190425 Karen Gillan and Don Cheadle in ‘Avengers: Endgame’.
Karen Gillan and Don Cheadle in ‘Avengers: Endgame’. Image Credit: Disney

Marvel superhero movie ‘Avengers: Endgame’ set an opening-day record in China with an estimated $107.2 million (Dh393.69 million) in ticket sales, distributor Walt Disney Co said on Wednesday.

‘Endgame’ is the final chapter of a story told across 22 Marvel films featuring popular characters such as Iron Man, Thor and Black Widow.

The movie earned rave reviews from critics and is expected to draw huge crowds as it debuts in the rest of the world this week.

As of April 24, 97 per cent of ‘Endgame’ reviews collected by the Rotten Tomatoes website were positive.

The film picks up after last year’s ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, when many of Marvel’s big-screen superheroes appeared to turn to dust. In ‘Endgame’, the survivors plot to kill the supervillain Thanos.

By any measure, the release of ‘Avengers: Endgame’ is a movie-theatre event unlike any other.

Just how massive the ticket sales will be by the end of Sunday has been one of the one of the industry’s favorite guessing games. Can it clear $300 million domestically? Is a $1 billion worldwide weekend possible? Will “Avengers: Endgame” eventually rival the $2.8 billion total gross of ‘Avatar’ in 2009?

Regardless, records will fall - and they have already started to.

The current opening weekend record is held by the last ‘Avengers’ movie - the 2018 preamble to ‘Endgame,’ ‘Infinity War’. It debuted with $257.7 million domestically and $640.5 million worldwide.

Both of those records are likely toast. The worldwide haul is certain to be obliterated that because ‘Infinity War’ didn’t debut in China until two weeks later. ‘Endgame’ is opening worldwide more or less simultaneously everywhere except Russia.

Estimates range from $260 million to $300 million domestically, and between $800 million and $1 billion globally.

‘Endgame’ concludes not just the arc of the ‘Avengers’ movies but signals the completion of the 22-movie Marvel Cinematic Universe, as mapped out by Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige.

Feige has been tight-lipped about what the next phase will be, though he has new reinforcements. Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox brings Marvel’s X-Men and Deadpool under the same roof.