'Avengers' Box Office Sales Soar, Shatters Records

"The Avengers" has swept box office earnings over the weekend with over $200.3 million, the largest debut of all time.

Starring some of today's top actors such as Chris Evans, "The Avengers" opened with higher earnings than former box office champ, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," which opened to $169.2 million last year.

"Avengers" and "Hallows" tied as the two biggest IMAX films on record, both earning $15 million in IMAX theaters.

The action-hero film by Marvel Studios sees comic book familiars such as Thor and Captain America coming together to fight evil. "The Avengers" also sees Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Mark Ruffalo playing The Hulk, and Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, among others.

President of the box-office division of Hollywood.com Paul Dergarabedian said the film's enormous success was shocking.

"I don't have enough adjectives in my arsenal to describe the enormity of this achievement," said Dergarabedian, according to NewJersey.com. "Three days ago, two days ago, $200 million- that was crazy talk."

"The Avengers" beat previously-released films such as "The Lucky One" and "The Hunger Games" in earnings over the weekend.

Other highly anticipated superhero films such as "The Amazing Spider-Man" and "The Dark Knight Rises" are not expected in theaters until July, leaving plenty of time for "The Avengers" to collect more money at the box office.

Critics have celebrated "Avengers," and it was rated 8.1 out of 10, according to RottenTomatoes.com. The film review site also indicated that the action and adventure film lived up to the hype.

"It's two-plus hours of visual brawn, unexpected heartbeats and welcome humor," wrote top critic Lisa Kennedy from the Denver Post.

"The film flows with the momentum of a comic book composed of full-page bleed impact-moment illustrations," wrote Phil Villarreal, according to RottenTomatoes.com.

Joss Whedon-directed "The Avengers" also stars Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Hemsworth, and Jeremy Renner.