'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, Jul. 5 - Sun, Jul. 7

Wide (1000+)

1Despicable Me 2$83,517,315--3,997--$20,895$143,074,9601Universal
2The Lone Ranger$29,210,849--3,904--$7,482$48,715,0101Disney
3The Heat$24,763,907-37%3,1843$7,778$86,259,1952Fox
4Monsters University$19,716,347-57%3,739-265$5,273$216,253,9793Disney
5World War Z$18,408,963-38%3,316-291$5,552$158,989,6383Paramount
6White House Down$13,478,486-46%3,2220$4,183$50,485,2492Sony / Columbia
7Man of Steel$11,414,297-45%2,905-1226$3,929$271,188,4504Warner Bros.
8This Is The End$5,870,167-33%2,104-606$2,790$85,674,3204Sony / Columbia
9Now You See Me$2,853,191-49%1,606-958$1,777$110,498,6036Lionsgate / Summit

Limited (100 — 999)

1Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain$10,030,463--876--$11,450$17,391,1671Lionsgate / Summit
2Star Trek Into Darkness$1,310,448-38%565-470$2,319$223,065,0118Paramount
3Fast & Furious 6$1,073,565-56%617-933$1,740$235,488,6757Universal
5Iron Man 3$481,668-65%294-246$1,638$406,410,98710Disney
6Before Midnight$478,870-25%214-76$2,238$6,576,8947Sony Pictures Classics
7The Internship$459,735-68%379-629$1,213$42,762,5385Fox
8Much Ado About Nothing (2013)$446,487-22%170-52$2,626$3,054,1465Roadside Attractions
9After Earth$382,27818%270-61$1,416$58,886,9826Sony / Columbia
10The Hangover Part III$350,6981%33861$1,038$111,254,2437Warner Bros.
11The Croods$342,343-27%269-38$1,273$185,125,18916Fox / DreamWorks Animation
12The Purge$322,555-74%256-866$1,260$63,552,9655Universal
13The Bling Ring$322,406-61%159-471$2,028$5,119,5834A24
14Lootera$314,958--100--$3,150$375,4421Eros International
15The Great Gatsby (2013)$284,286-27%185-70$1,537$142,907,9049Warner Bros.
16The East$164,483-36%102-83$1,613$1,965,3056Fox Searchlight
17Mud$162,653-21%111-57$1,465$20,861,65311Roadside Attractions
1842 (2013)$119,474-36%182-70$656$94,811,13313Warner Bros.
19Pain and Gain$117,078986%170144$689$49,519,36711Paramount
20Olympus Has Fallen$61,105-40%110-55$556$98,895,41716FilmDistrict
21Raanjhanaa$46,327-76%1020$454$875,0513Eros International
22Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani$19,674-64%1610$122$3,807,4886Eros International

Platform (1 — 99)

1The Way, Way Back$552,788--19--$29,094$552,7881Fox Searchlight
220 Feet from Stardom$483,959108%8945$5,438$1,075,5294RADiUS-TWC
3Unfinished Song$243,728164%7051$3,482$438,9483Weinstein Company
4The Attack$195,37243%5317$3,686$473,1273Cohen Media Group
5Fill the Void$161,556-12%59-2$2,738$1,205,0427Sony Pictures Classics
6I'm So Excited$141,65246%1611$8,853$304,1272Sony Pictures Classics
7Frances Ha$111,673-3%70-20$1,595$3,644,9338IFC Films
8The Kings of Summer$96,24314%513$1,887$1,084,1796CBS Films
9Hubble 3D$88,52020%9-6$9,836$39,265,749173Warner Bros. / IMAX
10A Hijacking$61,50336%205$3,075$200,8363Magnolia Pictures
11Love Is All You Need$44,467-13%31-11$1,434$1,451,19110Sony Pictures Classics
12Hannah Arendt$40,91287%145$2,922$290,3046Zeitgeist Films
13Oz: The Great and Powerful$35,769-65%96-91$373$234,868,54818Disney
14Stuck in Love$34,967--21--$1,665$34,9671Millennium Entertainment
15Stories We Tell$34,83224%274$1,290$1,440,3039Roadside Attractions
16G.I. Joe: Retaliation$34,192-52%63-55$543$122,476,27815Paramount
17Space Station 3D$33,38498%2-1$16,692$88,237,419586IMAX
18Museum Hours$31,282--3--$10,427$83,7252Cinema Guild
19Under the Sea 3D$28,69333%6-2$4,782$33,190,799230Warner Bros. / IMAX
20To the Arctic 3D$25,353-35%16-36$1,585$13,143,07264Warner Bros. / IMAX
21Kon-Tiki$24,636-12%24-10$1,027$1,406,29211Weinstein Company
22A Band Called Death$19,453-44%14-1$1,390$71,8962Drafthouse Films
23Born to Be Wild 3D$18,868-8%13-17$1,451$22,673,573118Warner Bros. / IMAX
24Scary Movie 5$17,732-80%43-79$412$31,868,31413Weinstein / Dimension
25What Maisie Knew$15,166-16%12-6$1,264$1,023,57310Millenium Entertainment
26Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me$15,096--2--$7,548$20,8511Magnolia Pictures
27Copperhead$14,640-74%15-44$976$109,4742Brainstorm Media
28Ghanchakkar$14,627-90%30-59$488$203,0442UTV Motion Pictures
29The Sapphires$13,943-7%15-3$930$2,422,57516Weinstein Company
30Byzantium$12,601-24%60$2,100$43,5102IFC Films
31Dirty Wars$12,004-73%13-18$923$313,1265IFC Films
32Deep Sea 3D$11,105167%42$2,776$45,657,055384Warner Bros. / IMAX
33Renoir$10,355-64%11-9$941$2,176,90715IDP / Samuel Goldwyn
34Escape From Planet Earth$9,221-70%62-39$149$56,885,48521Weinstein Company
35The Company You Keep$8,968-50%13-28$690$5,097,38914Sony Pictures Classics
36Storm Surfers 3D$8,262--2--$4,131$46,73411XLrator Media
37Augustine$7,836231%95$871$73,0188Music Box Films
38SOMM$6,982-60%6-3$1,164$170,5613IDP / Samuel Goldwyn
39Maniac$5,8191%100$582$20,5513IFC Midnight
40The Iceman$5,80550%61$968$1,939,44110Millennium Entertainment
41The Look of Love$5,105--3--$1,702$5,1051IFC Films
42At Any Price$4,1908%72$599$366,24511Sony Pictures Classics
43Deceptive Practices: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay$4,136-9%1-1$4,136$124,51912Kino Lorber
44Redemption (2013)$3,809-81%4-15$952$34,9562Roadside Attractions
45More Than Honey$2,745--2--$1,373$20,8644Kino Lorber
4656 Up$2,363--1--$2,363$699,06327First Run Features
47Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's$2,108-52%2-4$1,054$501,62510eOne Films US
48Berberian Sound Studio$2,053-12%5-5$411$28,6024IFC Midnight
49Ain't In It for My Health: A Film About Levon Helm$1,982-82%5-4$396$94,75212Kino Lorber
50A Girl and a Gun$1,731--9--$192$2,2621First Run Features
51You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet$1,669--2--$835$13,2805Kino Lorber
52Hava Nagila (The Movie)$1,594-66%3-4$531$356,21319International Film Circuit
53The Wall$1,43270%10$1,432$19,1436Music Box Films
54Shadow Dancer$1,069-75%2-2$535$91,0436Magnolia Pictures
55Searching For Sugar Man$84189%10$841$3,689,69550Sony Pictures Classics
56To the Wonder$579-38%1-3$579$586,29313Magnolia Pictures
57Free the Mind$518-84%2-1$259$77,08810International Film Circuit
58100 Bloody Acres$499-85%3-10$166$5,5032Doppelgänger Releasing
59Lost and Found in Armenia$492-93%20$246$120,4805High Top Releasing
60√Čvocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie$490-57%1-2$490$12,7935Magnolia Pictures
61Not Today$478-96%2-3$239$312,94113Freestyle Releasing
62Made in Cleveland$405-62%1-2$405$10,6813Striped Entertainment
63No Place on Earth$302-61%20$151$191,06314Magnolia Pictures
64Hammer of the Gods$164--2--$82$1641Magnolia / Magnet
65Far Out Isn't Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story$83--1--$83$14,4904First Run Features