The Avengers are finally back, and unsurprisingly, their first night in theaters was a Hulk-sized smash.
BoxOffice.com reports that Avengers: Age of Ultron earned an estimated $27.6 million at the box office during its Thursday night showings. The original Avengers pulled in $18.7 million in 2012—though to be fair, 7 p.m. preview screenings on Thursday night weren’t quite the norm back then.
Another Marvel comparison would be Iron Man 3, which earned $15.6 million from its preview night screenings in 2013 (adjusted to the 2015 dollar, Ultron easily bests Tony Stark’s solo outing).
According to BoxOffice.com, this is the highest pre-Friday cume for a film since The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn 2 earned $30.4 million in the same window. The biggest preview night ever still belongs to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—Part 2, which earned $43.5 million in its early showings.
Ultron also shattered IMAX opening night records, coming in with $3 million to surpass The Dark Knight Rises‘ $2.3 million. That number also comes in 120 percent above the original Avengers‘ IMAX debut.
Meanwhile, Ultron‘s worldwide haul so far has surpassed the $300 million mark, with over $280 million in international markets. BoxOffice.com also reports that Ultron debuted to the biggest opening day in Mexico’s box-office history yesterday.
While Ultron may not have had the biggest Thursday night showings, that’s not necessarily an indicator either way whether it will be able to surpass its predecessor and set a new weekend record. It’s certainly a good sign, though, as were the presale ticket numbers, which were larger than all Marvel Studios films combined on Fandango. For more on Ultron‘s box office possibilities, check out EW’s box office preview for the weekend.