Grosses

'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, Dec. 23 - Sun, Dec. 25

Wide (1000+)

#TitleweekendLocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol$29,556,629131%3,4483023$8,572$61,993,0902Paramount
2Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows$20,270,555-49%3,7030$5,474$79,024,1772Warner Bros.
3The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)$12,768,604--2,914--$4,382$21,145,0771Sony / Columbia
4Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked$12,585,192-46%3,73411$3,370$49,525,3792Fox
5The Adventures of Tintin$9,720,993--3,087--$3,149$17,729,0161Paramount
6We Bought a Zoo$9,360,434--3,117--$3,003$9,818,9201Fox
7War Horse$7,515,402--2,376--$3,163$7,515,4021Disney / DreamWorks
8New Year's Eve$3,313,739-55%2,585-920$1,282$32,650,9343Warner Bros. / New Line
9The Darkest Hour$3,000,000--2,324--$1,291$3,000,0001Summit
10The Muppets$2,145,762-39%1,752-1056$1,225$75,702,2875Disney
11Hugo$2,131,828-43%1,236-1296$1,725$43,759,0975Paramount
12Arthur Christmas$2,073,319-42%1,804-1125$1,149$43,541,3215Sony / Columbia
13The Sitter$1,739,165-62%1,786-966$974$22,227,3673Fox
14The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1$1,466,306-65%1,603-1355$915$270,268,2076Lionsgate / Summit

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleweekendLocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Descendants$2,073,371-37%813-65$2,550$32,364,9236Fox Searchlight
2Young Adult$1,746,450-49%9871$1,769$7,155,8983Paramount
3Don 2$1,673,704--161--$10,396$1,731,8381Reliance Big Entertainment
4The Artist$883,063207%167150$5,288$2,381,4935Weinstein Company
5My Week with Marilyn$561,097-5%602358$932$6,980,2935Weinstein Company
6Puss in Boots (2011)$410,577-12%389-368$1,055$143,661,7749Paramount / DreamWorks
7Happy Feet Two$219,513-80%535-1245$410$59,852,1556Warner Bros.
8Jack and Jill$185,706-85%385-1525$482$71,256,3257Sony / Columbia
9J. Edgar$142,139-63%455-248$312$36,054,4097Warner Bros.
10Tower Heist$137,255-85%283-1032$485$76,250,1708Universal
11Real Steel$136,96970%22772$603$83,962,78412Disney / DreamWorks
12Immortals$120,959-86%228-988$531$82,364,5817Relativity Media
13Moneyball$114,35251%242144$473$74,506,05914Sony / Columbia
14A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas$111,972-36%24543$457$34,646,1588Warner Bros. / New Line
15Courageous$90,524-12%19291$471$33,684,29213Sony / TriStar
16Dolphin Tale$76,093-61%188-93$405$71,587,24914Warner Bros.
17In Time$44,941-72%131-142$343$36,867,9499Fox
18The Ides of March$44,098-3%14573$304$40,647,23112Sony / Columbia
19Footloose (2011)$42,762-65%182-71$235$51,437,38411Paramount
20Paranormal Activity 3$30,058-67%124-82$242$103,878,05710Paramount

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleweekendLocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy$717,45957%5539$13,045$1,819,0413Focus
2A Dangerous Method$197,23031%5841$3,401$993,4575Sony Pictures Classics
3Shame$123,574-60%50-1$2,471$1,530,9914Fox Searchlight
4Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close$72,348--6--$12,058$72,3481Warner Bros.
5Pina$68,012--3--$22,671$68,0121IFC Films
6The Polar Express (2011 re-issue)$59,004-46%20-5$2,950$624,3465Warner Bros.
7Carnage (2011)$58,216-27%72$8,317$175,8712Sony Pictures Classics
8Melancholia$41,168-69%66-65$624$2,376,1487Magnolia Pictures
9Hubble 3D$33,770-7%15-5$2,251$30,166,13793Warner Bros. / IMAX
10Born to Be Wild 3D$32,178-44%490$657$14,876,31638Warner Bros. / IMAX
11The Way$27,270-66%27-66$1,010$4,052,91212Producers Distribution Agency
12Margin Call$20,911-79%30-91$697$5,186,35010Roadside Attractions
13The Help$19,974-72%65-91$307$169,410,75220Disney / DreamWorks
14In the Land of Blood and Honey$18,854--3--$6,285$18,8541FilmDistrict
15The Skin I Live In$14,886-71%34-37$438$2,991,66311Sony Pictures Classics
16Drive (2011)$11,879-72%26-30$457$34,787,20415FilmDistrict
17Midnight in Paris$11,450-79%28-88$409$56,334,39632Sony Pictures Classics
18Like Crazy$11,000-81%30-70$367$3,341,8679Paramount Vantage
19Sea Rex: Journey To A Prehistoric World$9,8721%90$1,097$4,448,826853D Entertainment
20Under the Sea 3D$8,686-5%102$869$30,231,587150Warner Bros. / IMAX
21The Three Musketeers (2011)$8,207-84%37-86$222$20,358,12010Summit
22Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey$8,189-41%135$630$230,34210Submarine Deluxe
23My Reincarnation$6,15197%52$1,230$45,4489Long Shot Factory
24Martha Marcy May Marlene$6,088-72%18-21$338$2,889,38310Fox Searchlight
25The Women on the 6th Floor$5,883-69%6-6$981$443,00712Strand Releasing
26Take Shelter$5,192-81%24-34$216$1,652,61613Sony Pictures Classics
2750/50$3,694-90%31-80$119$35,003,81213Summit
28The Lion King 3D$2,585-89%10-22$259$94,219,87115Disney
29Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness$2,483215%54$497$841,18025International Film Circuit
30Miss Minoes (2011 re-issue)$1,901--3--$634$1,9011Music Box Films
31Addiction Incorporated$1,564-4%10$1,564$6,4422Variance Films
32Sleeping Beauty (2011)$1,556-66%3-1$519$33,9474IFC Films
33Eames: The Architect and the Painter$1,478-74%5-1$296$130,5076First Run Features
34Blackthorn$1,463-68%5-4$293$185,09912Magnolia Pictures
35The Guard$1,380-78%6-6$230$5,330,29422Sony Pictures Classics
36Mozart's Sister$1,260-87%3-7$420$676,37319Music Box Films
37Outrage$1,105-64%1-6$1,105$29,1504Magnolia / Magnet
38The Mill and the Cross$1,027-2%30$342$262,18815Kino Lorber
39Into the Abyss$939-85%3-14$313$221,4887IFC Films
40Rid of Me$833-50%10$833$7,2886Submarine Entertainment
41I Melt With You$77716%1-1$777$5,9903Magnolia Pictures
42Elite Squad: The Enemy Within$562-89%2-5$281$83,4727Variance Films
43El Bulli: Cooking in Progress$472-71%1-1$472$195,30722Alive Mind Cinema
44Higher Ground$455-46%52$91$837,57118Sony Pictures Classics
45Jane's Journey$397-60%21$199$21,54915First Run Features
46Young Goethe In Love$344-95%2-6$172$98,5458Music Box Films
47Crazy Wisdom$323-95%1-3$323$43,7425Alive Mind Cinema
48The Whale$290-72%10$290$58,72816Paladin
49Tyrannosaur$288--1--$288$15,7356Strand Releasing
50Inni$165-71%10$165$116,5639Cinema Purgatorio
51OKA!$100--1--$100$13,09911Dada Films