It will come as no surprise to anyone that the latest Avengers film is putting rather a lot of bums on seats, but what's more impressive is the fact that the mega-budget film has just scored the second biggest opening day ever in North America.

Joss Whedon at the world premiere of Thor: The Dark WorldJoss Whedon has outdone himself with Avengers: Age of Ultron

With an estimated first-day haul of $84.5million, according to Box Office Mojo, Joss Whedon's blockbuster film has charted just behind the all-time number one, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, which took more than $91million over the same period of time when it was released on July 15, 2011.

Age of Ultron is also slightly ahead of the first Avengers outing, which made $80.8m on its first day on the same weekend in May back in 2012. The film also took $27.6million in Thursday night previews, giving it a great chance of outdoing its predecessor's record-breaking first weekend of $207.4million.

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And with a big boost from the rapidly expanding Chinese market (Furious 7 is doing major business there), as well as huge totals particularly in the UK, South Korea and Russia, Avengers: Age of Ultron is positioned well to become one of the world's biggest-ever movies. Did you expect anything less from the sequel to one of the most widely enjoyed and rewatched superhero films ever made?

The top five on Friday was completed by The Age of Adaline ($2.2m), Furious 7 ($2.1m), Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 ($1.8m) and Home ($870k).