'Avengers: Infinity War' Opens With All-Time Record $250 Million, as Netflix Menaces

It’s the all-time record. The Avenger series has produced blockbuster after blockbuster. Now, the latest installment, “Avengers: Infinity War,” had domestic box office of $250 million its first weekend. The figure also pushes Walt Disney Co.’s (NYSE: DIS) share of the U.S. box office to about 30%, double the next studio.

Still, lurking in the background is what studios like Disney do as more and more Americans turn to streaming services like Netflix and Amazon to watch movies. While “Avengers: Infinity War” will be one of the biggest movie hits of all time, it may not be able to take the industry’s annual revenue, which has been around $11 billion for most of the past five years, any higher. Disney already has said it will start a streaming media operation of its own, and pull movies it produces from Netflix Inc.’s (NASDAQ: NFLX) service.

According to BoxOfficeMojo:

Audiences assembled worldwide as Disney and Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War broke both the domestic opening weekend box office record and worldwide opening record with a massive $250 million domestically and $630 million worldwide. In its wake, the majority of films on the weekend box office chart fell dramatically, though fellow Marvel Cinematic Universe release Black Panther improved its position from eighth place last weekend to a spot in this weekend’s top five, truly making this a Marvel-ous weekend.

Infinity War’s opening weekend bests the previous record of $247.9 million set by Star Wars: The Force Awakens back in December 2015 by just over $2 million, but it’s also worth mentioning Disney under-estimated Black Panther’s $202 million opening by nearly $10 million on Sunday. The studio also under-estimated The Avengers’s performance by $7 million and under-estimated Avengers: Age of Ultron by $3.6 million. As such, don’t be surprised to see Infinity War’s debut blossom come actuals on Monday afternoon. At this moment, the film accounts for 84.4% of the domestic top twelve, second only to Ultron’s 84.5% market share.

The streaming companies still do not produce movies for theater release. That leaves companies like Disney a clear lane in at least one venue. But that venue is not growing.