After Friday’s reports of an $18.7 Million midnight, it didn’t look like The Avengers was going to break any records. And late Friday, studios were suggesting that the film was going to have a $65 Million Friday, which ended up being off by about $15 Million. And though it didn’t beat the midnight or opening day records, The Avengersdid have the biggest opening weekend of all time by a wide margin.

Film Weekend Per Screen Total
1 The Avengers
$200,300,000 $46,057 $200,300,000
2 Think Like a Man $8,000,000 (-54.6%) $3,980 $73,029,000
3 The Hunger Games $5,700,000 (-47.3%) $2,040 $380,727,000
4 The Lucky One $5,510,000 (-49.0%) $1,834 $47,917,000
5 The Pirates! Band of Misfits $5,400,000 (-51.5%) $1,608 $18,563,000
6 The Five-Year Engagement $5,100,000 (-51.9%) $1,734 $19,200,000
7 The Raven $2,508,000 (-65.6%) $1,135 $12,047,000
8 Safe $2,470,000 (-68.7%) $1,088 $12,874,000
9 Chimpanzee $2,395,000 (-54.2%) $1,564 $23,012,000
10 The Three Stooges $1,800,000 (-65.2%) $828 $39,637,000

What may be most surprising about these numbers is that Avengers has made more money than Thor, Captain America or either Hulk did domestically in their entire runs, and it is going to do more than either Iron Man film. But it’s also hard to say how front-loaded this is, and it’s hard to know if it can crack half a billion like The Dark Knight did. Though it will be over $300 next weekend it could be dead by Memorial Day. At this point the lowest it could do domestically is around $400.

And even if the number is a little less (or possibly a little more) they’ve still got the opening weekend record as the second highest total is $169.2 Million, a total held by the last Harry Potter film. And we haven’t seen a grossly misrepresented opening weekend for a long time, so even if it is off by a million or two, it’s not going to be that off.

The record is big, and it bursts a hurdle that was eventually going to be got to – the question is how long it holds. Can The Dark Knight Rises clear it, and can it make $100 Million in one day? That would be the next film to challenge this record. Opening weekends are about the success of the marketing and (now more than ever) branding. Marvel has spent the last five years building this brand it looks like it’s going to pay off with an over Billion worldwide total (the film is now at $640 Million worldwide).

This is also one of those weekends where fans may use these numbers to prove something. All this proves is that the film was marketed well, because that $200 Million is mostly made up of people seeing the film for the first time. I’m sure there’s people who saw it repeatedly this weekend, but the point stands – the success has nothing to do with the film’s quality, in any way.

There were other films in the theater. That much is true. And we may yet see The Hunger Games cross $400 Million. But this weekend was all about The Avengers, and so it goes.

Reality Check: I said $165 Million, which was one of the higher predictions for the films weekend. Oh well, it’s not like anyone thought $200 was possible until yesterday, and even then it seemed unlikely.

What did you see this weekend?