'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, Apr. 13 - Sun, Apr. 15

Wide (1000+)

1The Hunger Games$21,096,824-36%3,916-221$5,387$336,666,3634Lionsgate
2The Three Stooges$17,010,125--3,477--$4,892$17,010,1251Fox
3The Cabin in the Woods$14,743,614--2,811--$5,245$14,743,6141Lionsgate
4Titanic 3D$11,930,249-31%2,69723$4,424$44,723,8192Paramount
5American Reunion$10,473,810-51%3,20311$3,270$39,712,5352Universal
6Wrath of the Titans$6,906,209-53%3,102-443$2,226$71,252,0053Warner Bros.
7Mirror Mirror$6,847,924-38%3,206-412$2,136$49,316,1853Relativity Media
821 Jump Street$6,558,868-34%2,735-274$2,398$120,323,6815Sony / Columbia
9Lockout$6,231,836--2,308--$2,700$6,231,8361Open Road
10Dr. Seuss' The Lorax$3,051,285-39%2,112-891$1,445$204,513,9157Universal

Limited (100 — 999)

1The Raid: Redemption$961,45483%881705$1,091$2,526,0724Sony Pictures Classics
2Salmon Fishing in the Yemen$888,546-10%435-89$2,043$6,064,9376CBS Films
3Journey 2: The Mysterious Island$721,42734%502-149$1,437$100,463,52410Warner Bros. / New Line
4Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7th Day$641,542--102--$6,290$641,5421Code Black Entertainment
5October Baby$543,11449%36223$1,500$4,520,74425IDP / Samuel Goldwyn
6Bully (2012)$535,433626%158152$3,389$814,6353Weinstein Company
7John Carter$346,858-58%446-569$778$68,747,8696Disney
8Safe House$337,610-41%371-111$910$125,276,75510Universal
9Housefull 2$286,735-66%1210$2,370$1,339,3912Eros International
10Blue Like Jazz$261,190--136--$1,921$261,1901Roadside Attractions
11Act of Valor$255,759-52%352-356$727$69,257,4748Relativity Media
12This Means War$246,0654%283-38$869$53,830,8629Fox
13The Vow$244,341-17%335-144$729$124,333,56810Sony / Screen Gems
14Jeff Who Lives at Home$212,317-49%183-264$1,160$3,822,9615Paramount Vantage
15A Thousand Words$200,174-58%277-230$723$17,827,6986Paramount
17Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance$153,830-31%216-61$712$51,367,4149Sony / Columbia
18Friends With Kids$125,937-44%113-94$1,114$6,970,1646Roadside Attractions
19The Secret World of Arrietty$112,819116%20272$559$18,749,1169Disney
20Project X (2012)$101,208-69%145-299$698$54,331,2437Warner Bros.
21The Artist$100,098-45%121-101$827$44,048,63321Weinstein Company
22The Iron Lady$97,462-24%146-90$668$29,837,30716Weinstein Company
23Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked$95,761-25%153-42$626$132,829,38918Fox
24Casa de mi Padre$92,242-66%121-162$762$5,703,1585Lionsgate / Pantelion
25Tyler Perry's Good Deeds$73,197-54%125-79$586$34,798,0558Lionsgate
26The Woman in Black$71,265-22%122-37$584$54,212,64311CBS Films
27Agent Vinod$3,587-85%1220$29$698,2104Eros International

Platform (1 — 99)

1Jiro Dreams of Sushi$198,430-14%797$2,512$1,280,4546Magnolia Pictures
2Footnote$195,12443%8419$2,323$1,099,5256Sony Pictures Classics
3The Kid With A Bike$145,96115%7015$2,085$736,0355IFC Films
4Monsieur Lazhar$112,190--19--$5,905$112,19025Music Box Films
5Born to Be Wild 3D$105,2882%400$2,632$18,148,88254Warner Bros. / IMAX
6The Deep Blue Sea (2011)$89,565-9%531$1,690$640,6364Music Box Films
7Damsels in Distress$82,41141%2218$3,746$167,6442Sony Pictures Classics
8A Separation$78,322-40%91-50$861$6,838,80416Sony Pictures Classics
9Silent House (2012)$69,777-39%59-155$1,183$12,666,4816Open Road
10Hubble 3D$69,754-22%18-1$3,875$32,119,560109Warner Bros. / IMAX
11Touchback$66,993--50--$1,340$66,9931Anchor Bay Films
12We Have a Pope$48,59155%1512$3,239$98,0942IFC Films
13We Bought a Zoo$47,201-18%83-16$569$75,498,09717Fox
14A Simple Life$43,372--9--$4,819$43,3721China Lion Film
15We Need to Talk About Kevin$40,480-39%55-10$736$1,638,43919Oscilloscope
16Under the Sea 3D$36,080-9%151$2,405$31,145,879166Warner Bros. / IMAX
17In Darkness$32,64536%40-1$816$959,19410Sony Pictures Classics
18Beauty and the Beast 3D$32,222-46%39-19$826$47,549,60214Disney
19Sea Rex: Journey To A Prehistoric World$27,2313%130$2,095$5,293,8381013D Entertainment
20The Hunter (2012)$27,20243%95$3,022$54,9822Magnolia Pictures
21Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace 3D$26,927-28%33-12$816$43,369,47810Fox
22Red Tails$25,9502%43-12$603$49,798,19613Fox
23The Grey$23,513-12%13-54$1,809$51,571,84612Open Road
25The Descendants$20,703-56%41-37$505$82,570,65322Fox Searchlight
26Coriolanus$20,609-18%181$1,145$665,67613Weinstein Company
27Pina$20,296-19%20-1$1,015$3,456,73617IFC Films
28L!fe Happens$20,186--16--$1,262$20,1861PMK*BNC
29The Salt of Life$17,868-39%11-8$1,624$214,7507Zeitgeist Films
30Kahaani$17,854-51%11-6$1,623$1,017,9556Viva Entertainment
31Undefeated$17,466-25%172$1,027$487,7519Weinstein Company
32W.E.$14,885-14%17-4$876$546,21611Weinstein Company
33Thin Ice$12,402-57%16-16$775$760,4209IDP/ATO Pictures
34Love in the Buff$11,843-81%141$846$243,5393China Lion Film
35Rampart$11,554-34%21-19$550$901,84910Millennium Entertainment
36War Horse$10,749-56%25-24$430$79,859,44117Disney / DreamWorks
37Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope$9,60917%41$2,402$18,9872Wrekin Hill Entertainment
39Goon$8,193-53%160$512$4,107,6593Magnolia / Magnet
40Albert Nobbs$7,970-33%12-18$664$2,980,18712Roadside Attractions
41Here$7,927--1--$7,927$7,9271Strand Releasing
42Gerhard Richter Painting$7,3969%51$1,479$112,1725Kino Lorber
43This Is Not A Film$6,791121%52$1,358$51,9347Palisades Tartan
44The Women on the 6th Floor$6,74136%62$1,124$691,15428Strand Releasing
45How To Grow A Band$5,705--1--$5,705$5,7051International Film Circuit
46Deep Sea 3D$4,441-28%10$4,441$44,566,227320Warner Bros. / IMAX
47Turn Me On, Dammit!$4,403-26%1-1$4,403$30,2813New Yorker Films
48Shame$4,255-39%4-4$1,064$3,992,04520Fox Searchlight
49The Island President$4,186-68%50$837$47,4593IDP/Samuel Goldwyn
50The Flowers of War$4,127169%31$1,376$302,10313Wrekin Hill Entertainment
51Keyhole$3,88418%65$647$9,6002Monterey Media
52The Turin Horse$3,863--2--$1,932$39,61310Cinema Guild
53Reuniting The Rubins$3,308389%21$1,654$11,7225Monterey Media
54A Dangerous Method$3,266-49%8-4$408$5,695,84121Sony Pictures Classics
55Once Upon a Time in Anatolia$2,892-70%2-4$1,446$109,93215Cinema Guild
56Post Mortem$2,406--1--$2,406$3,5761Kino Lorber
57Natural Selection$2,366-25%30$789$31,7575Cinema Guild
58Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie$2,244-57%6-5$374$200,8037Magnolia Pictures
59Le Havre$1,86460%10$1,864$610,16226Janus Films
60Carnage (2011)$1,686150%61$281$2,544,11218Sony Pictures Classics
61Free Men$1,645-65%2-1$823$41,3165Film Movement
62On the Ice$1,607-59%20$804$66,3569PMK*BNC
63Attenberg$1,576-14%20$788$15,2556Strand Releasing
64The Forgiveness of Blood$1,076-68%5-4$215$121,7838IFC Films
65Musical Chairs$528-76%1-3$528$31,3164Paladin
66The FP$481-51%1-2$481$37,3965Drafthouse Films
67Surviving Progress$434-90%1-1$434$6,5372First Run Features
68The Fairy$214-67%1-1$214$8,5378Kino Lorber
69The Pruitt-Igoe Myth$108-93%1-1$108$42,40513First Run Features
70The Beat Hotel$83-91%1-2$83$3,8683First Run Features