While Avengers: Infinity War broke box office records this weekend, it was both Infinity War and Marvel's other smash hit, Black Panther, that helped push the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole past $15 billion worldwide. Marvel also pulled off a rare feat with both Infinity War and Black Panther in the top 5, with the $258.1 million opening weekend of Avengers: Infinity War setting a new all-time record, while Black Panther's $4.3 million brought its domestic tally to $688 million, the third highest of all time, and its worldwide total to $1.331 billion, 10th highest of all time, just behind the $1.332 billion of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
With $6.2 billion domestic and $15.4 billion worldwide, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is by far the highest-grossing franchise in the world, and the only other one that is even close is Star Wars, with $4.3 billion domestic and $9.089 billion worldwide. While the Star Wars franchise will still continue throughout the indefinite future, the Marvel Cinematic Universe now releases three films a year, and if they continue to be as successful as Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, it seems unlikely that any franchise will be able to stop its reign atop the domestic and worldwide box office.
What's also impressive about the domestic opening weekend of Avengers: Infinity War is that it already vaulted the movie into 13th place domestically of the 19 Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. This means that in just three days, Avengers: Infinity War has out-grossed the six lowest-grossing movies in the MCU, Doctor Strange ($232.6 million), Thor: The Dark World ($206.3 million), Thor ($181 million), Ant-Man ($180.2 million), Captain America: The First Avenger ($176.6 million) and The Incredible Hulk ($134.8 million). As of now, Black Panther is the highest-grossing MCU movie domestically with $688 million while The Avengers is the highest-grossing worldwide with $1.5 billion, but it's possible both those records will be broken by the time Avengers: Infinity War finishes its run.
Avengers: Infinity War also set a global box office record with $640.9 million, with its international tally of $382.7 million the second highest in history behind the $443 million earned by The Fate of the Furious last year. What makes Avengers: Infinity War's tally perhaps even more impressive than The Fate of the Furious' international debut is that it was done without the help of the second largest box office market in the world, China, where Infinity War will open on May 11. $185 million of The Fate of the Furious' $443 million opening weekend came from China alone, so it will be interesting to see how the Middle Kingdom fans react to Avengers: Infinity War.
Avengers: Infinity War is shaping up to be the biggest movie of 2018, which would snap the streak of three years in a row where Star Wars movies have taken the top spot. Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the top movie in 2015 with a record-breaking $936.6 million, a tally Avengers: Infinity War may be able to top, while Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was the highest-grossing movie of 2016 with $554.8 million and Star Wars: The Last Jedi was last year's top-grossing movie with $620.1 million. Forbes broke the news about the MCU passing $15 billion over the weekend.