2 Brothers From Cleveland Make Box Office History with ‘Avengers’ Finale

Directors Joe and Anthony Russo accomplish extraordinary feat in Tinseltown.

Two brothers from Cleveland proved the sky is the limit for Italian Americans at the worldwide box office.

Directors Joe and Anthony Russo took the crown for the most profitable movie in Hollywood history when Avengers: Endgame hit $2.79 billion late last week.

James Cameron’s science fiction film “Avatar” previously held that top spot for 10 years with $2.78 billion in ticket sales.

Audiences from across the globe flocked to theaters to see the 3-hour film, as the movie’s record-breaking opening day ticket sales hit $156.7 million at the domestic box office.

To put it in perspective, the previous opening day record belonged to 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which grossed $119 million.

“Reviews and ticket sales show that both critics and audiences love the film. This is truly an exciting time for our family,” said Basil Russo, ISDA President and father of the Russo Brothers.

But, the bigger story is that the Russo Brothers — who are lifelong ISDA members — weren’t just handed the keys to the Marvel kingdom.

Related: Russo Brothers Green Light 8 New Italian American Films

As grad students in the 90s, they nearly bankrupted themselves directing their first indie flick, Pieces, a film that caught the attention of director Steven Soderbergh, who offered to produce their next movie–the crime comedy, Welcome to Collinwood.

The brothers later gained the attention of Ron Howard, who had a hand in hiring the pair to direct the pilot for Fox’s Arrested Development.

However, their meteoric rise was sparked in 2013 when they fought for and earned the opportunity to direct Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Their idea of painting “Cap” as a flawed character resonated with studio executives and audiences alike, and this concept of superheroes fighting both internal and external battles remains the most appealing part of their epic storytelling.

Congratulations, Joe and Anthony!

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