Marvel Studios Caps First 10 Years With ‘Avengers: Infinity War’’s Race to $1 Billion

This weekend, Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War crossed the $1 billion threshold at the worldwide box-office on Saturday, just 11 days after its release, becoming the fastest film in history to reach that mark. The previous record was held by Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which earned $1 billion in its first 12 days.

Also over the weekend, Avengers: Infinity War posted $115 million domestically, the second highest second weekend ever behind only Star Wars: The Force Awakens and just the fifth film ever to post over $100 million in its second frame. It has already surpassed $714 million internationally and $453 million domestically for a global total of $1,167.3 million.

These latest milestones follow Infinity War’s record-shattering global opening weekend of $640.4 million, the highest ever—and this did not include China or Russia. The film also posted the biggest domestic opening weekend ever with $257.7 million, which included $82.1 million Saturday and $69.2 million Sunday, the highest-ever grosses for those days of the week.

The success of Infinity War caps off a remarkable decade, with all 19 films opening at No. 1, starting in 2008 with the very first Iron Man, directed by Jon Favreau and starring Robert Downey Jr. as the titular hero. “The fun thing about the history of our 10 years so far at Marvel Studios is there were not a lot of expectations when we started,” said Marvel Studios President and Producer Kevin Feige. “Iron Man was our first one, where we put all of our instincts and all of our beliefs and all of what we thought would make for a good Marvel Studios movie into that and the expectations were low.”

“People weren’t sure if we’d be able to do it,” he continued. “Over the course of the years, expectations keep getting bigger and bigger, and I still would rather surprise people by having something like Guardians of the Galaxy, like Doctor Strange, like the first Ant-Man, like Black Panther. We need to keep ourselves interested and excited and surprise ourselves; and so far—10 years in—every time we’ve done that, the audience has responded in the way we’ve wanted them to. We keep things fresh, keep things unexpected.”

Robert Downey Jr. shared his unique perspective on what sets the films of Marvel Cinematic Universe apart. “This is a miracle that has occurred,” he said at the world premiere of Avengers: Infinity War on April 22. “And for any of us to take credit for that miracle would be heresy. This is an isolated incident in the history of motion pictures because none of us [in the cast] are in competition against each other. We’re all competing for each other, for you [the audience]… These movies are metaphors for the way our world should be, and one day it might be, if we’re willing to fight for it.”