As we await the potentially historic debut of Avengers: Infinity War this weekend, we also mark a decade of the vaunted Marvel Cinematic Universe that began in 2008 with Iron Man. Ten years later, Infinity is the 19th feature in a franchise that has grossed nearly $6 billion stateside and almost $15 billion worldwide. With Friday’s release of Infinity, I’m estimating it will have the second highest domestic debut of all time (behind only Star Wars: The Force Awakens).
My blog didn’t begin until the fall of 2012, shortly after the release of the first Avengers feature. That means I have done 12 opening weekend box office predictions for MCU releases prior to Infinity. I thought this might be a good time to take a trip down that lane on how I’ve done with their pictures of the past:
Iron Man 3 (2013)
My Prediction: $172.4 million
Opening: $174.1 million
I started off well with my prediction for Tony Stark’s third franchise entry, which had the benefit of coming right on the heels of The Avengers.
Thor: The Dark World (2013)
My Prediction: $85.6 million
Opening: $85.7 million
My high mark in MCU estimates came here – only $100k off!
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
My Prediction: $86.3 million
Opening: $95 million
I underestimated Cap a bit here, but not too shabby.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
My Prediction: $74.6 million
Opening: $94.3 million
Yeah… the sizzling buzz for Guardians in summer 2014 caused anticipation to rise and rise. It’s hard to remember now, but this was actually considered a risk for Marvel at the time. The buzz exceeded my take by nearly $20 million bucks.
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
My Prediction: $212.7 million
Opening: $191.2 million
The question with this first Avengers sequel is whether it would top the $207 million achieved by its 2012 predecessor. If so, it would have had the largest domestic opening at the time. I predicted it would and it fell short. Strangely enough, it would be Jurassic World one month later that would earn $208 million and set the debut record until The Force Awakens came along.
My Prediction: $73.3 million
Opening: $57.2 million
I gave Paul Rudd and company too much credit here. The Ant-Man is the second lowest MCU debut (only The Incredible Hulk is below it at $55 million). Nevertheless a sequel is on its way this summer.
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
My Prediction: $205.6 million
Opening: $179.1 million
My streak of going over on these predictions continues for the third feature…
Doctor Strange (2016)
My Prediction: $77.3 million
Opening: $85 million
A little low, but at least I got to within $10 million here.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
My Prediction: $166.4 million
Opening: $146.5 million
AND we’re back to going high…
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
My Prediction: $117.8 million
Opening: $117 million
After some whiffs, finally got back to solid estimating with Spidey’s well-received reiteration.
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
My Prediction: $107.6 million
Opening: $122.7 million
Positive WOM pushed Thor’s third feature $15 million better than my projection.
Black Panther (2018)
My Prediction: $193.8 million
Opening: $202 million
This was an estimate that kept going up and up. I got pretty close, but still didn’t have it reaching the $200M+ plus number it achieved.
And there you have it! My checkered MCU history. We shall see how that $242.2 million take for Infinity War pans out soon enough…