'Avengers: Age of Ultron' Registers the Second Largest Debut of All-Time with $187.7M; Fails to Match Its Predecessor After Sharp Saturday DeclineMay 03, 2015 08:53 AM

by Daniel Garris

Disney's Avengers: Age of Ultron debuted with an estimated $187.66 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 9.5 percent below The Avengers and 8 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 it's 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 $84.46 million on Friday (which included an estimated $27.6 million from Thursday evening shows), declined a very sharp 32 percent on Saturday to gross $57.22 million and is estimated to fall 20 percent on Sunday to gross $45.98 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.22 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. Avengers: Age of Ultron grossed an estimated $18.0 million from IMAX locations, which represented 9.6 percent of the film's overall gross.

Moving past the absolute market dominance of Avengers: Age of Ultron this weekend, it was a close three-way race for second place between Lionsgate's The Age of Adaline, Universal's Furious 7 and Sony's Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. Estimates are close enough that the three films could still change positions when actuals are released on Monday.

The Age of Adaline placed in second with an estimated $6.25 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. The Age of Adaline has grossed $23.42 million in ten days. That is on the high end of pre-release expectations and places the film just below the recent $23.68 million ten-day start of The Longest Ride (which fell 46 percent in its second weekend to gross $7.02 million). With aid from Mother's Day next weekend, The Age of Adaline should experience a stronger third weekend hold than The Longest Ride did.

After leading the box office for each of the past four weekends, Furious 7 fell to third place this weekend with an estimated $6.1 million. The seventh installment of Universal's blockbuster action franchise was down a very sharp 66 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 a massive $330.52 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.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 claimed fourth place with an estimated $5.55 million. The modestly budgeted Kevin James led comedy sequel fell a sharp 62 percent from last weekend. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 has grossed $51.19 million in 17 days. The film continues to run in line with expectations and is running 13.5 percent behind the $59.21 million 17-day take of 2011's Zookeeper.

Weekend Actuals (Domestic) Fri, Nov. 30 - Sun, Dec. 2

Wide (1000+)

1The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2$17,416,362-60%4,008-62$4,345$254,598,8663Lionsgate / Summit
2Skyfall$16,555,894-53%3,463-63$4,781$245,585,0834Sony / Columbia
3Rise of The Guardians$13,388,852-44%3,67219$3,646$48,836,1052Paramount / DreamWorks
4Lincoln$13,376,696-48%2,0180$6,629$83,566,1694Disney / DreamWorks
5Life of Pi$12,151,853-46%2,9281$4,150$48,512,9942Fox
6Wreck-It Ralph$6,948,550-58%3,087-172$2,251$158,184,8135Disney
7Killing Them Softly$6,812,900--2,424--$2,811$6,812,9001Weinstein Company
8Red Dawn (2012)$6,500,245-54%2,78156$2,337$31,272,9532FilmDistrict
10The Collection$3,104,269--1,403--$2,213$3,104,2691LD Entertainment
11Argo$2,010,349-48%1,043-212$1,927$100,990,7668Warner Bros.

Limited (100 — 999)

1Silver Linings Playbook$3,090,131-30%3714$8,329$10,740,1123Weinstein Company
2Anna Karenina (2012)$2,245,570151%384318$5,848$4,106,9213Focus
3Talaash$1,637,833--174--$9,413$1,637,8331Reliance Entertainment
4Taken 2$467,975-51%496-267$943$137,163,5549Fox
5Pitch Perfect$387,070-46%403-89$960$63,099,24310Universal
6The Sessions$333,315-54%226-289$1,475$4,582,1817Fox Searchlight
7Cloud Atlas$243,338-42%194-64$1,254$26,181,4556Warner Bros.
8Here Comes the Boom$224,797-56%334-156$673$42,352,2508Sony / Columbia
9The Perks of Being A Wallflower$212,501-46%189-53$1,124$16,641,06011Lionsgate / Summit
10Looper$200,410-37%280-13$716$65,915,58510Sony / TriStar
11Hotel Transylvania$134,598-64%248-216$543$143,690,12310Sony / Columbia
12The Man With the Iron Fists$102,575-51%174-31$590$15,386,5205Universal
13Seven Psychopaths$101,54812%16280$627$14,778,0578CBS Films
15The Odd Life of Timothy Green$76,385-43%147-25$520$51,598,37116Disney
18Alex Cross$52,149-53%114-30$457$25,485,2257Lionsgate / Summit
19Ice Age: Continental Drift$51,840-34%102-7$508$160,884,06921Fox
20Silent Hill: Revelation 3D$51,618-49%124-66$416$17,466,1496Open Road
21Fun Size$48,466-42%116-28$418$9,362,6416Paramount
22House at the End of the Street$44,189-44%108-30$409$31,551,78811Relativity Media
23Trouble with the Curve$34,423-53%100-40$344$35,721,05911Warner Bros.
24Son of Sardaar$18,544-84%1090$170$760,3903Eros International

Platform (1 — 99)

1Hitchcock$408,69242%5033$8,174$787,5742Fox Searchlight
2Back to 1942$105,702--20--$5,285$105,7021China Lion Film
3A Late Quartet$93,371-30%74-14$1,262$877,5255Entertainment One / RKO
4Finding Nemo 3D$76,315-26%79-5$966$40,749,90912Disney
5Hecho en Mexico$76,123--12--$6,344$76,1231Lionsgate / Pantelion
6The Polar Express (2012 re-issue)$62,645-15%161$3,915$176,8492Warner Bros.
7The Other Son$57,864-27%405$1,447$877,9336Cohen Media Group
8A Royal Affair$57,591-37%41-3$1,405$373,0004Magnolia Pictures
9To the Arctic 3D$51,268-34%520$986$10,051,32133Warner Bros. / IMAX
10Searching For Sugar Man$46,570-23%5310$879$2,836,18719Sony Pictures Classics
11Chasing Mavericks$42,953-38%7919$544$5,832,0896Fox
12The Dark Knight Rises$40,865-42%80-28$511$448,093,79620Warner Bros.
13Sinister$40,556-56%88-39$461$47,769,8838Lionsgate / Summit
14Born to Be Wild 3D$40,30224%300$1,343$21,432,24487Warner Bros. / IMAX
15Holy Motors$35,242-23%254$1,410$332,5107Indomina Releasing
16Hubble 3D$34,339-38%193$1,807$35,305,155142Warner Bros. / IMAX
17The Central Park Five$33,1488%74$4,735$77,0402IFC Films
18Paranormal Activity 4$26,137-51%70-38$373$53,717,9097Paramount
20Rust and Bone$24,738-9%20$12,369$65,0592Sony Pictures Classics
21The Flat$24,487-16%19-2$1,289$386,4147IFC Films
22End of Watch$22,715-29%24-10$946$39,226,46311Open Road
23Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days$22,478-43%52-7$432$48,963,55918Fox
24Arbitrage$20,097-40%35-13$574$7,851,04412Roadside Attractions
25The Master$17,403-41%23-2$757$15,873,23312Weinstein Company
26Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel$13,553-26%12-3$1,129$912,84011IDP/Samuel Goldwyn
27Beware of Mr. Baker$12,195--1--$12,195$16,7481SnagFilms
28The Waiting Room$11,477--5--$2,295$159,52410International Film Circuit
30Starlet$10,402126%93$1,156$55,9564Music Box Films
31Silent Night$9,679--11--$880$9,6791Anchor Bay Films
32Wuthering Heights (2012)$8,936325%104$894$96,8899Oscilloscope
33The Intouchables$8,57711%19-7$451$13,043,10528Weinstein Company
34The Thieves$7,772792%21$3,886$673,0758Well Go USA
35This Must Be the Place$6,584-57%7-1$941$128,3985Weinstein Company
36Brooklyn Castle$6,131-62%4-4$1,533$175,9717Producers Distribution Agency
37The Big Picture (2012)$6,11637%42$1,529$142,3878MPI Media
38The Loneliest Planet$5,406-29%103$541$116,6176IFC Films
39Deep Sea 3D$5,026-67%40$1,257$45,161,384353Warner Bros. / IMAX
40Young & Wild$3,798--2--$1,899$3,7981IFC Films
41Smashed$3,710-72%15-15$247$338,2478Sony Pictures Classics
42Under the Sea 3D$3,602-42%8-1$450$32,461,251199Warner Bros. / IMAX
43California Solo$3,412--1--$3,412$3,4121Strand Releasing
44Masquerade (2012)$3,395-81%3-2$1,132$895,12311CJ Entertainment
45Just 45 Minutes from Broadway$3,322--2--$1,661$80,1489Rainbow Releasing
46Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning$3,181--3--$1,060$3,1811Magnolia / Magnet
47Somewhere Between$2,83234%20$1,416$164,32715Long Shot Factory
48The Imposter$2,115-57%2-3$1,058$898,31721Indomina Releasing
49The House I Live In$1,84089%10$1,840$168,8899Abramorama
50Grand Illusion: 75th Anniversary Restoration$1,75189%10$1,751$172,88530Rialto Pictures
51Kumare$1,567-29%10$1,567$129,55224Kino Lorber
52Now, Forager$1,558918%43$390$6,7029Argot Pictures
5428 Hotel Rooms$1,002-30%30$334$16,0174Oscilloscope
55Chicken With Plums$765-77%7-3$109$252,51916Sony Pictures Classics
56Keep the Lights On$70161%31$234$239,28213Music Box Films
57Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters$490-69%2-1$245$25,8715Zeitgeist Films
58Dangerous Liaisons (2012)$480-89%1-3$480$53,7554Well Go USA
59All Together$458--1--$458$35,6137Kino Lorber / Tribeca Film
60Celeste and Jesse Forever$360414%21$180$3,093,80218Sony Pictures Classics
61Wake in Fright (2012 re-issue)$358-58%2-1$179$44,1869Drafthouse Films
62The Well-Digger's Daughter$268-89%1-1$268$370,25420Kino Lorber
63Radio Unnameable$243-33%10$243$19,49811Kino Lorber
64Alps$114--1--$114$15,75921Kino Lorber
65Girl Model$62--1--$62$21,15413First Run Features