• THE AVENGERS "Ha ha ha! Oh god SO MUCH MONEY!"

The superhero certain blockbuster doesn’t come out in the U.S. until May 4th. But my sources say early box office estimates are coming out today from 10 of the 42 territories where Marvel‘s The Avengers from Disney was released today for the start of its international run. And the hotly anticipated actioner is already shattering box office records overseas. It earned in U.S. dollar estimates $17.1M from 10 countries: including $6.2M in Australia, $2.7M in Italy, $2.9 in France, $1.3M in the Philippines, $1.3M in Taiwan, $800K in New Zealand, and $900K others. With just over a week until the U.S. release, reports the superhero actioner ”is pre-selling more tickets for the upcoming release than the online ticketing company sold for Captain America, Thor, Iron Man 2, and Iron Man combined at the same point in the sales cycle for each film. (Via.)

Anticipation and box-office debuts are one thing—a movie can be terrible and still have a massive opening weekend. Word of mouth, though, is another thing altogether—whether it's Avatar or The Hunger Games, how positively people talk about a film afterward has a huge impact on how much staying power it has.

So let's just say this: If the reaction at last night's advance Avengers screening is any indication, word of mouth is going to be very, very good. Not just from fanboys, either. Or from critics. From, like, a lot of people.