Avengers: Endgame smashes world box office records

Superhero movie Avengers: Endgame smashed box office records with global ticket sales estimated at US$1.2 billion (NZ$1.8 billion) through Sunday, distributor Walt Disney said.

Endgame generated a jaw-dropping US$350 million in the United States and Canada, the world's largest movie market. The total far surpassed analyst estimates and the previous record of US$257.7 million set a year ago by Avengers: Infinity War.

Endgame also set weekend records in China, Brazil, France, more than three dozen other markets, Disney said.

The three-hour action spectacle is the final chapter in a story told in 22 Marvel Studios movies since 2007. It features popular comic-book characters such as Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) in a battle against the supervillain Thanos (Josh Brolin).

The movie picked up after an epic cliffhanger at end of Infinity War, when many beloved Marvel superheroes appeared to turn to dust.