05/04/2012 12:24 pm ET

'Avengers' Midnight Box Office: $18.7 Million In Ticket Sales; Biggest Superhero Movie Ever

"Marvel's The Avengers" is the biggest superhero movie of all time. At least in one regard.

According to figures just released by Disney, "The Avengers" grossed as estimated $18.7 million from midnight showings around the country, good for the biggest superhero midnight debut of all time, and the eighth best overall.

That puts "The Avengers" behind only the last three "Twilight" films ("New Moon," "Eclipse" and "Breaking Dawn Part 1"), the last three "Harry Potter" films ("Half-Blood Prince" and "The Deathly Hallows Part 1" and "Part 2"), and the recently-released "Hunger Games" on the list of all-time opening night grosses. ("The Dark Knight" earned $18.5 million from its midnight shows.)

"The Avengers" also topped the midnight numbers earned by "Iron Man 2," which went on to gross $128.1 million during its opening weekend in May of 2010.

So far, the superhero supergroup mash-up has topped $300 million in worldwide receipts, besting the international box office of "Thor," "Captain America" and "Iron Man."

Buoyed by the $18.7 million in midnight ticket sales, "Marvel's The Avengers" could potentially gross as much as $170 million this weekend. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" holds the record for biggest opening weekend with $169.1 million in total sales.

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