Entertainment Weekly reports. The movie, which features characters from previous hit movies Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and The Hulk, grossed a whopping $178 million abroad over the weekend.

The movie's incredible performance overseas indicates that The Avengers may be the first film based on a superhero franchise to become a true global mega-hit. There has been something of a glass ceiling for the genre in recent years, with movies that were blockbusters in the United States pulling in only modest grosses abroad. For example, even The Dark Knight, which was a monster hit in North America, took in $65 million less than its U.S. gross in the international market.

It's somewhat unusual for a major commercial film like The Avengers to open abroad ahead of its U.S. release, but in this case, it may have worked in the film's favor. Given that American grosses for superhero movies typically dwarf international grosses, it looks like The Avengers will be a massive domestic hit.