LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) – Marvel superhero spectacle Avengers: Endgame hauled in a record US$60 million (S$80 million) at US and Canadian box offices on Thursday night, and distributor Walt Disney “cautiously” predicted an unprecedented US$300 million weekend debut.

That would smash the current opening-weekend domestic record of US$258 million, set a year ago by predecessor Avengers: Infinity War.

“As we are looking at levels of presales and grosses not seen before, we are cautiously projecting a three-day in the US$300 (million) range,” Disney said in an e-mail on Friday (April 26) afternoon.

The three-hour film starring Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth and Scarlett Johansson is the final chapter in a story told across 22 Marvel films. It picks up after Infinity War, when many of Marvel’s big-screen superheroes appeared to turn to dust.

In Endgame, survivors including Iron Man, the Hulk and Black Widow plot to kill the supervillain Thanos and undo his damage.

Thursday evening’s domestic sales topped the previous opening night record of US$57 million set in 2015 by Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Endgame began rolling out in international markets on Wednesday and has achieved records in China and several other countries.

As of Friday morning, global ticket sales reached US$305 million, Disney said.

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