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Marvel's superhero crossover epic "The Avengers" opens in theaters at midnight tonight and there's no question it's going to be huge. But just how big is it going to be?
Well, according to some industry experts, it could just end up having the biggest opening weekend in box office history.
And here you thought the Hulk's pants were big.
Of course, everybody's pretty much just guesstimating at this point. And as recently as the beginning of this week, Hollywood insiders had "The Avengers" pegged in the $125 million range, which is nice but hardly record breaking.
But things, as they say, change: According to a new industry roundup from the folks at NJ.com, "The Avengers" is now on track to bring in between $150 and $170 million this weekend. And that gives it a fighting chance to beat the old record, set last summer when "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2" earned $169. 2 million.
The final "Harry Potter" film also holds the record for the biggest midnight opening — $43 million — another record that could be in jeopardy from "The Avengers."
So why are experts so bullish on "The Avengers" right now? Well, part of it is the way the movie is crushing records overseas; in just eight days of release, the team-up between stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth has brought in a whopping $281.1 million according to BoxOffice.com. That's more than "Iron Man," "Captain America" or "Thor" earned internationally over their entire theatrical runs.
And "Avengers" is also matching the buzz that preceded the huge release of "The Hunger Games" back in March, with the percentage of ticket pre-sales and the number of positive tweets being about equal. "The Hunger Games" ended up earning $152 million during its opening weekend, but that was without the benefit of the higher 3-D ticket prices that "The Avengers" will command.
All of which adds up to possibly the biggest opening of all time. But enjoy it while you can, Marvel fans. Because "The Dark Knight Rises" opens in just two months. And records were made to be broken.