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A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.

We’re in the Endgame” now

Frank Pallotta emails: I’ve been reporting on the box office for five years — and nothing compares to what I’m hearing about “Avengers: Endgame” this weekend. The Marvel film — which rolls out in every major international market on Wednesday before its US debut on Thursday night — is set to shatter pretty much every box office record on the books. Analysts have said that its opening weekend could finish north of the record $258 million that “Infinity War” made last year and even has a shot at $300 million in North America this weekend. That’s uncharted territory since only six films have opened to $200 million or more in North America and none have made $300 million in a weekend. In terms of the film’s global launch, some estimates have it eclipsing $800 million this weekend.

What boggles my mind is that we just did this last year with “Infinity War.” That goes to show just how powerful Disney’s Marvel machine is. The brand has made $18.6 billion so far…

>> Fandango says that more than 4,000 showtimes have already sold out…

>> Beyond opening weekend… Brian Lowry notes: There’s not much to get in its way through early May, as other studios have largely sidestepped the release, other than a few romantic comedies or kids movies largely viewed as counter-programming…

China could be heroically huge

Frank Pallotta continues: “Infinity War” nabbed the global box office record last April with a $640 million opening around the world — without China. That won’t be the case this time, since “Endgame” is opening in China on Wednesday. The film’s potential performance in China is why this might, MIGHT, come close to being a billion dollar weekend for Disney…

Lowry’s spoiler-free review

The review embargo lifted at 6 p.m. ET. Per Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes, the early reactions are pretty darn positive…

Brian Lowry emails: Without being too grandiose about it, the three-hour epic feels like the culmination of everything Marvel Studios has built in conquering the pop-culture universe – paying tribute to the output since “Iron Man” in 2008, while setting the stage for the company’s next chapter. Read on…

Where does Marvel go from here?

Frank Pallotta adds: As much as “Endgame” may be the end of an era, it’s hardly an end for Marvel. There are upcoming sequels to beloved series like “Black Panther” and “Guardians of the Galaxy,” and Marvel heroes will have a ton of original shows on Disney+. Plus, let’s not forget that when Disney acquired most of Fox’s assets it also acquired the Marvel characters that were under the Fox banner — such as the X-Men and Deadpool — which could be brought into the fold…

He’s still “acting,” but…

“CBS Corp. has suspended its search for a chief executive and extended acting Chief Executive Joseph Ianniello’s contract through the end of the year as the company weighs whether to merge with Viacom Inc. or plot its own course,” the LAT’s Meg James wrote Tuesday afternoon.

The CBS announcement has tongues wagging about CBS-Viacom merger talks. Indeed, the WSJ’s Ben Mullin wrote, “at some point before the end of the year, CBS’s board will likely evaluate a merger with Viacom.”

>> And Ianniello? He “will still be paid $70 million if he’s not the company’s top boss at year’s end,” Mullin noted. Nice work if you can get it!

“Jeopardy!” needs a spoiler alert these days

Seriously! If you haven’t watched Tuesday night’s episode, scroll past this part…

Okay, are you ready for the news?

Here it is: On Tuesday’s episode, James Holzhauer “became only the second person in the show’s history to earn more than $1 million in regular-season (non-tournament) play when his 14th win brought his total winnings to $1,061,554.” The game show sent out a press release to celebrate the news.

The record to beat is $2,520,700 by Ken Jennings. “Tune in Wednesday to watch Holzhauer’s next game,” the show said… And I definitely will…

>> Here’s how he explains his winning “Jeopardy” strategy…

>> Holzhauer’s streak has also given the game show a ratings boost, per TVNewsCheck…


– Twitter stock closed up 15.7% on Tuesday — at its highest level in nine months — after shattering (subdued) Wall Street expectations. Seth Fiegerman has all the details…

– Snap also had a great day… “Revenue for the quarter surged by 39%, hitting $320 million and topping Wall Street estimates…” Fiegerman and Kaya Yurieff have more here…

– Facebook’s turn is Wednesday afternoon. Jackie Wattles says “its earnings are expected to dominate…”

Mass layoffs at Brit & Co.

Recode’s Theodore Schleifer calls this “another casualty of Facebook and Google’s advertising duopoly:” Brit + Co, “a buzzy digital media brand for millennial women, is laying off most of its employees after an acquisition failed to pan out.” CEO Brit Morin “told staff on Monday that the company is dealing with financial issues” after acquisition talks crumbled…

Mass exodus at The Markup after ouster of EIC

Oliver Darcy emails: The Markup hasn’t even launched yet, but it stumbled seriously on Tuesday when five of its seven editorial staff writers resigned following the ouster of the organization’s editor-in-chief. Julia Angwin, who co-founded the site and served as its top editor, tweeted Tuesday morning that she had been “forced out” of the organization. Angwin wrote in a letter to Craigslist founder and major donor Craig Newmark that Sue Gardner, another co-founder and The Markup’s exec director, wanted to “change the mission” of the site. Gardner, Angwin alleged, had argued The Markup needed “to be a ‘cause’ rather than a ‘publication.’”

Gardner for her part disputed Angwin’s characterization, stressing the site’s mission had not changed and that Angwin’s departure was, simply put, “a personnel matter about leadership and management.” Despite the drama, the site is still attempting to launch in July. Jeff Larson, the third co-founder who served as managing editor, has been promoted to editor-in-chief. He tweeted on Tuesday he was “humbled and excited” to take on the role… Much more to come on this…


– “Myanmar’s top court rejects final appeal by jailed Reuters journalists.” That’s the headline from Reuters about the case of their reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo… (Reuters)

– “The California man charged for threatening to kill employees of the Boston Globe last year will plead guilty to all counts against him, his attorney said this week,” Tom Kludt writes… (CNN)

Read more of Tuesday’s “Reliable Sources” newsletter… And subscribe here to receive future editions in your inbox…

– Whitney Davis, a former exec at CBS, has penned an explosive letter asserting that the company “has a white problem…” She says that “CBS has opted to ignore its rampant discrimination issues and lack of inclusion…” (Variety)

– The company says “we disagree with some statements in Whitney’s story,” but “we take all employee concerns seriously and remain committed to improving the workplace experience for everyone…”