'Avengers: Age of Ultron' Scores the Second Largest Debut of All-Time with $191.3M LaunchMay 04, 2015 12:46 PM

by Daniel Garris

Disney's Avengers: Age of Ultron debuted with a massive $191.27 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 8 percent below The Avengers and 10 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 its 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 $84.42 million on Friday (which included an estimated $27.6 million from Thursday evening shows), declined a very sharp 33 percent on Saturday to gross $56.53 million and fell just 11 percent on Sunday to gross $50.32 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.27 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.  Teenage moviegoers represented 12 percent of the film's overall audience, which represented a significant drop-off compared to The Avengers (when teens represented 21 percent of the opening weekend audience). 

Moving past the absolute market dominance of Avengers: Age of Ultron this weekend, it was a close three-way race for second place between Universal's Furious 7, Lionsgate's The Age of Adaline and Sony's Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2.

After leading the box office for each of the past four weekends, Furious 7 fell to second place this weekend with $6.64 million. The seventh installment of Universal's blockbuster action franchise was down a very sharp 63 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 $331.07 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.

The Age of Adaline placed in third $6.20 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 among wide releases. The Age of Adaline has grossed $23.38 million in ten days. That is on the high end of expectations and places the film just below the recent $23.68 million ten-day start of The Longest Ride. With aid from Mother's Day next weekend, The Age of Adaline should experience a stronger third weekend hold than The Longest Ride did.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 claimed fourth place with $5.88 million. The modestly budgeted Kevin James led comedy sequel fell a sharp 60 percent from last weekend. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 has grossed $51.52 million in 17 days. The film continues to run in line with expectations and is running 13 percent behind the $59.21 million 17-day take of 2011's Zookeeper.

Weekend Actuals (Domestic) Fri, Sep. 24 - Sun, Sep. 26

Wide (1000+)

1Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps$19,011,188--3,565--$5,333$19,011,1881Fox
2Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole$16,112,211--3,575--$4,507$16,112,2111Warner Bros.
3The Town$15,605,171-34%2,88524$5,409$48,692,0722Warner Bros.
4Easy A$10,600,497-40%2,8560$3,712$32,714,2152Sony / Screen Gems
5You Again$8,407,513--2,548--$3,300$8,407,5131Disney
7Resident Evil: Afterlife$4,954,791-50%2,642-567$1,875$52,073,5883Sony / Screen Gems
8Alpha and Omega$4,735,271-48%2,6250$1,804$15,164,9442Lionsgate
9Takers$1,622,302-46%1,413-726$1,148$54,885,1755Sony / Screen Gems
10The Other Guys$992,812-50%1,047-780$948$116,966,9818Sony / Columbia
11The American$896,382-66%1,315-1142$682$34,607,3814Focus

Limited (100 — 999)

1Inception$1,247,006-37%907-398$1,375$287,053,29211Warner Bros.
2Eat Pray Love$704,613-56%855-813$824$79,040,3087Sony / Columbia
4Despicable Me$582,585-36%610-329$955$245,514,66512Universal
5The Expendables$564,081-59%852-1002$662$102,070,0477Lionsgate
6Nanny McPhee Returns$394,275-59%765-813$515$28,226,2256Universal
7The Last Exorcism$344,675-72%707-1306$488$40,773,3015Lionsgate
8Get Low$317,164-42%354-113$896$8,317,4979Sony Pictures Classics
9Toy Story 3$313,847-33%302-173$1,039$411,086,06715Disney
10Lottery Ticket$306,318-51%370-307$828$23,942,2116Warner Bros.
11The Virginity Hit$301,885--700--$431$332,4633Sony / Columbia
12The Switch (2010)$293,433-68%511-647$574$27,207,7666Miramax
13Mao's Last Dancer$273,17615%12224$2,239$3,013,3226Samuel Goldwyn
14Dinner for Schmucks$260,22618%32310$806$72,539,2009Paramount / DreamWorks
15Going the Distance (2010)$248,174-82%475-1532$522$17,538,7204Warner Bros. / New Line
16Grown Ups$234,667-23%265-39$886$161,417,72614Sony / Columbia
17Vampires Suck$213,983-62%415-549$516$36,171,1166Fox
18Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore$198,681-27%267-93$744$43,274,6239Warner Bros.
19The Sorcerer's Apprentice$181,429-24%227-48$799$62,744,18711Disney
20Scott Pilgrim vs. the World$158,440-55%233-150$680$31,356,4257Universal
21Salt$143,697-54%186-149$773$117,223,00310Sony / Columbia
22The Twilight Saga: Eclipse$124,409-40%224-115$555$300,298,74013Summit
23Ramona and Beezus$111,977-32%191-69$586$25,870,97810Fox
24The Girl Who Played With Fire$85,290-36%111-26$768$7,304,14112Music Box
25The Kids Are All Right$84,025-47%107-62$785$20,654,03112Focus
26Flipped$75,322-58%106-269$711$1,704,6618Warner Bros.

Platform (1 — 99)

1Catfish$452,58076%5745$7,940$811,2802Universal / Rogue
2Never Let Me Go$241,943117%2622$9,306$438,5352Fox Searchlight
3You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger$160,103--6--$26,684$211,4451Sony Pictures Classics
4Hubble 3D$158,6343%61-2$2,601$15,916,59328Warner Bros. / IMAX
5Waiting for 'Superman'$139,033--4--$34,758$139,0331Paramount Vantage
9Jack Goes Boating$78,947173%3733$2,134$120,5592Relativity / Overture
10Cairo Time$78,736-27%761$1,036$1,406,8988IFC
11Like Dandelion Dust$77,960--25--$3,118$77,9601Blue Collar Releasing
12Step Up 3D$66,846-55%60-74$1,114$42,173,6638Disney
13Winter's Bone$56,558-37%79-22$716$6,049,87116Roadside Attractions
15Enter the Void$43,651--3--$14,550$43,6511IFC Films
16The Tillman Story$40,708-33%27-1$1,508$587,5676Weinstein Company
17Under the Sea 3D$36,603-12%182$2,034$24,279,10285Warner Bros. / IMAX
18Piranha 3D$35,280-77%66-198$535$24,820,2716Weinstein Company
20I'm Still Here$31,996-72%39-81$820$355,7573Magnolia
21What If...$30,849-36%35-15$881$562,7086Five & Two Pictures
22Bran Nue Dae$29,67264%5538$539$88,8543Freestyle Releasing
23A Film Unfinished$28,218529%1613$1,764$178,0336Oscilloscope
24Animal Kingdom$28,195-48%45-12$627$870,6997Sony Pictures Classics
25I Am Love$26,202-39%25-10$1,048$4,886,96815Magnolia
26Knight and Day$25,881-30%45-19$575$76,401,92314Fox
27The Concert$23,5380%18-2$1,308$577,65610Weinstein Company
29Lovely, Still$21,1073%176$1,242$68,3283Monterey Media
30We Are Family$20,865-48%24-54$869$631,2764UTV Communications
31Mademoiselle Chambon$20,708-37%121$1,726$417,65518Lorber
32Last Train Home$20,123-15%91$2,236$101,4194Zeitgeist Films
33Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould$19,97746%84$2,497$66,2393Lorber
34Kings of Pastry$19,63229%42$4,908$51,3702First Run
35Fool for Love (2010)$18,159-20%7-1$2,594$112,2533Variance Films
36A Woman, a Gun, and a Noodle Shop$15,632-37%18-5$868$132,7014Sony Pictures Classics
37Leaves of Grass$15,009-28%63$2,502$41,5162First Look
38The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest$13,712-36%152$914$510,0358National Geographic
39Lebanon$13,606-28%16-7$850$311,63250Sony Pictures Classics
40Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky$13,007-39%14-14$929$1,702,86916Sony Pictures Classics
41Deep Sea 3D$10,6200%30$3,540$43,784,148239Warner Bros. / IMAX
42Soul Kitchen$10,545-57%14-8$753$217,6526IFC
43Restrepo$9,848-46%24-13$410$1,279,95114National Geographic
44The Extra Man$9,668-22%141$691$432,0799Magnolia
45Cyrus$8,181-16%14-5$584$7,437,01415Fox Searchlight
46Mesrine: Killer Instinct$7,566-69%10-12$757$480,6645Music Box
47My Dog Tulip$7,38918%32$2,463$60,0504New Yorker Films
48Exit Through the Gift Shop$6,70710%4-1$1,677$3,260,66324Producers Distribution Agency
49The Romantics$6,044-77%6-8$1,007$103,2803Four of a Kind
50Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us?$6,015-34%10$6,015$19,9322Collective Eye
51Metropolis (1927) (2010 re-issue)$5,913141%41$1,478$407,28721Kino International
52The Sicilian Girl$5,644-10%61$941$56,2818Music Box
53GasLand$5,528109%21$2,764$21,1842International WOW
54Mesrine: Public Enemy #1$5,491-69%7-13$784$223,9324Music Box
55Winnebago Man$5,336-24%7-4$762$167,30412Kino International
56Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child$4,700-31%4-1$1,175$230,12910Arthouse Films
57Wild Grass (Les Herbes Folles)$4,36683%10-1$437$383,99914Sony Pictures Classics
58The Secret in Their Eyes (2010)$4,260-32%9-2$473$6,381,94624Sony Pictures Classics
59The Trial$4,22069%21$2,110$19,2463Whitlow Films
60The Other City$4,079-61%1-1$4,079$22,2212Cabin Films
61Micmacs$4,061-18%13-2$312$1,244,34718Sony Classics
62Enemies of the People$4,011267%53$802$18,3339International Film Circuit
63Ahead of Time$3,702-17%31$1,234$29,5893Vitagraph
64Breathless (2010 re-issue)$3,592-22%51$718$314,78218Rialto
65The Cremaster Cycle (2010 re-issue)$3,468265%20$1,734$115,50025International Film Circuit
66Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure$3,115216%21$1,558$23,302,459156National Geographic
67The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)$2,987-63%10-9$299$10,065,03428Music Box
68La Soga$2,383-63%2-2$1,192$210,62577-57 Releasing
69Solitary Man$2,171-18%6-1$362$4,357,53319Anchor Bay
70Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno$1,982135%10$1,982$17,73611Flicker Alley
72John Rabe$1,863-51%10$1,863$64,54519Strand
73Picture Me$1,804-73%10$1,804$11,0452Strand
75Countdown to Zero$1,602124%82$200$267,59710Magnolia
76Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him)?$1,525-80%1-1$1,525$23,9283Lorber
78Best Worst Movie$1,316--1--$1,316$106,27123Area23a
79The Disappearance of Alice Creed$1,31264%2-1$656$158,1268Anchor Bay
80Mother and Child$1,000-5%2-3$500$1,107,90821Sony Pictures Classics
81Stonewall Uprising$896--2--$448$122,49815First Run Features
82A Mother's Courage: Talking Back to Autism$822--2--$411$8221First Run
83Le Amiche (2010 re-issue)$788-26%10$788$50,00515The Film Desk
84Hideaway (2009)$656-88%2-2$328$24,0383Strand
85Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead$459--1--$459$68,61117Indican Pictures
86Princess Kaiulani$433-64%1-1$433$883,88720Roadside Attractions
87The Milk of Sorrow$392-60%10$392$10,3765Olive Films
88Neshoba: The Price of Freedom$347-59%1-1$347$18,1847First Run Features
89Please Give$242-91%3-1$81$4,029,29422Sony Pictures Classics
90Dogtooth (Kynodontas)$231--1--$231$56,47114Kino International
91Altiplano$190--1--$190$2,2396First Run
92Sweetgrass$100-31%10$100$205,00853Cinema Guild
93Orlando (2010 re-issue)$83-77%10$83$56,75010Sony Pictures Classics