Record Numbers of Fans Assemble For Massive 'Avengers' Debut

[caption id="attachment_126082" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Marvel/Disney"]The Avengers[/caption]

Months of anticipation have paid off in a big way for Marvel's "The Avengers" as the superhero blockbuster earned an incredible $80.5 million on Friday for the second highest single day gross in movie history.

And according to, that's just the tip of the iceberg, as the film's excellent word of mouth and unbelievable overseas earnings are on pace to turn "The Avengers" into one of the biggest box office hits of all time.

Looks like the next thing Marvel needs to assemble is a team of bankers.

So just how big is "The Avengers?" Consider this: Last year's "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" currently holds both the single day box office record ($91 million) and the record for the highest grossing opening weekend ($169.2 million), marks it set en route to an astonishing $1.328 billion mark worldwide.

"The Avengers" though, is on pace to match or even exceed those marks. While it fell just short of the single day record, it should be noted that the final installment of the "Harry Potter" franchise took in nearly half of its first day receipts —$43.5 million — during its midnight release.

By contrast, "The Avengers" wasn't nearly so front-loaded, taking in a relatively small $18.7 million from midnight showings. That suggests that the film may see a much more even distribution of viewership over the weekend, especially since "The Avengers" has been getting stellar word of mouth, receiving an A+ from CinemaScore.

And "Harry Potter's" opening weekend record isn't the only mark "The Avengers" is chasing; that redonkulous international tally could be matched or topped as well, as "The Avengers" has already earned $334.3 million overseas. In just ten days of release, "The Avengers" has taken in an amazing $414.8 million, a figure that should top a half a billion dollars by Sunday night.

So can "The Avengers" go where only "Titanic" and "Avatar" have gone before and top the $2 billion mark worldwide? It's still far too early to tell, but after just one day, the sky appears to be the limit. Now that's truly super.