'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, Feb. 21 - Sun, Feb. 23

Wide (1000+)

1The LEGO Movie$31,305,359-37%3,890115$8,048$183,015,4553Warner Bros.
23 Days to Kill$12,242,218--2,872--$4,263$12,242,2181Relativity Media
3Pompeii$10,340,823--2,658--$3,890$10,340,8231Sony / TriStar
4RoboCop (2014)$9,805,051-55%3,3720$2,908$44,005,1572Sony / Columbia
5The Monuments Men$7,912,276-49%3,064-19$2,582$57,856,9603Sony / Columbia
6About Last Night$7,534,816-71%2,2530$3,344$38,281,1062Sony / Screen Gems
7Ride Along$4,623,390-47%2,186-331$2,115$123,129,1906Universal
8Frozen (2013)$4,403,797-29%1,891-210$2,329$384,108,13214Disney
9Endless Love (2014)$3,967,520-70%2,8960$1,370$19,808,7752Universal
10Winter's Tale$2,173,455-70%2,9650$733$11,267,3562Warner Bros.
11Lone Survivor$1,978,380-52%1,516-497$1,305$121,709,2869Universal
12That Awkward Moment$1,385,146-60%1,208-714$1,147$24,053,6884Focus
13Philomena$1,196,316-22%1,004-221$1,192$32,720,25214Weinstein Company
14The Nut Job$1,066,564-42%1,235-683$864$59,906,0676Open Road

Limited (100 — 999)

1American Hustle$1,732,098-29%903-169$1,918$144,115,17211Sony / Columbia
2The Wolf of Wall Street$1,302,871-32%627-124$2,078$112,821,5629Paramount
3Gravity$847,195-18%348-7$2,434$269,275,32321Warner Bros.
4Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit$824,646-63%807-471$1,022$49,297,3246Paramount
512 Years a Slave$522,497-7%349-37$1,497$49,077,22019Fox Searchlight
6Nebraska$429,941-20%210-114$2,047$16,518,81415Paramount Vantage
7Her (2013)$409,428-32%250-5$1,638$23,980,03810Warner Bros.
8August: Osage County$399,944-55%525-485$762$36,615,2559Weinstein Company
9The Hunger Games: Catching Fire$319,126-40%240-86$1,330$423,626,64214Lionsgate
10Dallas Buyers Club$297,279-20%175-48$1,699$24,746,78017Focus
11The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug$293,130-41%266-19$1,102$256,636,87411Warner Bros. / New Line
12In Secret$265,586--266--$998$265,5151Roadside Attractions
13Vampire Academy$261,787-86%536-2140$488$7,606,3953Weinstein Company
14The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2014$237,614-34%148-19$1,606$1,803,1474ShortsHD
15Gloria (2014)$233,959-25%11012$2,127$1,344,8815Roadside Attractions
16Labor Day (2013)$226,864-82%418-1246$543$13,106,5054Paramount
17Saving Mr. Banks$226,227-4%24634$920$82,590,20811Disney
18Thor: The Dark World$225,421-28%199-13$1,133$205,808,33916Disney
19The Secret Life of Walter Mitty$173,660-12%2087$835$57,720,7449Fox
20I, Frankenstein$154,366-67%217-251$711$18,666,4985Lionsgate
21Walking With Dinosaurs$138,895-17%214-34$649$35,634,73310Fox
22The Legend Of Hercules$102,06039%11020$928$18,647,9737Lionsgate / Summit
23Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2$85,682-16%1810$473$119,546,97022Sony / Columbia
24Inside Llewyn Davis$72,980-40%10721$682$13,072,05312CBS Films
25Captain Phillips$64,291-20%18954$340$106,957,07120Sony / Columbia
26Grudge Match$47,026-49%108-183$435$29,747,3099Warner Bros.

Platform (1 — 99)

1Highway$326,654--97--$3,368$326,6541UTV Motion Pictures
2The Wind Rises$313,751--21--$14,941$455,8011Disney
3Journey to the South Pacific$126,2404%161$7,890$733,79413IMAX / MacGillivray Freeman
4Beijing Love Story$94,261-33%123$7,855$312,9382China Lion Film
5Tim's Vermeer$86,57050%2210$3,935$322,6384Sony Pictures Classics
6The Great Beauty$82,207-20%50-2$1,644$2,092,17015Janus Films
7Jerusalem 3D$82,002--27--$3,037$2,547,64623National Geographic
8The Past$81,628-18%75-2$1,088$1,136,02710Sony Pictures Classics
9Devil's Due$66,036-48%84-39$786$15,722,0506Fox
10The Book Thief$64,623-21%84-10$769$21,192,41516Fox
11Hubble 3D$53,02021%171$3,119$42,614,887206Warner Bros. / IMAX
12Delivery Man$48,609-31%98-16$496$30,549,85814Disney / DreamWorks
13The Attorney$45,403-62%18-8$2,522$524,3163Well Go USA
14Hasee Toh Phasee$36,663-76%33-44$1,111$634,3423Reliance Entertainment
15Like Father, Like Son (2014)$31,211-7%227$1,419$186,9526IFC Films
16Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me$27,853--2--$13,927$27,8531IFC Films
17Free Birds$25,973-22%56-19$464$55,651,84317Relativity Media
18The Invisible Woman$22,869-30%32-12$715$1,088,1139Sony Pictures Classics
19Stranger By the Lake$21,029-1%123$1,752$200,2525Strand Releasing
20When Comedy Went to School$18,562-26%81$2,320$301,25030International Film Circuit
21Blue Jasmine$18,463100%5741$324$33,290,58131Sony Pictures Classics
22Child's Pose$12,955--2--$6,478$14,7471Zeitgeist Films
23Barefoot$11,767--18--$654$11,7671Roadside Attractions
24The Saratov Approach$11,474-5%16-6$717$2,116,87420Purdie Distribution
25To the Arctic 3D$10,28622%8-1$1,286$13,829,47897Warner Bros. / IMAX
26Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq$9,7227%32$3,241$57,4613Kino Lorber
27Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom$9,047-45%33-1$274$8,242,53613Weinstein Company
2820 Feet from Stardom$8,115-36%12-4$676$4,868,57737RADiUS-TWC
29Je T'aime Je T'aime (2014 re-issue)$7,250-44%10$7,250$30,2852Film Desk / Bleeding Light Film
30Girl on a Bicycle$6,071-84%15-37$405$58,9752Monterey Media
31The Pretty One$5,996203%54$1,199$11,1863Dada Films
32Born to Be Wild 3D$5,31722%71$760$23,183,085151Warner Bros. / IMAX
33American Mustang$5,209--1--$5,209$24,5836Vitagraph / Just Media
34Under the Sea 3D$4,924-33%51$985$33,751,928263Warner Bros. / IMAX
35Jimmy P$3,654-49%32$1,218$16,3852IFC Films
36The Rocket (2013)$3,419588%64$570$26,4587Kino Lorber
38The Last of the Unjust$3,349-57%40$837$38,3963Cohen Media Group
39The Best Offer$3,171124%6-2$529$77,3578IFC Films
40Almost Human$2,722--2--$1,361$2,7221IFC Midnight
41Blue Is the Warmest Color$2,346-45%3-6$782$2,194,42318IFC Films
42All Is Lost$2,317-34%5-4$463$6,262,94219Roadside Attractions
43A Field in England$2,121-25%6-2$354$23,8633Drafthouse Films
44Gimme Shelter (2014)$1,987-61%5-10$397$1,359,5635Roadside Attractions
45In Bloom$1,939338%1-1$1,939$30,3217Big World Pictures
46Big Bad Wolves$1,866164%63$311$25,8896Magnolia / Magnet
47Black Out$1,749--10--$175$1,7491Doppelgänger Releasing
48Alphaville (2014 re-issue)$1,520-47%10$1,520$20,0183Rialto Pictures
49The Act of Killing$867-48%31$289$483,86332Drafthouse Films
50Knights of Badassdom$760-78%31$253$114,2915eOne Films US
51Maidentrip$676-13%1-1$676$36,76710First Run Features
52Kill Your Darlings$630-69%3-1$210$1,029,94919Sony Pictures Classics
53Fire in the Blood$620--2--$310$25,56325International Film Circuit
54Sweet Dreams (2013)$562-8%1-1$562$34,77717International Film Circuit
55Cutie and the Boxer$535-37%5-1$107$195,54528RADiUS-TWC
56Muscle Shoals$522-55%41$131$691,32422Magnolia Pictures
57Run & Jump$510--2--$255$10,3775IFC Films
58Inequality for All$183-36%20$92$1,205,07922RADiUS-TWC