Heroic effort: <i>The Avengers</i> is a box-office smash in Australia and the US.

Heroic effort: The Avengers is a box-office smash in Australia and the US.

The superhero team that conquered the box office will be suiting up for a return engagement.

Walt Disney chairman and chief executive Robert A. Iger said its Marvel Entertainment group is already in development on a sequel to The Avengers, which shattered the opening weekend box-office record in the US - and in markets around the world.

Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Chris Evans as Captain America in <i>The Avengers</i>.

Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Chris Evans as Captain America.

The movie, featuring a slew of stars including Robert Downey Jr., raked in $US207 million ($A205.7 million) in its first three days of release in the United States, bringing its global box office to around $US702 million ($A697.5 million).

In Australia, The Avengers recorded the second-highest local one-day haul in history, taking just over $6 million on Anzac Day.

"It's a great illustration of why we like Marvel so much - great characters, great storytelling and a wonderful ability for them to bring their characters and stories to the big screen so effectively," Iger said.

Disney is aggressively mining Marvel's library of comic-book characters, who were the key attraction when the Burbank entertainment giant acquired Marvel for $US4 billion ($A3.97 billion) in 2009.

Disney plans to release Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 next year, Iger said, with a sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger due out in 2014.

The success of The Avengers is propelling merchandise sales. In many cases, products are sold out, Iger said, prompting the global licensing team to work with licensees and retailers to restock shelves as quickly as possible. Even Marvel's big green monster, the Hulk, is getting love from consumers, thanks to Mark Ruffalo's portrayal of Bruce Banner and his powerful alter ego.

"We expect, given the interest in this film, that demand for its product is going continue to be strong pretty much throughout the year," Iger said.

He also said that Disney's parks and resorts planning group, known as the "Imagineers," have been working on ways to incorporate Marvel into the company's theme parks, beyond Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, where Universal Studios holds the rights to the characters.

"We have a number of other opportunities ... at our other parks, notably California and Europe and in Asia - I guess that pretty much covers the rest of the world," Iger said.

"And our Imagineering group has been working over the last year ... to create more opportunities for Marvel in the parks."

LA TIMES