'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. 16 - Sun, Sep. 18

Wide (1000+)

1The Lion King 3D$30,151,614--2,330--$12,941$30,151,6141Disney
2Contagion$14,548,433-35%3,2220$4,515$44,260,5242Warner Bros.
3Drive (2011)$11,340,461--2,886--$3,929$11,340,4611FilmDistrict
4The Help$6,513,039-27%3,01479$2,161$147,439,7936Disney / DreamWorks
5Straw Dogs (2011)$5,123,760--2,408--$2,128$5,123,7601Sony / Screen Gems
6I Don't Know How She Does It$4,402,201--2,476--$1,778$4,402,2011Weinstein Company
7The Debt$2,942,631-38%1,831-45$1,607$26,564,4313Focus
8Warrior (2011)$2,860,325-45%1,88314$1,519$10,002,6252Lionsgate
9Rise of the Planet of the Apes$2,658,131-32%2,340-547$1,136$171,651,5377Fox
10Colombiana$2,330,291-41%1,933-421$1,206$33,377,5234Sony / TriStar
11Shark Night 3D$1,801,701-47%2,082-766$865$17,310,4023Relativity Media
12Spy Kids: All The Time in the World$1,590,367-36%1,650-894$964$36,107,7345Weinstein Company
13Crazy, Stupid, Love$1,566,182-28%1,145-165$1,368$80,736,2738Warner Bros.
14Our Idiot Brother$1,294,791-51%1,747-649$741$23,672,2104Weinstein Company
15The Smurfs$1,243,268-31%1,419-558$876$137,593,8818Sony / Columbia
16Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2011)$1,124,591-48%1,334-917$843$22,783,5024FilmDistrict
17Apollo 18$1,097,433-62%1,795-1535$611$16,885,8423Weinstein Company
18Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star$395,254-72%1,5000$264$2,331,3182Sony / Columbia

Limited (100 — 999)

1Laugh at My Pain$1,190,756-38%230132$5,177$3,598,2622CodeBlack Entertainment
2Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2$700,498-30%601-209$1,166$378,180,62110Warner Bros.
3Captain America: The First Avenger$563,946-33%540-264$1,044$174,301,5209Paramount
4Seven Days in Utopia$557,049-14%437-118$1,275$3,589,8823Visio Entertainment
5Cowboys & Aliens$530,810-36%614-306$865$98,830,2768Universal
6Transformers: Dark of the Moon$469,208168%306129$1,533$351,331,98712Paramount / DreamWorks
7Horrible Bosses$445,361-24%444-59$1,003$116,504,48711Warner Bros. / New Line
8Zookeeper$374,037-14%3485$1,075$79,234,20111Sony / Columbia
9Midnight in Paris$340,770-18%301-49$1,132$54,060,59718Sony Pictures Classics
10The Guard$339,784-17%202-1$1,682$3,782,3498Sony Pictures Classics
11Bad Teacher$326,549450%474378$689$99,390,89813Sony / Columbia
12Sarah's Key$266,506-32%266-40$1,002$6,316,8009Weinstein Company
13The Change-Up$228,715-29%307-67$745$36,841,2457Universal
1430 Minutes or Less$222,553-58%291-355$765$36,900,3256Sony / Columbia
15Final Destination 5$211,329-62%302-353$700$42,139,2086Warner Bros. / New Line
16Mr. Popper's Penguins$161,8280%213-39$760$67,893,86514Fox
17One Day$151,080-61%254-238$595$13,766,0145Focus
19Kung Fu Panda 2$97,451-21%142-22$686$165,128,18217Paramount / DreamWorks
20Super 8$92,421-35%159-44$581$126,869,83315Paramount
21Conan the Barbarian (2011)$87,936-71%154-397$571$21,150,2445Lionsgate
22Saving Private Perez$87,335-65%116-49$753$1,329,8503Lionsgate / Pantelion
23Fright Night (2011)$65,462-72%148-287$442$18,011,5145Disney / DreamWorks
24Green Lantern (2011)$54,832-52%103-52$532$116,551,12214Warner Bros.

Platform (1 — 99)

1Higher Ground$110,546-9%8125$1,365$459,6674Sony Pictures Classics
2Born to Be Wild 3D$105,32815%490$2,150$12,839,94324Warner Bros. / IMAX
3Senna$64,648-27%37-3$1,747$1,113,2776Producers Distribution Agency
4Friends With Benefits$62,714-20%96-18$653$55,802,7549Sony / Screen Gems
5Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides$62,292-32%98-52$636$241,011,32518Disney
6Monte Carlo$59,143-41%46-23$1,286$23,131,33412Fox
7Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame$52,404117%1916$2,758$163,6843Indomina Media
8Hubble 3D$49,81714%28-3$1,779$28,832,87879Warner Bros. / IMAX
9The Whistleblower$49,283-15%58-1$850$964,9267IDP/Samuel Goldwyn
10Circumstance$48,841-12%318$1,576$254,4664Roadside Attractions
11Love Crime$43,3352%177$2,549$159,9933IFC Films
12Mozart's Sister$39,10659%175$2,300$181,8485Music Box Films
13The Tree of Life$35,318-25%41-21$861$13,150,73317Fox Searchlight
14Point Blank$35,0996%379$949$583,3738Magnolia / Magnet
15Buck$28,298-28%63-15$449$4,003,33214IFC Films
16Attack the Block$24,304-53%35-16$694$1,003,4628Sony / Screen Gems
17The Interrupters$20,64074%100$2,064$168,3878Cinema Guild
18Sea Rex: Journey To A Prehistoric World$19,231-17%120$1,603$4,202,699713D Entertainment
19X-Men: First Class$17,349-57%36-31$482$146,390,21016Fox
20The Future$16,394-10%293$565$501,8588Roadside Attractions
21The Trip (2011)$16,36522%22-6$744$2,002,81515IFC Films
22Under the Sea 3D$16,26054%9-1$1,807$29,806,095136Warner Bros. / IMAX
23Restless (2011)$15,467--5--$3,093$15,4671Sony Pictures Classics
24Bol$14,682-44%380$386$177,9323Eros International
25Shaolin$14,644-23%111$1,331$41,5702Variance Films
26Brighton Rock (2011)$14,616-16%164$914$142,8694IFC Films
27Winnie the Pooh$13,988-87%35-212$400$26,687,17210Disney
28Connected: An Autoblogography About Love, Death & Technology$13,304--3--$4,435$13,3041Paladin
29Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life$13,095-44%82$1,637$99,4213Music Box Films
30The Black Power Mixtape: 1967 - 1975$11,613-33%20$5,807$37,8622IFC Films
31Caesar & Otto's Summer Camp Massacre$11,375--5--$2,275$11,3751Nocturnal Features
32The Mill and the Cross$11,354--1--$11,354$15,4431Kino Lorber
33Space Station 3D$10,789190%21$5,395$84,273,161492IMAX
34Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness$10,299-51%11-6$936$543,69011International Film Circuit
353 (2010)$9,821--4--$2,455$9,8211Strand Releasing
36Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest$9,65732%204$483$1,170,39711Sony Pictures Classics
37The Devil's Double$9,406-57%25-8$376$1,341,9998Lionsgate
38Tabloid$9,10650%163$569$671,72310IFC Films
39Love in Space$8,282-40%13-2$637$28,0082China Lion Film
40The Names of Love$8,148-46%15-3$543$464,49013Music Box Films
41My Kingdom (2011)$8,003-52%18-2$445$31,3362China Lion Film
42Amigo$7,8335%6-1$1,306$124,7065Variance Films
44Terri$7,483-44%11-6$680$653,57812IDP/ATO Pictures
45Another Earth$7,301-67%17-24$429$1,292,9529Fox Searchlight
46Happy, Happy$7,125--4--$1,781$7,1251Magnolia Pictures
47After (2011)$7,09412%10$7,094$18,4752Undefined
48Magic Trip$6,961-47%10-8$696$131,3647Magnolia Pictures
49Life, Above All$6,903148%188$384$105,74310Sony Pictures Classics
50Project Nim$6,48910%176$382$383,37311Roadside Attractions
51People v. The State of Illusion$6,228--1--$6,228$20,2342IDP/Samuel Goldwyn
52Jane's Journey$6,193--1--$6,193$6,1931First Run Features
54Life in a Day$5,70213%72$815$244,5878National Geographic
55The Last Circus$4,850142%62$808$24,5125Magnolia / Magnet
56Granito: How to Nail a Dictator$4,330--2--$2,165$6,7291International Film Circuit
57Mysteries of Lisbon$3,922464%32$1,307$68,2317Music Box Films
58Bride Flight$3,62265%51$724$489,43915Music Box Films
59The Tree$3,505108%52$701$48,73310Zeitgeist Films
60Back Door Channels$3,425--1--$3,425$3,4251Fisher Klingenstein Films
61The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu$3,228-30%10$3,228$10,5852The Film Desk
62Passione: A Musical Adventure$2,922370%21$1,461$199,26913Abramorama
633D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstacy$2,852-42%3-3$951$150,1036China Lion Film
64El Bulli: Cooking in Progress$2,695214%4-1$674$112,4298Alive Mind Cinema
65Trollhunter$2,544152%31$848$252,65215Magnolia / Magnet
66Glee: The 3D Concert Movie$2,456-70%8-11$307$11,852,2586Fox
67Turtle: The Incredible Journey$2,183-56%31$728$374,39913Hannover House
68Special Treatment$2,137--1--$2,137$4,9924First Run Features
69Page One: Inside the New York Times$1,517-50%4-4$379$1,052,26314Magnolia Pictures
70Snow Flower and the Secret Fan$1,487-49%5-3$297$1,341,76710Fox Searchlight
71Evidence of a Haunting$1,470-91%2-3$735$71,8344Nocturnal Features
72Incendies$1,464-74%60$244$6,856,12722Sony Pictures Classics
73The Whale$1,394-71%20$697$8,4812Paladin
74Griff the Invisible$1,17379%20$587$18,1975Indomina Media
75Bill Cunningham New York$1,163-87%1-2$1,163$1,498,64527Zeitgeist Films
76Rapt$1,07626%21$538$39,71311Lorber Films
77The Weird World of Blowfly$1,036--1--$1,036$1,0361Variance Films
78Littlerock$1,029-48%1-1$1,029$13,9276Variance Films
79Where Soldiers Come From$777--1--$777$3,9152International Film Circuit
80Romeos$773--1--$773$7731Strand Releasing
81City of Life and Death$714--2--$357$106,18819Kino International
82The Man Who Fell to Earth (2011 re-issue)$481-87%30$160$81,80013Rialto Pictures
83Aurora$444--1--$444$4,06012Cinema Guild
85Tanner Hall$315-89%1-4$315$5,0052Anchor Bay Films
86The Four Times (Le Quattro Volte)$260--1--$260$152,53025Lorber Films
87Little Girl$207--1--$207$1,2553First Run Features
88Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow$72-85%10$72$40,5186Lorber Films
89Road to Nowhere$68--1--$68$40,29415Monterey Media
90Film Socialisme$49--1--$49$31,23916Lorber Films