'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, Aug. 17 - Sun, Aug. 19

Wide (1000+)

1The Expendables 2$28,591,370--3,316--$8,622$28,591,3701Lionsgate
2The Bourne Legacy$17,057,385-55%3,7538$4,545$69,618,4652Universal
4The Campaign$13,127,289-51%3,25550$4,033$51,435,8262Warner Bros.
5Sparkle (2012)$11,643,342--2,244--$5,189$11,643,3421Sony / TriStar
6The Dark Knight Rises$11,011,349-42%3,157-533$3,488$409,787,2605Warner Bros.
7The Odd Life of Timothy Green$10,822,903--2,598--$4,166$15,100,9181Disney
8Hope Springs (2012)$9,111,529-38%2,3610$3,859$35,063,3212Sony / Columbia
9Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days$3,834,737-52%2,737-664$1,401$38,747,0583Fox
10Total Recall (2012)$3,472,829-57%2,434-1167$1,427$51,755,2723Sony / Columbia
11Ice Age: Continental Drift$3,005,507-53%2,274-829$1,322$150,191,9236Fox
12Ted (2012)$1,543,080-52%1,169-1039$1,320$213,064,3858Universal

Limited (100 — 999)

12016: Obama's America$1,244,698292%169108$7,365$2,028,0356Rocky Mountain Pictures
2Ek Tha Tiger$1,139,340--118--$9,655$1,484,4041Yash Raj Films
3Step Up Revolution$1,040,170-65%905-993$1,149$32,776,5884Lionsgate / Summit
5The Amazing Spider-Man$758,807-64%598-987$1,269$257,435,3257Sony / Columbia
6Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted$708,02368%406100$1,744$212,684,70011Paramount / DreamWorks
7Beasts of the Southern Wild$563,293-22%236-50$2,387$8,110,9698Fox Searchlight
8Moonrise Kingdom$503,385-18%282-165$1,785$42,966,19313Focus
9The Watch$502,413-77%513-1950$979$33,062,5994Fox
10The Intouchables$366,655-2%1940$1,890$9,885,07413Weinstein Company
11Nitro Circus The Movie 3D$312,790-74%424-376$738$3,077,9612ARC Entertainment
12Men in Black 3$303,756-40%258-37$1,177$178,127,91913Sony / Columbia
13Ruby Sparks$301,226-32%218-43$1,382$1,796,5974Fox Searchlight
14To Rome with Love$244,287-42%160-104$1,527$15,553,9599Sony Pictures Classics
15Snow White and the Huntsman$208,615-24%244-29$855$154,660,66012Universal
16The Hunger Games$204,955-37%230-30$891$407,688,21222Lionsgate
17Magic Mike$199,389-53%255-195$782$112,720,1828Warner Bros.
18Marvel's The Avengers$148,968-45%142-78$1,049$617,595,39116Disney
19Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection$112,655-61%199-165$566$64,958,4258Lionsgate
20The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel$108,355-36%128-56$847$45,592,32816Fox Searchlight
23Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter$73,292-19%105-25$698$37,307,1119Fox
24Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D$62,668-55%140-62$448$25,240,9887Paramount

Platform (1 — 99)

1Celeste and Jesse Forever$246,92797%6749$3,685$615,4883Sony Pictures Classics
2The Queen of Versailles$208,444-2%83-6$2,511$1,246,6355Magnolia Pictures
3To the Arctic 3D$158,489-24%520$3,048$7,656,27418Warner Bros. / IMAX
4Searching For Sugar Man$106,28368%2712$3,936$309,3594Sony Pictures Classics
52 Days In New York$100,375319%2018$5,019$144,0552Magnolia Pictures
6Farewell, My Queen$96,235-3%602$1,604$966,2006Cohen Media Group
7The Awakening (2012)$95,933--70--$1,370$95,9331Cohen Media Group
8The Imposter$83,63191%196$4,402$273,2456Indomina Releasing
9Cosmopolis$70,339--3--$23,446$266,9121Entertainment One Films
10Bernie$62,219-22%71-17$876$9,046,93217Millennium Entertainment
11Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry$49,103-10%3914$1,259$322,1024IFC Films
12Hubble 3D$48,808-6%140$3,486$34,170,342127Warner Bros. / IMAX
13Born to Be Wild 3D$46,684-25%330$1,415$20,580,46372Warner Bros. / IMAX
14Safety Not Guaranteed$40,986-32%54-19$759$3,683,59311FilmDistrict
15From Beneath$36,855-23%15-3$2,457$119,7632Nocturnal Features
16Robot & Frank$35,539--2--$17,770$35,5391IDP/Samuel Goldwyn
17The Well-Digger's Daughter$30,05651%141$2,147$180,8975Kino Lorber
18Under the Sea 3D$29,446-24%70$4,207$32,211,933184Warner Bros. / IMAX
19Beloved (2012)$25,825--5--$5,165$25,8251IFC Films
20Sea Rex: Journey To A Prehistoric World$25,242-36%100$2,524$5,984,0391193D Entertainment
21Red Hook Summer$23,280-42%95$2,587$78,2732Variance Films
22Take This Waltz$18,365-25%24-11$765$1,175,3188Magnolia Pictures
23Painted Skin: The Resurrection$17,791--6--$2,965$17,7911Well Go USA
24Deep Sea 3D$17,62630%20$8,813$44,925,105338Warner Bros. / IMAX
25Your Sister's Sister$17,5089%26-7$673$1,573,71210IFC Films
26People Like Us$17,308-67%54-86$321$12,412,3868Disney / DreamWorks
27Compliance$16,427--1--$16,427$16,4271Magnolia Pictures
28Easy Money (2012)$13,195-27%5-2$2,639$165,7866Weinstein Company
29Chicken With Plums$11,301--2--$5,651$53,4771Sony Pictures Classics
30Neil Young Journeys$10,78983%239$469$163,8648Sony Pictures Classics
31360$9,077-6%8-3$1,135$64,5393Magnolia Pictures
32Hysteria$8,65950%14-2$619$1,761,96114Sony Pictures Classics
33Side By Side$6,956--1--$6,956$6,9561Tribeca Film
34Dark Horse$5,90913%6-2$985$159,23011Vitagraph
35Death by China$5,701--1--$5,701$5,7011Area23a
36Trishna$5,481-11%11-2$498$234,4326IFC Films
37Max and the Junkmen (2012 re-issue)$4,675-64%10$4,675$25,1202Rialto Pictures
38Meet The Fokkens$4,573-40%10$4,573$19,6672Kino Lorber
39Kumare$4,0610%3-3$1,354$94,3549Kino Lorber
40A Cat In Paris$3,208-45%7-5$458$294,38612GKIDS
41Union Square (2012)$3,064268%20$1,532$39,3476Dada Films
42Monsieur Lazhar$3,008-65%6-4$501$1,991,20143Music Box Films
43Klown$2,663-54%5-5$533$58,2474Drafthouse Films
44Oslo, August 31st$2,642--2--$1,321$75,32513Strand Releasing
45Where Do We Go Now?$2,442620%54$488$524,13515Sony Pictures Classics
46The Magic of Belle Isle$2,401-67%4-4$600$94,6107Magnolia Pictures
47Elena (2012)$2,304-18%2-1$1,152$208,66714Zeitgeist Films
48Unforgivable$2,236-68%2-4$1,118$112,5928Strand Releasing
49Jiro Dreams of Sushi$2,172-31%30$724$2,550,50824Magnolia Pictures
50Grand Illusion: 75th Anniversary Restoration$1,804--1--$1,804$144,08215Rialto Pictures
51Darling Companion$1,749375%3-1$583$793,35218Sony Pictures Classics
52Celine & Julie Go Boating (2012 re-issue)$1,689--1--$1,689$29,41416New Yorker Films
53Why Stop Now$1,641--3--$547$1,6411IFC Films
54The Salt of Life$1,334--1--$1,334$317,06025Zeitgeist Films
55$upercapitalist$1,110-87%10$1,110$13,2202Truly Indie
565 Broken Cameras$1,078476%10$1,078$65,11812Kino Lorber
57The Graduate: 45th Anniversary Reunion$1,023-7%10$1,023$43,15319Rialto
58You've Been Trumped$906-60%20$453$10,8423International Film Circuit
59I Wish$788-51%30$263$145,69715Magnolia Pictures
60Turn Me On, Dammit!$727--1--$727$121,11421New Yorker Films
61Damsels in Distress$67051%20$335$1,007,53520Sony Pictures Classics
62The Deep Blue Sea (2011)$498142%10$498$1,125,58822Music Box Films
63Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present$384-90%1-3$384$75,30810Music Box Films
64The Invisible War$376-39%1-1$376$54,2089Cinedigm
65China Heavyweight$300-8%10$300$9,3957Zeitgeist Films
66Pink Ribbons, Inc.$165--2--$83$25,67712First Run Features
67The Color Wheel$93--1--$93$17,09514Cinema Conservancy
68Nobody Else But You$83-94%1-1$83$33,13915First Run Features