'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. 14 - Sun, Dec. 16

Wide (1000+)

1The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey$84,617,303--4,045--$20,919$84,617,3031Warner Bros. / New Line
2Rise of The Guardians$7,143,445-31%3,387-252$2,109$71,085,2684Paramount / DreamWorks
3Lincoln$7,033,132-21%2,285271$3,078$107,687,3196Disney / DreamWorks
4Skyfall$6,555,732-39%2,924-477$2,242$271,921,7956Sony / Columbia
5Life of Pi$5,413,066-35%2,548-398$2,124$69,572,4724Fox
6The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2$5,136,074-44%3,042-604$1,688$276,826,1435Lionsgate / Summit
7Wreck-It Ralph$3,216,043-34%2,249-497$1,430$168,721,5927Disney
8Playing For Keeps (2012)$3,146,443-45%2,8403$1,108$10,737,5352FilmDistrict
9Red Dawn (2012)$2,408,882-43%2,250-504$1,071$40,904,3054FilmDistrict
11Killing Them Softly$1,008,127-64%1,427-997$706$14,140,4323Weinstein Company

Limited (100 — 999)

1Silver Linings Playbook$2,109,274-3%3710$5,685$16,979,3235Weinstein Company
2Argo$1,170,175-21%667-277$1,754$104,955,07910Warner Bros.
3Hitchcock$1,107,65955%561380$1,974$3,071,8714Fox Searchlight
4Anna Karenina (2012)$1,022,214-34%409-13$2,499$8,380,5175Focus
5The Collection$529,158-64%621-782$852$6,520,7943LD Entertainment
6Taken 2$288,772-25%339-91$852$138,132,49311Fox
7Pitch Perfect$245,680-20%332-55$740$63,869,42312Universal
8Talaash$168,828-65%113-49$1,494$2,706,4833Reliance Entertainment
9The Sessions$147,487-33%151-46$977$5,208,5389Fox Searchlight
10End of Watch$91,195-88%172-1077$530$40,469,93613Open Road
11Looper$89,512-34%190-42$471$66,305,04512Sony / TriStar
12The Perks of Being A Wallflower$87,459-37%125-50$700$17,008,01313Lionsgate / Summit
13Here Comes the Boom$81,619-43%150-84$544$42,680,15910Sony / Columbia
14Sinister$77,378112%184107$421$47,917,44410Lionsgate / Summit
15Hotel Transylvania$74,170-28%136-60$545$143,923,82012Sony / Columbia
16Alex Cross$73,777-36%175-39$422$25,739,7579Lionsgate / Summit
17Khiladi 786$61,563-73%1150$535$352,6842Eros International
18Paranormal Activity 4$56,616216%157109$361$53,808,2349Paramount
19Seven Psychopaths$45,457-36%100-41$455$14,989,76110CBS Films
20The Odd Life of Timothy Green$42,362-30%105-27$403$51,749,34618Disney
22The Man With the Iron Fists$39,380-54%105-76$375$15,608,5457Universal

Platform (1 — 99)

1Hyde Park on Hudson$292,796260%3632$8,133$404,8162Focus
2The Polar Express (2012 re-issue)$91,933-19%14-3$6,567$449,4424Warner Bros.
3Cloud Atlas$83,295-52%98-93$850$26,623,2238Warner Bros.
4Chasing Ice$65,559-36%53-4$1,237$612,0896Submarine Deluxe
5Finding Nemo 3D$63,755-10%70-4$911$40,930,67014Disney
6Rust and Bone$57,40710%62$9,568$209,0534Sony Pictures Classics
7A Werewolf Boy$52,381-38%201$2,619$222,5813CJ Entertainment
8A Late Quartet$51,339-30%46-17$1,116$1,084,3397Entertainment One / RKO
9A Royal Affair$46,514-14%5613$831$534,2676Magnolia Pictures
10Ice Age: Continental Drift$45,736-19%84-6$544$161,011,39123Fox
11Any Day Now$40,489--16--$2,531$40,4891Music Box Films
12The Central Park Five$38,32939%2212$1,742$175,8014IFC Films
13To the Arctic 3D$37,371-10%520$719$10,208,06835Warner Bros. / IMAX
14Hubble 3D$37,30812%14-2$2,665$35,443,590144Warner Bros. / IMAX
17Searching For Sugar Man$22,555-39%31-11$728$2,931,59921Sony Pictures Classics
18Born to Be Wild 3D$19,471-19%300$649$21,509,30589Warner Bros. / IMAX
19Chasing Mavericks$18,964-30%46-21$412$5,904,9308Fox
20The Intouchables$18,091521%2513$724$13,069,90130Weinstein Company
21Deadfall (2012)$16,649-14%176$979$45,3922Magnolia Pictures
22Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days$15,068-16%41-6$368$49,002,81520Fox
23The Flat$14,817-29%15-2$988$445,9199IFC Films
25Hecho en Mexico$14,146-49%10-16$1,415$145,9363Lionsgate / Pantelion
27Silent Hill: Revelation 3D$11,530-57%45-31$256$17,529,1578Open Road
28House at the End of the Street$11,347-53%41-27$277$31,607,59813Relativity Media
29The Master$9,361-22%14-9$669$15,912,49914Weinstein Company
30Deep Sea 3D$7,9909%40$1,998$45,185,824355Warner Bros. / IMAX
31Arbitrage$6,507-58%10-15$651$7,890,70114Roadside Attractions
32Just 45 Minutes from Broadway$6,249--2--$3,125$88,55711Rainbow Releasing
33Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel$4,532-37%14-1$324$938,47613IDP/Samuel Goldwyn
34Under the Sea 3D$4,41932%5-2$884$32,473,827201Warner Bros. / IMAX
35Beware of Mr. Baker$4,414-57%10$4,414$45,2523SnagFilms
36Smashed$4,157-74%10-19$416$368,88710Sony Pictures Classics
37The Big Picture (2012)$3,866-35%3-2$1,289$158,41110MPI Media
38Save the Date$3,755--2--$1,878$3,7551IFC Films
39The Loneliest Planet$3,644-1%5-1$729$128,5198IFC Films
40Let Fury Have the Hour$3,386--1--$3,386$3,3861CAVU Pictures
41Wagner & Me$3,278-33%42$820$26,0312First Run Features
42This Must Be the Place$3,071-32%3-2$1,024$142,2427Weinstein Company
43Somewhere Between$2,9195%21$1,460$177,63317Long Shot Factory
44Step Up to the Plate$2,452--2--$1,226$42,72914Cinema Guild
45Lost Angels: Skid Row Is My Home$2,436-65%10$2,436$11,4882Cinema Libre
46Wake in Fright (2012 re-issue)$2,33075%52$466$49,45811Drafthouse Films
47Masquerade (2012)$1,8440%10$1,844$902,33713CJ Entertainment
48The Well-Digger's Daughter$1,82812%20$914$375,00922Kino Lorber
50Starlet$1,654-82%4-6$414$76,2106Music Box Films
51Only the Young$1,5306%21$765$3,5582Oscilloscope
52Brooklyn Castle$1,356-75%2-2$678$186,6909Producers Distribution Agency
53North Sea Texas$1,259-71%2-1$630$20,5127Strand Releasing
54The House I Live In$1,223-71%1-3$1,223$181,78211Abramorama
55The Waiting Room$1,082-75%3-1$361$174,99112International Film Circuit
56Cheerful Weather for the Wedding$1,01640%21$508$1,9492IFC Films
57The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vicente Fernandez$1,008-67%10$1,008$5,6092Indican Pictures
58In Our Nature$893-80%10$893$6,1752Cinedigm
59Neighboring Sounds$868--1--$868$47,97417Cinema Guild
60California Solo$853-80%20$427$10,9113Strand Releasing
61Keep the Lights On$820-58%10$820$243,53615Music Box Films
62The Law in These Parts$504--1--$504$10,8135Cinema Guild
63Planet of Snail$431--1--$431$13,22221Cinema Guild
64All Together$343-46%10$343$37,7349Kino Lorber / Tribeca Film
65Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning$319--2--$160$5,2473Magnolia / Magnet
66Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet$319--2--$160$7941Kino Lorber
68Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters$168--1--$168$27,6877Zeitgeist Films
69The Revisionaries$164--1--$164$18,26211Kino Lorber
70In Another Country$25--1--$25$7,9436Kino Lorber