'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, May. 11 - Sun, May. 13

Wide (1000+)

1Marvel's The Avengers$103,052,274-50%4,3490$23,696$373,071,6472Disney
2Dark Shadows$29,685,274--3,755--$7,906$29,685,2741Warner Bros.
3Think Like a Man$5,816,108-28%2,05242$2,834$81,432,8404Sony / Screen Gems
4The Hunger Games$4,505,362-19%2,531-263$1,780$387,007,0488Lionsgate
5The Lucky One (2012)$4,107,492-23%2,839-166$1,447$53,788,2334Warner Bros.
6The Five-Year Engagement$3,314,010-34%2,569-372$1,290$24,623,4203Universal
7The Pirates! Band of Misfits$3,143,442-43%3,079-279$1,021$23,047,0003Sony / Columbia
9Safe (2012)$1,447,174-46%1,690-581$856$15,717,4293Lionsgate
10The Raven$1,378,847-48%1,888-321$730$14,723,7753Relativity Media
11The Three Stooges$1,078,339-41%1,416-758$762$41,153,7695Fox
12The Cabin in the Woods$971,465-38%1,029-640$944$39,753,9125Lionsgate

Limited (100 — 999)

1The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel$2,672,140263%178151$15,012$3,744,6562Fox Searchlight
2Girl in Progress$1,384,078--322--$4,298$1,384,0781Lionsgate / Pantelion
3John Carter$766,217-49%230-119$3,331$71,726,76210Disney
421 Jump Street$645,109-40%589-451$1,095$135,117,5439Sony / Columbia
5Mirror Mirror$599,617-20%607-315$988$60,993,8867Relativity Media
6American Reunion$432,430-47%521-335$830$56,050,1706Universal
7Dr. Seuss' The Lorax$432,2451%455-66$950$209,591,93511Universal
8Journey 2: The Mysterious Island$236,134-18%260-43$908$102,581,33414Warner Bros. / New Line
9Wrath of the Titans$214,933-53%265-450$811$81,990,1687Warner Bros.
10The Artist$188,8411129%751710$251$44,439,47025Weinstein Company
11Salmon Fishing in the Yemen$188,766-29%200-47$944$8,541,99210CBS Films
12Lockout$180,053-18%255-56$706$14,136,7035Open Road
13Titanic 3D$157,847-57%157-176$1,005$57,614,3106Paramount
14Bully (2012)$134,829-21%2630$513$2,864,0717Weinstein Company
15Safe House$85,015-20%136-39$625$126,149,65514Universal
16A Thousand Words$78,3922%127-13$617$18,292,87010Paramount
17This Means War$67,435-19%132-39$511$54,586,78413Fox
18Damsels in Distress$60,017-60%112-93$536$750,2416Sony Pictures Classics
19The Vow$52,264-29%111-46$471$125,014,03014Sony / Screen Gems
20Tyler Perry's Good Deeds$46,466-20%110-33$422$35,010,19212Lionsgate
21Act of Valor$42,014-43%118-75$356$69,903,95712Relativity Media
22Jeff Who Lives at Home$40,62150%11770$347$4,244,1559Paramount Vantage
23Housefull 2$1,749-83%1210$14$1,591,4586Eros International

Platform (1 — 99)

1Bernie$219,41256%3628$6,095$539,9623Millennium Entertainment
2To the Arctic 3D$208,94811%49-1$4,264$1,412,7854Warner Bros. / IMAX
3Monsieur Lazhar$127,462-43%77-4$1,655$1,130,48729Music Box Films
4Headhunters$89,05911%247$3,711$262,3083Magnolia Pictures
5First Position$88,74485%2419$3,698$157,8002IFC Films
6Marley$82,014-31%68-5$1,206$918,6534Magnolia Pictures
7Jiro Dreams of Sushi$71,192-25%54-19$1,318$2,116,74610Magnolia Pictures
8Darling Companion$65,408-28%6418$1,022$329,6914Sony Pictures Classics
9Footnote$65,080-26%9113$715$1,788,19910Sony Pictures Classics
10Born to Be Wild 3D$61,062-14%340$1,796$18,784,71758Warner Bros. / IMAX
11Sound of My Voice$57,0995%4618$1,241$188,2743Fox Searchlight
12The Road (2012)$56,692--50--$1,134$56,6921Freestyle Releasing
13Taur Mittran Di$49,926--24--$2,080$49,9261Eros Entertainment
14Hubble 3D$49,2051%19-1$2,590$32,567,370113Warner Bros. / IMAX
15Vicky Donor$44,996-41%500$900$536,2404Eros International
16Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7th Day$34,31424%23-7$1,492$1,180,9305Code Black Entertainment
17The Kid With A Bike$34,204-45%60-10$570$1,277,6199IFC Films
18We Have a Pope$33,341-4%262$1,282$344,3036IFC Films
19The Perfect Family$30,603114%2519$1,224$53,2272Variance Films
20The Deep Blue Sea (2011)$30,268-33%37-6$818$1,003,8438Music Box Films
21Deadtime (2012)$30,240--18--$1,680$30,2401Nocturnal Features
22Casa de mi Padre$29,702-2%56-12$530$5,895,2389Lionsgate / Pantelion
23The Secret World of Arrietty$27,825-22%88-20$316$19,101,97213Disney
24God Bless America$27,308--14--$1,951$27,3081Magnolia / Magnet
25Sea Rex: Journey To A Prehistoric World$26,232-30%120$2,186$5,496,3521053D Entertainment
26Under the Sea 3D$25,035-8%141$1,788$31,383,812170Warner Bros. / IMAX
28Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked$20,470-18%67-8$306$133,062,41922Fox
29October Baby$20,104-34%51-26$394$5,298,65229IDP / Samuel Goldwyn
30Kalakalappu @ Masala Cafe$17,101--10--$1,710$17,1011UTV Communications
31The Raid: Redemption$16,835-53%19-24$886$4,044,0698Sony Pictures Classics
32Last Call at the Oasis$16,25183%65$2,709$31,9912IDP/ATO Pictures
33Where Do We Go Now?$15,382--3--$5,127$15,3821Sony Pictures Classics
34Friends With Kids$13,398-17%362$372$7,206,80010Roadside Attractions
35Project X (2012)$12,412-59%40-32$310$54,724,27211Warner Bros.
36A Separation$11,553-48%24-7$481$7,048,55020Sony Pictures Classics
37I Wish$10,919--5--$2,184$10,9191Magnolia Pictures
38Goon$10,43217%11-5$948$4,163,2387Magnolia / Magnet
40Elles$9,270-66%12-1$773$90,2273Kino Lorber
41We Bought a Zoo$8,709-37%28-10$311$75,621,91521Fox
42A Beautiful Soul$7,598-84%16-4$475$54,0082Tyscot Manhaddon Films
43Grand Illusion: 75th Anniversary Restoration$7,526--1--$7,526$7,5261Rialto Pictures
44Red Tails$6,63450%9-3$737$49,866,61417Fox
45Coriolanus$5,712-56%11-7$519$740,16917Weinstein Company
46Gerhard Richter Painting$5,521-46%3-6$1,840$166,6809Kino Lorber
47Otter 501$5,444--3--$1,815$5,4441Paladin
48We Need to Talk About Kevin$5,303-4%10-4$530$1,731,69623Oscilloscope
49Patience (After Sebald)$5,302--1--$5,302$7,9541Cinema Guild
50Deep Sea 3D$5,30220%20$2,651$44,608,267324Warner Bros. / IMAX
51This Binary Universe$5,028180%20$2,514$5,0282Indican Pictures
52Blue Like Jazz$4,857-53%11-9$442$588,7005Roadside Attractions
53Undefeated$4,775-28%130$367$541,31913Weinstein Company
54Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace 3D$4,464-36%12-5$372$43,453,65614Fox
55Nobody Else But You$3,759--2--$1,880$3,7591First Run Features
56Once Upon a Time in Anatolia$3,7541301%10$3,754$118,19419Cinema Guild
57Touchback$3,518-53%6-6$586$202,7135Anchor Bay Films
58Turn Me On, Dammit!$3,365124%43$841$61,4467New Yorker Films
59FOLLOW ME: The Yoni Netanyahu Story$3,325-58%21$1,663$14,2912International Film Circuit
60The Salt of Life$3,104-56%6-4$517$292,50311Zeitgeist Films
61Small, Beautifully Moving Parts$3,087--1--$3,087$3,0871Long Shot Factory
62Goodbye First Love$3,039-25%2-1$1,520$62,8904IFC Films
63The Turin Horse$2,854--3--$951$44,62714Cinema Guild
64In Darkness$2,851-23%11-2$259$1,038,73314Sony Pictures Classics
65Tezz$2,727-89%970$28$229,3743Eros Entertainment
66Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview$2,599--13--$200$88,9531Magnolia Pictures
67Surviving Progress$2,35778%32$786$27,7346First Run Features
68Bonsai$2,293--1--$2,293$2,2931Strand Releasing
69Tonight You're Mine$2,144--2--$1,072$2,1441Roadside Attractions
70Sleepless Night$2,106--2--$1,053$2,1061Tribeca Film
71The Island President$2,054-14%52$411$72,5227IDP/Samuel Goldwyn
72The Women on the 6th Floor$1,95716%30$652$708,82032Strand Releasing
73The Hunter (2012)$1,910-81%5-9$382$165,4356Magnolia Pictures
74Natural Selection$1,427576%21$714$38,0989Cinema Guild
75Grandmaster$1,412-87%2-7$706$15,0102UTV Communications
76Thin Ice$1,255-51%4-1$314$787,65513IDP/ATO Pictures
77Jesus Henry Christ$1,169--2--$585$15,4004Entertainment One Films
78The Fairy$845-82%2-4$423$22,89312Kino Lorber
79Albert Nobbs$675-74%2-3$338$3,014,54116Roadside Attractions
80Inventing Our Life$654-60%31$218$11,0733First Run Features
81The Whale$595--1--$595$80,01736Paladin
82Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness$556-70%10$556$906,66645International Film Circuit
83Reuniting The Rubins$521114%21$261$13,2519Monterey Media
84How To Grow A Band$221--1--$221$9,5035International Film Circuit
85Art Is... The Permanent Revolution$202--1--$202$4,25211First Run Features
86Lost Bohemia$180--1--$180$13,11152Impact Partners
87Keyhole$137-89%1-1$137$15,2916Monterey Media