'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. 8 - Sun, Nov. 10

Wide (1000+)

1Thor: The Dark World$85,737,841--3,841--$22,322$85,737,8411Disney
2Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa$11,326,977-43%3,187-158$3,554$78,773,6033Paramount
3Free Birds$11,112,063-30%3,7360$2,974$30,128,5142Relativity Media
4Last Vegas$11,036,270-32%3,08217$3,581$33,467,0062CBS Films
5Ender's Game$10,259,188-62%3,4070$3,011$44,010,4882Lionsgate / Summit
6Gravity$8,535,339-33%2,720-304$3,138$231,249,8316Warner Bros.
712 Years a Slave$6,675,73139%1,144734$5,835$17,421,3124Fox Searchlight
8Captain Phillips$5,712,028-32%2,646-375$2,159$90,894,0445Sony / Columbia
9About Time$4,758,070342%1,2001025$3,965$6,275,7432Universal
10Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2$2,776,914-33%1,836-594$1,512$109,953,0947Sony / Columbia
11Carrie (2013)$1,285,158-61%1,512-740$850$34,050,7754Sony / Screen Gems
12Escape Plan$845,029-63%1,049-917$806$23,207,8644Lionsgate / Summit
13The Counselor$815,757-76%1,022-2022$798$15,860,7943Fox

Limited (100 — 999)

1All Is Lost$1,130,95498%399269$2,834$2,798,5554Roadside Attractions
2Enough Said$633,686-42%429-233$1,477$15,839,3628Fox Searchlight
3Krrish3$526,989-50%2080$2,534$1,870,1082Eros International
4Despicable Me 2$474,31512%3101$1,530$365,353,62019Universal
5We're the Millers$272,416-34%358-197$761$149,681,84614Warner Bros. / New Line
7Prisoners$179,076-55%225-240$796$60,269,0888Warner Bros.
8Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters$167,177-20%216-35$774$67,707,24214Fox
9Elysium$165,843595%192154$864$92,748,40714Sony / TriStar
10Machete Kills$150,112-8%212-51$708$7,949,1475Open Road
11Insidious: Chapter 2$141,421-65%229-324$618$83,050,5309FilmDistrict
12Lee Daniels' The Butler$140,381-27%214-98$656$115,300,15513Weinstein Company
13Monsters University$129,092-27%158-18$817$268,186,28221Disney
14Rush (2013)$123,030-64%164-139$750$26,751,2998Universal
15Baggage Claim$98,685-59%135-159$731$21,384,0737Fox Searchlight
16Diana$90,42933%10062$904$193,5322eOne Films US
17Grown Ups 2$85,823-28%111-37$773$133,586,66018Sony / Columbia
18Runner Runner$39,922-61%119-118$335$19,242,0846Fox

Platform (1 — 99)

1Dallas Buyers Club$638,704145%3526$18,249$993,0882Focus
2Blue Is the Warmest Color$249,77711%7134$3,518$746,4283IFC Films
3The Book Thief$105,005--4--$26,251$105,0051Fox
4Don Jon$103,095-40%92-89$1,121$24,077,9997Relativity Media
5The Saratov Approach$93,913-35%41-2$2,291$1,094,3035Purdie Distribution
6Great Expectations (2013)$88,500--86--$1,029$88,5001Main Street Films
7Kill Your Darlings$83,10724%3213$2,597$331,9604Sony Pictures Classics
8Blue Jasmine$82,244-26%60-34$1,371$32,519,48016Sony Pictures Classics
9Wadjda$57,489-39%59-25$974$1,235,8239Sony Pictures Classics
10I'm in Love with a Church Girl$55,904-71%74-169$755$2,165,7474High Top Releasing
11The Smurfs 2$53,465-33%94-41$569$70,948,91715Sony / Columbia
12Turbo$53,021-12%62-7$855$82,871,89617Fox / DreamWorks Animation
13Pulling Strings$49,794-28%76-33$655$5,782,3956Lionsgate / Pantelion
14The Wolverine$45,512-38%77-42$591$132,425,01816Fox
15Hubble 3D$44,56324%141$3,183$41,186,627191Warner Bros. / IMAX
16Instructions Not Included$36,649-67%52-84$705$44,194,96611Lionsgate / Pantelion
17Muscle Shoals$34,265-41%35-11$979$505,2237Magnolia Pictures
18The Armstrong Lie$28,992--5--$5,798$28,9921Sony Pictures Classics
19How I Live Now$28,547--68--$420$28,5471Magnolia Pictures
20Austenland$25,275-3%6328$401$2,081,91313Sony Pictures Classics
21Inequality for All$24,046-54%37-30$650$1,124,2497RADiUS-TWC
22Space Station 3D$22,9230%51$4,585$89,341,874604IMAX
23The Family (2013)$22,414-53%57-30$393$36,623,0449Relativity Media
24Grace Unplugged$19,347-57%37-44$523$2,480,9576Roadside Attractions
25Reaching for the Moon$14,573--2--$7,287$14,5731Wolfe Releasing
26Spinning Plates$12,83111%60$2,139$57,7293The Film Arcade
27In a World...$12,595-33%18-4$700$2,927,33714Roadside Attractions
28Running From Crazy$12,39882%54$2,480$22,2402Vitagraph Films
29The Fifth Estate$11,827-64%23-88$514$3,218,1004Disney / DreamWorks
30The Heat$10,674-63%28-14$381$159,532,29820Fox
31Deep Sea 3D$9,58960%3-1$3,196$45,952,581402Warner Bros. / IMAX
32To the Arctic 3D$9,14138%123$762$13,631,10282Warner Bros. / IMAX
33I Am Divine$8,83870%73$1,263$32,1975The Film Collaborative
34The Ghosts in Our Machine$8,756--1--$8,756$8,7561Ghosts Media Inc.
35American Promise$8,220--3--$2,740$77,0094Rada Film Group
36The Pervert's Guide to Ideology$7,247-21%21$3,624$19,8292Zeitgeist Films
37The Square (2013)$6,764--2--$3,382$47,1743Netflix Originals
38The Trials of Muhammad Ali$6,620274%30$2,207$53,13512Kino Lorber
39The World's End$6,446-25%9-7$716$25,982,54712Focus
40Romeo and Juliet (2013)$6,394-36%21-1$304$1,124,8055Relativity Media
41Go for Sisters$6,001--2--$3,001$6,0011Variance Films
42The Broken Circle Breakdown$5,630--2--$2,815$14,1522Tribeca Film
43The Spectacular Now$5,517108%12-6$460$6,846,34515A24
44Born to Be Wild 3D$5,314-36%8-2$664$23,078,929136Warner Bros. / IMAX
4520 Feet from Stardom$5,187-51%4-5$1,297$4,752,64522RADiUS-TWC
46At Berkeley$5,069--2--$2,535$5,0691Zipporah Films
47Seasons of Gray$4,751-37%6-2$792$70,6054EchoLight Studios
48When Comedy Went to School$4,679-8%3-2$1,560$219,22815International Film Circuit
49Approved for Adoption$4,014--1--$4,014$4,0141GKIDS
50Under the Sea 3D$3,882-1%51$776$33,659,281248Warner Bros. / IMAX
51Big Sur$3,838-77%5-8$768$29,8582Ketchup Entertainment
52The Way, Way Back$3,735-61%7-8$534$21,496,72719Fox Searchlight
53Let the Fire Burn$3,606-60%5-4$721$41,9436Zeitgeist Films
54Finding Mr. Right$3,430--3--$1,143$3,4301China Lion Film
55Museum Hours$3,32564%2-1$1,663$538,82820Cinema Guild
56Long Shot: The Kevin Laue Story (2013 re-issue)$3,265-38%32$1,088$22,5953Cinepix
57Short Term 12$3,130-31%5-3$626$970,17612Cinedigm
58Le Joli Mai (2013 re-issue)$2,759--2--$1,380$30,6529Icarus Films
59God Loves Uganda$2,413-26%3-2$804$27,6365Variance Films
60People of a Feather$2,413--1--$2,413$2,4131First Run Features
61The Wicker Man: The Final Cut$2,158-63%3-2$719$52,5457Rialto Pictures
62Good Ol' Freda$2,144-39%6-1$357$131,90710Magnolia Pictures
63Linsanity$2,04713%3-1$682$268,9416Ketchup Entertainment
64A Touch of Sin$1,514-25%40$379$82,0786Kino Lorber
65The Patience Stone$1,502101%3-1$501$145,11813Sony Pictures Classics
66Birth of the Living Dead$1,494332%1-1$1,494$8,5904First Run Features
67The Act of Killing$1,315--2--$658$447,49417Drafthouse Films
68Il Futuro$1,263--3--$421$13,70310Strand Releasing
69Best Man Down$1,171--2--$586$1,1711Magnolia Pictures
70Escape From Tomorrow$1,011-82%3-4$337$166,0165Producers Distribution Agency
71Drinking Buddies$1,00611%42$252$341,93512Magnolia Pictures
72Broadway Idiot$8579%10$857$27,5955FilmBuff
73Terms and Conditions May Apply$821--2--$411$51,50718Variance Films
74Design is One: Lella & Massimo Vignelli$783--1--$783$12,8665First Run Features
75Camille Claudel 1915$78313%21$392$19,0374Kino Lorber
76Prince Avalanche$648-83%3-2$216$203,27814Magnolia Pictures
77La Maison de la Radio$609--1--$609$7,16910Kino Lorber
78Mr. Nobody$456-72%2-2$228$2,7442Magnolia Pictures
79Computer Chess$406--1--$406$101,21817Kino Lorber
80Free the Mind$358--1--$358$146,57728International Film Circuit
81I Used to Be Darker$280289%10$280$21,9647Strand Releasing
82Rising From Ashes$257--1--$257$35,89215First Run Features
83Drug War$182--1--$182$127,87716Variance Films / Well Go USA