Avengers director Joss Whedon's talents need no introduction to the legions of fans who have followed his career since he helmed Buffy The Vampire Slayer. But Hollywood has always found him a tougher proposition, as they often do with unruly geniuses ahead of their time.
So studio heads at Disney must be thanking their stars they finally gave the gifted director his due when they asked him to helm The Avengers movie which opened at the weekend. Champagne corks are now popping all over Tinsel Town as the flick achieved easily the biggest film opening of all time.
It's the first movie ever to make $200 million at the box office in a single weekend in North America, easily passing the previous first weekend record of $169.2 million, which was set last year by the final film in the long running Harry Potter series.
According to the Irish Independent, The Avengers also had the biggest Saturday gross in Hollywood's history, earning $69.7 million. The film has already made $441.5 million in other countries outside America where it opened weeks earlier, and by the weekend its worldwide box office total climbed to $641.8 million.
Based on its current figures the film is on its way to becoming one of the few to gross $1 billion worldwide. And those dollar signs were improved significantly by the extra cash opening weekend movie goers paid extra to see the film in 3D.
It's the best news of all for the Disney studio which is still recovering from the John Carter fiasco in March, which led the company to a $200 million write-off, which in turn led to studio chairman Rich Ross resigned in April.
The film reassembles several of the frayed around the edges superhero characters who have appeared separately in their own previous blockbusters. Robert Downey Jr stars as Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Chris Evans as Captain America, Jermey Renner as Hawkeye, and Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow.
Meanwhile over all US box office returns for the first quarter of 2012 were $2.6 billion, that's up 24 per cent from the previous year.
Here's the trailer:
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