• The record-breaking performance by “Avengers: Endgame” at the box office this weekend helped a slumping 2019 box office.
  • Thanks to the Marvel movie, the total domestic box office was $401.6 million for the weekend, the first time an industry weekend total hit the $400 million mark.
  • In just three days, the 2019 box office chipped away 3.6% from its year-to-date deficit.
  • Before “Endgame,” it was -16.8% from this time last year. It is now -13.2%.
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“Avengers: Endgame” didn’t just save the planet from Thanos on the big screen, it’s saving the 2019 box office.

Before “Endgame” opened over the weekend, andbroke every box office record in its path, the domestic box office wasn’t in very good shape. This year didn’t have strong releases in the early months like 2018 had (“Black Panther,” “Fifty Shades Freed,” “A Quiet Place”), and because of that, the first quarter box office for 2019 was down a huge 16.3% from Q1 2018, according to the National Association of Theatre Owners.

But things are looking a little brighter.

Thanks to “Endgame” making over $357 million its opening weekend (the first time a movie’s opening weekend hit the $300 million mark), the total domestic box office of last weekend was $401.6 million, according to ComScore, marking the first time the industry has had a $400 million weekend in North America.

With that performance, in three days, the 2019 box office chipped away 3.6% from its year-to-date deficit. It went from -16.8% to -13.2%.

Read more: “Avengers: Endgame” will have to make billions more at the box office to beat the biggest movie of all time, which came out in 1939

But the box office needs more help if it will hit last year’s record-high earnings. Disney will obviously be a big player in all of this, as it will continue to have some of the most anticipated movies coming out this year: “Aladdin,” “Toy Story 4,” “The Lion King,” “Frozen II,” and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”

But the other studios will have to contribute. Universal has “The Secret Life of Pets 2” and “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw;” Warner Bros. has “Detective Pikachu,” “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” “It: Chapter 2,” and “Joker;” Paramount will be coming with “Gemini Man,” and “Terminator: Dark Fate;” and Fox has “Dark Phoenix.”

“Endgame” gave the industry a needed boost, but these titles will have to hit their projections — and a few non-blockbusters will have to do better than expected — to catch up to the 2018 total.

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