'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, Feb. 4 - Sun, Feb. 6

Wide (1000+)

1The Roommate$15,002,635--2,534--$5,921$15,002,6351Sony / Screen Gems
3No Strings Attached$8,004,834-40%3,05028$2,625$51,392,7053Paramount
4The King's Speech$7,712,353-30%2,58427$2,985$83,527,54411Weinstein Company
5The Green Hornet$5,966,229-47%3,033-491$1,967$87,088,6224Sony / Columbia
6The Rite$5,589,311-62%2,9850$1,872$23,701,5342Warner Bros. / New Line
7The Mechanic$5,295,253-54%2,7041$1,958$20,005,5192CBS Films
8True Grit (2010)$4,640,139-38%2,902-218$1,599$154,902,5417Paramount
9Black Swan$3,373,851-34%1,977-338$1,707$95,861,70810Fox Searchlight
10The Dilemma$3,282,555-42%2,545-360$1,290$45,574,0254Universal
11The Fighter$2,838,173-28%1,662-252$1,708$82,400,7389Paramount
12Yogi Bear$2,249,382-29%1,807-326$1,245$95,367,3298Warner Bros.
14TRON: Legacy$1,363,991-46%1,040-465$1,312$168,758,2388Disney
15Little Fockers$1,239,980-52%1,355-696$915$146,542,2857Universal

Limited (100 — 999)

1127 Hours$1,348,746-37%899-17$1,500$15,679,19514Fox Searchlight
2Blue Valentine (2010)$786,441-34%45035$1,748$7,268,8466Weinstein Company
3From Prada to Nada$748,852-33%2615$2,869$2,097,4232Lionsgate / Pantelion
4Biutiful$641,72040%179120$3,585$1,426,1426Roadside Attractions
5Country Strong$617,047-52%948-339$651$19,817,1827Sony / Screen Gems
6The Company Men$548,925-18%23120$2,376$2,298,8913Weinstein Company
7The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader$532,819-40%514-218$1,037$102,563,8149Fox
8Gulliver's Travels (2010)$469,338-35%495-158$948$41,607,4527Fox
9Another Year$443,58944%236145$1,880$1,645,6066Sony Pictures Classics
10Barney's Version$423,333-19%1201$3,528$2,905,0654Sony Pictures Classics
11Megamind$380,437-23%290-10$1,312$147,459,54114Paramount / DreamWorks
12Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1$373,378-38%365-100$1,023$292,761,21412Warner Bros.
13Season of the Witch$284,126-63%492-618$577$24,242,0555Relativity Media
14The Social Network$245,226-45%294-73$834$96,398,57019Sony / Columbia
15The Tourist$161,017-55%231-197$697$66,848,6739Sony / Columbia
16The Way Back$141,810-73%145-450$978$2,532,6833Newmarket Films
17Unstoppable (2010)$127,893-38%202-48$633$81,201,19713Fox
18Rabbit Hole$122,682-29%1317$937$1,723,7008Lionsgate
19Burlesque$87,768-41%178-60$493$39,440,65511Sony / Screen Gems
20Fair Game (2010)$52,847251%149109$355$9,474,14514Summit

Platform (1 — 99)

1The Illusionist (2010)$186,66839%6843$2,745$766,3127Sony Pictures Classics
2Hubble 3D$120,815-7%501$2,416$21,417,43347Warner Bros. / IMAX
3Somewhere (2010)$59,933-46%46-14$1,303$1,604,0867Focus
4Under the Sea 3D$43,874-19%160$2,742$26,975,986104Warner Bros. / IMAX
5Inside Job$38,896-66%79-171$492$3,884,83118Sony Pictures Classics
6Winter's Bone$37,71125%347$1,109$6,356,50335Roadside Attractions
7Casino Jack$37,540-36%39-10$963$894,5408IDP/ATO Pictures
8The Salvation Poem$36,552713%42$9,138$556,95817CanZion Films
9Faster (2010)$33,649-50%87-27$387$23,225,91111CBS Films
11Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster$31,236-49%211$1,487$111,3572Variance Films
12Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries)$28,206-72%42-33$672$566,3793UTV Communications
13Love and Other Drugs$26,473-61%46-71$576$32,329,93411Fox
14The Heart Specialist$18,318-79%56-63$327$1,096,2884Freestyle
15I Love You Phillip Morris$18,261-59%39-10$468$1,917,32710Roadside Attractions
16Made in Dagenham$17,617-34%41-1$430$968,58412Sony Pictures Classics
17Yamla Pagla Deewana$17,447-73%840$208$988,6874Eros International
18The Housemaid (Hanyo)$16,37136%107$1,637$58,0773IFC Films
19Kaboom$16,25819%21$8,129$34,5202IFC Films
20Get Low$16,0713%601$268$9,156,05528Sony Pictures Classics
21Space Station 3D$15,72715%53$3,145$82,690,017460IMAX
22Cold Weather$14,513--1--$14,513$14,5131IFC Films
23All Good Things$10,577-48%15-8$705$523,21210Magnolia Pictures
24Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen$10,237100%51$2,047$394,34617Zeitgeist Films
25Waiting for Forever$8,917--3--$2,972$8,9171Freestyle
26Oy Vey! My Son Is Gay!$8,440--2--$4,220$74,1367Saint Juste International
27What If...$7,733-57%50$1,547$806,86925Five & Two Pictures
28Waste Land$7,488111%41$1,872$131,72115Arthouse Films
29The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest$7,292-40%13-9$561$5,183,36415Music Box
31The Other Woman (2011)$6,224--2--$3,112$6,2241IFC
32Tiny Furniture$6,170-42%12-1$514$373,74313IFC
33Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune$5,84630%32$1,949$78,6945First Run Features
34Deep Sea 3D$5,137-15%30$1,712$44,003,372258Warner Bros. / IMAX
35How I Ended This Summer$4,968--1--$4,968$4,9681Film Movement
36Night Catches Us$4,805118%3-1$1,602$72,79210Magnolia
37Every Day$4,510244%2-2$2,255$22,9424Image Entertainment
38The Time That Remains$4,060--2--$2,030$24,2655IFC
39Summer Wars$4,043-33%41$1,011$78,1827GKIDS
40Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure$4,0012%20$2,001$23,516,632175National Geographic
41Animal Kingdom$3,813-38%4-7$953$1,036,51926Sony Pictures Classics
42Dogtooth (Kynodontas)$3,734240%31$1,245$97,01633Kino International
43Into Eternity$3,530--1--$3,530$4,6791International Film Circuit
44My Dog Tulip$3,396-23%3-1$1,132$199,74823New Yorker Films
46When We Leave (Die Fremde)$2,943-51%20$1,472$11,5672Olive Films
47Bhutto$2,772-67%3-1$924$79,20710First Run Features
49Four Lions$2,254-67%6-2$376$298,70114Drafthouse Films
50Tamara Drewe$2,20134%3-3$734$557,53118Sony Pictures Classics
51The Tempest$2,093-62%5-4$419$273,7129Disney
52Every Man For Himself (2010 re-issue)$1,735--2--$868$39,64813Film Desk
53The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest$1,717-50%2-2$859$710,62927National Geographic
54Marwencol$1,707-46%2-4$854$92,33318Cinema Guild
55Kings of Pastry$1,5942%20$797$305,24321First Run
56Nenette$1,360-22%2-1$680$13,0507Kino International
57William S. Burroughs: A Man Within$1,294162%1-1$1,294$46,38012Oscilloscope
58You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger$1,11492%30$371$3,247,81620Sony Pictures Classics
59Mesrine: Killer Instinct$905814%10$905$549,88024Music Box
60The Strange Case of Angelica$842--1--$842$33,1936Cinema Guild
61A Somewhat Gentle Man$837-58%10$837$8,2714Strand Releasing
62Zenith$75416%40$189$7,86219Cinema Purgatorio
63Enemies of the People$666-48%2-2$333$60,62128International Film Circuit
64The Woodmans$607-93%1-2$607$27,3323Lorber Films
65The Cremaster Cycle (2010 re-issue)$498--1--$498$142,36444International Film Circuit
66Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields$492-56%1-1$492$63,55815Variance Films
67The Girl Who Played With Fire$323--2--$162$7,638,24131Music Box
68Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench$291--1--$291$24,96414Variance Films
69Mesrine: Public Enemy #1$262-49%20$131$274,52323Music Box
70The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)$173--1--$173$10,094,77047Music Box
71Battleship Potemkin (2011 re-issue)$66--1--$66$15,5814Kino International