'Avengers: Age of Ultron' Registers the Second Largest Debut of All-Time with $187.7M; Fails to Match Its Predecessor After Sharp Saturday DeclineMay 03, 2015 08:53 AM

by Daniel Garris

Disney's Avengers: Age of Ultron debuted with an estimated $187.66 million this weekend. While that represented the second largest opening weekend performance of all-time, it also represented a notably softer debut than had been widely expected for the film (especially after its relatively strong Thursday night launch). Instead of surpassing the $207.44 million debut of 2012's Marvel's The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron had to settle for opening in between The Avengers and the $174.14 million debut of 2013's Iron Man 3. Avengers: Age of Ultron opened 9.5 percent below The Avengers and 8 percent ahead of Iron Man 3.

That Avengers: Age of Ultron is on course to ultimately gross less domestically than The Avengers isn't a surprise. But it's opening weekend performance being softer than that of its predecessor is a surprise, in part from the fact that Avengers: Age of Ultron will in all likelihood be more front-loaded than The Avengers was, perhaps significantly so.

It should be mentioned that Saturday's performance appears to have taken a clear hit from the much hyped about and long awaited Mayweather vs. Pacquiao boxing match. Game 7 of the Los Angeles Clippers vs San Antonio Spurs NBA Playoffs series and the Kentucky Derby likely also helped take a toll on Saturday's performance as well.

Avengers: Age of Ultron took in $84.46 million on Friday (which included an estimated $27.6 million from Thursday evening shows), declined a very sharp 32 percent on Saturday to gross $57.22 million and is estimated to fall 20 percent on Sunday to gross $45.98 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.22 to 1. That is significantly more front-loaded than the 2.57 to 1 ratio of The Avengers and the 2.53 to 1 ratio of Iron Man 3.

In addition to Saturday's performance being affected by the mentioned sporting events, the early front-loading for Avengers: Age of Ultron suggests that die-hard fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe were much more excited about the film than more casual fans of the series were. It is quite possible that Furious 7 having gone over so well with moviegoers in April helped downplay anticipation a bit for Avengers: Age of Ultron with more casual fans (similarly, that appeared to happen this weekend last year when potential for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was softened a bit by the strong audience reaction to Captain America: The Winter Soldier.)

There is hope that Avengers: Age of Ultron could rebound from its early front-loading going forward, thanks in part to a strong initial audience reaction of its own. Avengers: Age of Ultron received an A rating on CinemaScore and its early audience score among Rotten Tomatoes users stands at a very strong 90 percent. On the other hand, Avengers: Age of Ultron will face tougher initial competition throughout May than The Avengers did back in 2012, at least on paper, from the combination of Universal's Pitch Perfect 2, Warner's Max Max: Fury Road, fellow Disney release Tomorrowland and to a lesser extent from Fox's Poltergeist and Warner's Hot Pursuit.

The audience breakdown for Avengers: Age of Ultron skewed towards male moviegoers (59 percent) and towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (59 percent). Family audiences represented 22 percent of the film's overall audience. Avengers: Age of Ultron grossed an estimated $18.0 million from IMAX locations, which represented 9.6 percent of the film's overall gross.

Moving past the absolute market dominance of Avengers: Age of Ultron this weekend, it was a close three-way race for second place between Lionsgate's The Age of Adaline, Universal's Furious 7 and Sony's Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. Estimates are close enough that the three films could still change positions when actuals are released on Monday.

The Age of Adaline placed in second with an estimated $6.25 million. While the romantic drama starring Blake Lively was down a significant 53 percent from last weekend's debut, it also experienced one of the weekend's stronger percentage holds. The Age of Adaline has grossed $23.42 million in ten days. That is on the high end of pre-release expectations and places the film just below the recent $23.68 million ten-day start of The Longest Ride (which fell 46 percent in its second weekend to gross $7.02 million). With aid from Mother's Day next weekend, The Age of Adaline should experience a stronger third weekend hold than The Longest Ride did.

After leading the box office for each of the past four weekends, Furious 7 fell to third place this weekend with an estimated $6.1 million. The seventh installment of Universal's blockbuster action franchise was down a very sharp 66 percent, which was understandable given the debut of Avengers: Age of Ultron and that Saturday's sports events took a toll on the marketplace in general. Furious 7 has grossed a massive $330.52 million through 31 days of release. That places the film an extremely impressive 45 percent ahead of the $228.62 million 31-day take of 2013's Fast & Furious 6.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 claimed fourth place with an estimated $5.55 million. The modestly budgeted Kevin James led comedy sequel fell a sharp 62 percent from last weekend. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 has grossed $51.19 million in 17 days. The film continues to run in line with expectations and is running 13.5 percent behind the $59.21 million 17-day take of 2011's Zookeeper.

Weekend Actuals (Domestic) Fri, Aug. 27 - Sun, Aug. 29

Wide (1000+)

1Takers$20,512,304--2,206--$9,298$20,512,3041Sony / Screen Gems
2The Last Exorcism$20,366,613--2,874--$7,087$20,366,6131Lionsgate
3The Expendables$9,527,937-44%3,398128$2,804$82,040,1833Lionsgate
4Eat Pray Love$6,815,555-44%3,10826$2,193$60,531,3263Sony / Columbia
5The Other Guys$6,285,712-38%3,181-291$1,976$99,018,1724Sony / Columbia
6Vampires Suck$5,221,780-57%3,2330$1,615$27,834,2562Fox
7Inception$4,876,356-38%2,070-331$2,356$270,519,9207Warner Bros.
8Nanny McPhee Returns$4,714,215-44%2,79814$1,685$16,991,2852Universal
9The Switch (2010)$4,583,481-46%2,0175$2,272$16,410,0092Miramax
10Piranha 3D$4,302,878-57%2,49121$1,727$18,266,8892Weinstein Company
11Lottery Ticket$3,854,303-64%1,9730$1,954$17,284,6412Warner Bros.
12Despicable Me$2,859,680-39%1,833-403$1,560$236,276,0858Universal
13Scott Pilgrim vs. the World$2,505,555-52%1,566-1254$1,600$26,166,9453Universal
14Salt$1,883,890-25%1,168-626$1,613$113,260,6446Sony / Columbia
15Dinner for Schmucks$1,779,540-49%1,501-648$1,186$69,204,3725Paramount / DreamWorks

Limited (100 — 999)

2Get Low$1,640,176130%570424$2,878$3,633,4515Sony Pictures Classics
3Step Up 3D$1,227,816-61%901-691$1,363$39,715,3044Disney
4Toy Story 3$1,010,710-34%600-130$1,685$405,659,22111Disney
5Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore$675,231-60%823-757$820$41,279,2445Warner Bros.
6The Kids Are All Right$522,172-36%342-62$1,527$19,149,7018Focus
7The Twilight Saga: Eclipse$514,653-9%476-81$1,081$298,027,7529Summit
8The Last Airbender$418,754122%30683$1,368$130,590,2569Paramount
9Ramona and Beezus$320,050-21%354-34$904$24,817,3556Fox
10The Girl Who Played With Fire$296,518-21%1765$1,685$6,184,3268Music Box
11Grown Ups$267,350-37%263-161$1,017$159,372,00610Sony / Columbia
12The Sorcerer's Apprentice$264,319-44%312-160$847$61,075,2787Disney
13Hubble 3D$263,530-25%1510$1,745$14,558,69124Warner Bros. / IMAX
14The Karate Kid (2010)$248,539-34%255-59$975$175,908,76312Sony / Columbia
15Charlie St. Cloud$213,100-55%333-314$640$30,749,8755Universal
16Shrek Forever After$192,638-31%207-25$931$238,053,79015Paramount / DreamWorks
17Knight and Day$182,311-30%229-48$796$75,986,16410Fox
19Winter's Bone$140,868-34%117-13$1,204$5,426,06412Roadside Attractions
20Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time$106,901-39%157-29$681$90,586,62314Disney

Platform (1 — 99)

1Mao's Last Dancer$299,69150%7542$3,996$1,193,8132Samuel Goldwyn
2Nick Saban: Gamechanger$188,786--26--$7,261$188,7861Flashlight
3Cairo Time$182,40938%4817$3,800$604,7384IFC
4Mesrine: Killer Instinct$152,873--28--$5,460$152,8731Music Box
5Animal Kingdom$123,59422%3917$3,169$372,5113Sony Pictures Classics
6What If...$97,91897%5532$1,780$162,7682Five & Two Pictures
7Flipped$70,38842%26-3$2,707$671,1094Warner Bros.
8The A-Team$66,992-38%92-59$728$77,096,45912Fox
9I Am Love$64,776-42%52-31$1,246$4,535,78611Magnolia
10Peepli Live$60,265-63%45-25$1,339$704,7743UTV Communications
11Under the Sea 3D$54,107-27%160$3,382$23,983,85981Warner Bros. / IMAX
12The Concert$52,199-2%200$2,610$370,2816Weinstein Company
13The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest$51,060-7%214$2,431$349,3624National Geographic
15Restrepo$40,812-31%37-7$1,103$1,123,81810National Geographic
17Farewell (L'affaire Farewell)$36,221-36%21-6$1,725$447,8026NeoClassics
18The Tillman Story$31,670-39%51$6,334$108,0852Weinstein Company
19Please Give$29,840141%4527$663$4,010,32018Sony Pictures Classics
20Lebanon$28,016-18%14-1$2,001$143,14046Sony Pictures Classics
21The Extra Man$26,107-57%24-9$1,088$334,6645Magnolia
22The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)$22,580-46%29-12$779$9,980,95624Music Box
23A Film Unfinished$20,296-40%51$4,059$91,4982Oscilloscope
24La Soga$16,988-53%12-8$1,416$144,43237-57 Releasing
25Cyrus$16,261-52%32-24$508$7,353,11511Fox Searchlight
26Change of Plans$15,378--2--$7,689$15,3781IFC
27Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky$15,339-63%28-19$548$1,594,53312Sony Pictures Classics
28Life During Wartime$14,348-24%14-1$1,025$242,5916IFC
29Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child$13,781-42%51$2,756$173,3146Arthouse Films
30Exit Through the Gift Shop$12,769-34%9-1$1,419$3,200,41420Producers Distribution Agency
31Deep Sea 3D$12,698-5%30$4,233$43,718,749235Warner Bros. / IMAX
32Soul Kitchen$12,224-42%97$1,358$44,3882IFC
33Solitary Man$10,881-44%190$573$4,313,17815Anchor Bay
34The Disappearance of Alice Creed$10,506-32%7-1$1,501$129,2014Anchor Bay
35Date Night$10,205-32%13-10$785$98,700,49421Fox
36Mademoiselle Chambon$8,970-34%11-1$815$307,42014Lorber
37Micmacs$8,6982%13-11$669$1,187,75114Sony Classics
38Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work$8,107-60%12-18$676$2,905,49012IFC
39The Secret in Their Eyes (2010)$7,497-20%134$577$6,330,41120Sony Pictures Classics
40Winnebago Man$7,447-35%70$1,064$131,7008Kino International
42Wild Grass (Les Herbes Folles)$6,314-37%10-9$631$351,73110Sony Pictures Classics
43Le Amiche (2010 re-issue)$4,980-49%10$4,980$43,78311The Film Desk
44The Nature of Existence$4,5271886%21$2,264$42,51811Walking Shadows
45Army of Crime$4,367-46%2-1$2,184$19,0212Lorber
46Patrik, Age 1.5$4,275-76%4-5$1,069$50,9904Here Films
48Breathless (2010 re-issue)$4,228-60%4-2$1,057$283,62714Rialto
49Circle$3,926--2--$1,963$3,9261Indican Pictures
50Around a Small Mountain$3,604--3--$1,201$24,5578Cinema Guild
51The People I've Slept With$3,437--1--$3,437$11,1383People Pictures
52Mid-August Lunch (Pranzo di Ferragosto)$1,969-68%2-3$985$669,81324Zeitgeist
53The Milk of Sorrow$1,914--1--$1,914$1,9141Olive Films
54The Cremaster Cycle (2010 re-issue)$1,702--21--$81$97,55821International Film Circuit
55Mother and Child$1,665-21%4-9$416$1,098,39617Sony Pictures Classics
56Dogtooth (Kynodontas)$1,453820%10$1,453$47,30410Kino International
57Daniel and Ana$1,400--1--$1,400$1,4001Strand
58The Sicilian Girl$1,37818%31$459$21,0334Music Box
59The Law$1,21410%10$1,214$17,35110Oscilloscope
60Orlando (2010 re-issue)$1,07939%3-2$360$55,4126Sony Pictures Classics
62Princess Kaiulani$1,045-10%10$1,045$871,86916Roadside Attractions
63Countdown to Zero$1,011-83%4-2$253$251,7286Magnolia
64Stonewall Uprising$732632%10$732$119,40711First Run Features
65City Island$649-63%1-3$649$6,670,71224Anchor Bay
66Tales From Earthsea$589-94%1-4$589$48,0433Disney
67Spoken Word$516-81%2-1$258$23,7466Variance
68Crude$499--1--$499$170,29551First Run
69Kings of the Evening$350-35%10$350$98,68229Indican Pictures
70Metropolis (1927) (2010 re-issue)$250-79%10$250$348,29017Kino International
71Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead$250--1--$250$66,90113Indican Pictures
72Everyone Else$160-91%10$160$92,85963Cinema Guild