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Disney's ‘Avengers’ Makes Up for John Carter Flop

Source: Marvel.com

Expectations were high for Marvel’s 'The Avengers,' and the film beat even the most optimistic predictions and shattered records, kicking off the summer movie season to a MASSIVE start.

'Avengers' opened with $200.3 million at the US box office, the biggest opening weekend ever, beating record-holder 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2', which drew $169.2 million its opening last weekend.

Disney needed a hit — and it got one: the film is on track to top $1 billion dollars at the worldwide box office. And this weekend's massive US numbers built on an already record-breaking run overseas, where it opened a week earlier.

The movie's worldwide total is now $641.8 million. That number demands some context-- it's bigger than the entire box office run of the lifetime total of all of Marvel's super hero movies so far. Marvel's biggest hit yet, Iron Man 2, grossed just $624 million in its entire run.

This is a welcome contrast to huge bomb 'John Carter.' The studio was forced to do a $200 million write-down after that disaster, which grossed just $70 million total at the US box office, and cost $250 million to produce. We'll see that write-down hit Disney's quarterly results due out after the bell Tuesday. And 'John Carter' was such a disappointment it resulted in the ousting of studio chief Rich Ross, leaving a hole Iger hasn't yet filled. The massive success of 'Avengers' is sure to fuel speculation that Iger will look to Marvel's chief Kevin Feige to fill the spot.

Disney reports earnings after the bell Tuesday. I'll have a first on CNBC interview with CEO Bob Iger and will ask him how Avengers compensates for John Carter's losses, and who he'll pick to run the studio now.

Questions? Comments? MediaMoney@cnbc.com

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.