‘Avengers’ pulls in records and ticket sales

Carl Robinette

The Avengers pulled in $207.4 million at U.S. box offices for its opening weekend in what turned out to be the highest-grossing domestic opening in history, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The much-anticipated Marvel Comics adaptation bested last summer’s Harry Potter finale, which set the previous record for first weekend ticket sales in the U.S. at $169.2.

“The thing that I love is that it was one of the comics that were pretty steeped in sci-fi,” said Joss Whedon, the film’s director in a recent teleconference.  “I love that element. It’s a realistic version of a comic book universe.”

The project is the final culmination of Marvel’s prequel push that includes the Iron Man movies, Hulk, Captain America and Thor. Led by Nick Fury, who’s portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson, these heroes come together to save the world from being annihilated by alien invaders.

“I felt very much like Nick Fury,” Whedon said, about bringing all of these characters together for one film. Whedon also co-wrote the screenplay. “Though I’m not nearly as intelligent or manipulative as Nick.”

Judging by the opening weekend earnings and the return of audience favorites like Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, “Avengers” is expected to be one of the summer’s biggest films.

The film is a collaboration of Disney and Marvel, and it kicks off the summer action-blockbuster season that will include some heavy competition. The revamped “Spiderman 3D,” “Dark Knight Rises,” another Bourne installment, and “Die Hard V” are just a few titles on what might prove to be the most expensive summer film roster of all time.

“I think ‘The Avengers’ is the kind of movie I grew up wanting to make,” Whedon said. “This is an old fashioned movie.  It’s a little larger than life but there’s also a human element.”