Joss Whedon’s The Avengers has set a new bar in opening to a walloping $200.3 million at the domestic box office, the largest debut ever and kicking off summer 2012 in high style.
The 3D tentpole — marking a major victory for Disney and Marvel Studios — easily dethroned Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, which opened to $169.2 million last summer, then the largest bow in history.
Avengers opened a week ago overseas, earning a whopping $441.5 million through Sunday. The pic’s worldwide total of $641.8 million already has surpassed the lifetime totals of Captain America: The First Avenger ($364 million), Thor ($449 million), Iron Man ($585 million) and Iron Man 2 ($624 million).
The pic — which assembles Marvel superhero characters Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) — earned a glowing A+ CinemaScore.