Theater goers waiting to see Marvel's The Avengers

The weekend is over and the tally is in for the latest super-hero movie to begin the summer season and Marvel’s The Avengers is a blockbuster. Initial totals for the weekend box office stand at $200,329,000.00, making it the biggest opening weekend by a movie…ever!

Steve Rogers suits up as Captain America

I finally got to see it yesterday morning. The first show, 10:00 am on a Sunday, was sold-out. I don’t recall seeing that happen before and I have been to early morning shows on big openings just to avoid the rush.

Thor and Captain America battle the Chitauri army

The movie itself, is not only a blockbuster, but very well done. It weaves the characters into a compelling plot over the 142 minutes. The story has Loki, Thor’s brother, back on earth with an army of Chitauri (technologically advanced race of alien cyborg-like creatures) determined to take over the planet. Nick Fury, Samuel L. Jackson, must assemble a team of super-heroes to defend the planet and repel Loki’s attack.

Working on his original Avengers Initiative, Nick Fury and his agents at S.H.I.E.L.D. assemble the team to save the earth.

The Incredible Hulk

One of best performances of the movie was Mark Ruffalo as The Incredible Hulk. They kept building up for his appearance and Mark Ruffalo really delivered an elegant and reserved performance that contrasted amazingly well with the Hulk. The rest of the ensemble cast was perfect as well, delivering contrasting performances that show a breadth of characters whom you could engage with and care about as the story unfolded.

Spoiler Alert

One of the kickers to the movie is revealing the source behind Loki’s plan and it comes during the credits. Those of you who have followed Marvel Comics can recall one the greatest villains in the universe and who is also behind Loki’s plan, Thanos. His appearance caused an uproarious response in the theater, so I can only surmise the folks I viewed the movie with are as excited to see more of Thanos as I am.

This sets up an amazing series of events for future movies involving the Avengers separately and apart and further establishes a narrative that can propel these stories forward.

Wrapping it up

Captain America

Overall, the movie established a new bar; not only for box opening weekend, but also for storytelling. With decades of integrated narratives enshrined in the Marvel galaxy Joss Whedon delivered movie magic. It is clear that Joss Whedon has an amazing talent for movie making and if he continues to deliver movies as compelling and profitable as Marvel’s The Avengers, he will have a career as long and storied as our venerable Stan the man Lee.

Marvel Studios presents “Marvel’s The Avengers”—the Super Hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.

Iron Man

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Tom Hiddleston, with Stellan Skarsgård and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, and directed by Joss Whedon, “Marvel’s The Avengers” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963 and a comics institution ever since. Prepare yourself for an exciting event movie, packed with action and spectacular special effects, when “Marvel’s The Avengers” assemble in summer 2012.

“Marvel’s The Avengers” is presented by Marvel Studios in association with Paramount Pictures. The film is being produced by Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige and executive produced by Alan Fine, Jon Favreau, Stan Lee, Louis D’Esposito, Patricia Whitcher, Victoria Alonso and Jeremy Latcham. The story is by Zak Penn and Joss Whedon and the screenplay is by Joss Whedon. The film releases May 4, 2012, and is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

[UPDATE 2012-05-08 8:37 am]

Box office total for the opening weekend of Marvel’s The Avengers now stands at $207.4 million, making it an even bigger blockbuster than earlier stated numbers had suggested.