The first domestic box-office numbers are in with "The Avengers" pulling in $18.7 million at midnight screenings in theatres all across North America reports the trades.
That is about on par with the $18.5 million that "The Dark Knight" took in midnight runs in 2008. That film went on to gross $158.4 million for its opening weekend in the U.S., a number "The Avengers" is expected to match and potentially even exceed.
It's a midnight run number easily bigger than any other Marvel Studios movie, but it is not a record breaker. "The Hunger Games" took in $19.7 million back in March, while the current all time record holder is "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" which landed $43.5 million in its midnight showings.
After a week's play overseas, 'Avengers' has now crossed the $300 million mark and will likely pass the half a billion dollar global tally sometime on Sunday.
Reviews remain strong - our own mashup of Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and IMDb scores give it a total of 79/100 which is the ninth highest review score for a comic book adaptation, the highest for a Marvel Studios film, and the fourth best superhero movie behind only "The Dark Knight" (85.00), the original "Superman" (80.33) and Sony's "Spider-Man 2" (80.33), but just ahead of "Sin City" (77.33) and "Batman Begins" (76.66).