'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, Jun. 6 - Sun, Jun. 8

Wide (1000+)

1The Fault in Our Stars$48,002,523--3,173--$15,128$48,002,5231Fox
3Edge of Tomorrow$28,760,246--3,490--$8,241$28,760,2461Warner Bros.
4X-Men: Days of Future Past$15,154,814-53%3,639-362$4,165$189,556,0803Fox
5A Million Ways to Die in the West$7,348,495-56%3,1602$2,325$30,338,4652Universal
6Godzilla (2014)$6,121,179-49%3,110-391$1,968$185,214,1854Warner Bros.
7Neighbors (2014)$5,325,155-34%2,674-265$1,991$137,925,6505Universal
8Blended$4,122,403-49%2,928-627$1,408$36,581,3473Warner Bros.
9Chef$2,621,82937%1,298674$2,020$10,383,5245Open Road
10Million Dollar Arm$2,025,950-44%1,643-686$1,233$31,550,9804Disney
11The Amazing Spider-Man 2$1,961,843-48%1,481-671$1,325$196,350,2396Sony / Columbia

Limited (100 — 999)

1Belle$778,232-38%476-49$1,635$7,592,4996Fox Searchlight
2Rio 2$772,827-31%702-281$1,101$125,682,3929Fox
3The Other Woman (2014)$496,111-64%489-625$1,015$82,221,9307Fox
4Captain America: The Winter Soldier$416,892-34%317-222$1,315$255,863,99610Disney
5Heaven is for Real$394,878-51%446-276$885$88,807,5238Sony / TriStar
6Holiday (2014)$394,715--144--$2,741$394,7971Reliance Entertainment
7The LEGO Movie$288,0524%274-28$1,051$255,878,39218Warner Bros.
8The Grand Seduction$285,187-12%10713$2,665$822,8012eOne Films US
9Divergent$251,735-23%298-75$845$149,063,25912Lionsgate / Summit
10The Grand Budapest Hotel$243,079-35%185-64$1,314$57,777,52214Fox Searchlight
11The Immigrant$192,230-38%145-5$1,326$1,421,8594Weinstein Company
12Mr. Peabody & Sherman$178,143-11%224-30$795$110,340,22414Fox / DreamWorks Animation
13God's Not Dead$172,28045%20045$861$60,044,96012Freestyle / Pure Flix
14Moms' Night Out$156,759-47%292-91$537$9,915,4055Sony / TriStar
15Muppets Most Wanted$99,874-26%197-36$507$50,825,81212Disney
17The Railway Man$54,091-75%177-319$306$4,232,8989Weinstein Company
18Draft Day$42,844-50%113-60$379$28,786,1439Lionsgate / Summit
19Transcendence$24,963-48%105-23$238$22,982,0578Warner Bros.

Platform (1 — 99)

1Words and Pictures$282,648261%9885$2,884$536,7123Roadside Attractions
2Ida (2014)$225,130-5%8729$2,588$1,284,7146Music Box Films
3Island of Lemurs: Madagascar$114,658-1%390$2,940$2,650,46610Warner Bros. / IMAX
4Fed Up$90,354-45%88-16$1,027$1,215,7345RADiUS-TWC
5Obvious Child$77,315--3--$25,772$77,3151A24
6Brick Mansions$77,040270%9954$778$20,120,0297Relativity Media
7Cold in July$67,927-41%733$931$292,9863IFC Films
8Fading Gigolo$59,918-56%54-38$1,110$3,523,5908Millennium Entertainment
9Hubble 3D$48,8198%21-1$2,325$44,493,074221Warner Bros. / IMAX
10Night Moves$48,655126%3129$1,570$79,4412Cinedigm
11Palo Alto$47,282-47%54-3$876$612,5485Tribeca Film
12Journey to the South Pacific$45,611-19%193$2,401$3,069,06728IMAX / MacGillivray Freeman
13The Lunchbox$41,352-25%46-8$899$4,041,38015Sony Pictures Classics
14Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return$36,973-62%84-96$440$8,279,2355Clarius Entertainment
16Chinese Puzzle$31,136-52%27-2$1,153$229,6084Cohen Media Group
17Filmistaan$31,113--24--$1,296$31,1131UTV Motion Pictures
19Frozen (2013)$26,90217%43-14$626$400,654,22729Disney
20Need For Speed$26,741-14%58-16$461$43,537,78813Disney / DreamWorks
21A Haunted House 2$25,946-46%44-30$590$17,314,4848Open Road
22Only Lovers Left Alive$25,332-48%30-22$844$1,622,8079Sony Pictures Classics
23We Are the Best!$23,58634%129$1,966$52,5782Magnolia Pictures
24Jerusalem 3D$23,264-35%216$1,108$4,374,35738National Geographic
25Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon$23,017--4--$5,754$23,0171RADiUS-TWC
26Oculus$22,645-41%47-36$482$27,647,8099Relativity Media
27Under the Skin (2014)$22,092-23%280$789$2,440,78110A24
28Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia$16,01193%86$2,001$55,7593IFC Films
29The German Doctor$14,210-22%12-5$1,184$401,0407IDP / Samuel Goldwyn
30Finding Vivian Maier$13,707-26%21-8$653$1,393,07511IFC Films
31The Hornet's Nest$12,363-76%16-26$773$288,2145Freestyle Releasing
32Redwood Highway$9,9909%169$624$76,5599Monterey Media
33Rigor Mortis$7,865--10--$787$7,8651Well Go USA
34Jodorowsky's Dune$6,662-25%162$416$611,79612Sony Pictures Classics
35The Raid 2$6,5311735%3836$172$2,618,87011Sony Pictures Classics
36To the Arctic 3D$6,445174%4-2$1,611$14,082,528112Warner Bros. / IMAX
37The Double (2014)$6,2581%11-3$569$128,0035Magnolia Pictures
38For No Good Reason$5,98668%2114$285$47,6137Sony Pictures Classics
39Under the Sea 3D$5,809-14%164$363$34,017,102278Warner Bros. / IMAX
40Filth$5,545-26%52$1,109$17,5742Magnolia / Magnet
41The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden$5,23561%3-2$1,745$233,51110Zeitgeist Films
42For a Woman$4,964282%43$1,241$22,8006Film Movement
43Big Men$4,862--1--$4,862$48,57313Abramorama
44Bicycling with Molière$4,259224%53$852$43,1527Strand Releasing
45Walking with the Enemy$4,177-27%101$418$846,1397Liberty Studios
46Ai Weiwei The Fake Case$3,555250%84$444$26,1404International Film Circuit
47Godzilla: The Japanese Original$2,67937%2-2$1,340$138,4998Rialto Pictures
48Lucky Them$2,630-29%21$1,315$7,9642IFC Films
49Blue Ruin$2,49529%3-3$832$253,8057RADiUS-TWC
50Deep Sea 3D$2,388306%64$398$46,059,339432Warner Bros. / IMAX
51Nymphomaniac: Volume I$2,309-38%42$577$782,87412Magnolia Pictures
522 Autumns, 3 Winters$2,163--1--$2,163$2,1631Film Movement
53Born to Be Wild 3D$1,856-43%150$124$23,383,604166Warner Bros. / IMAX
54Le Week-End$1,829-46%8-1$229$2,205,74713Music Box Films
55Particle Fever$1,270-77%3-1$423$859,89714Abramorama / Bond 360
56The Unknown Known$1,269617%32$423$271,17510RADiUS-TWC
57Nymphomaniac: Volume II$1,052-50%30$351$325,64910Magnolia Pictures
58Tasting Menu$802293%21$401$16,6778Magnolia Pictures
59Just a Sigh$666-46%1-2$666$68,29212Distrib Films
60The Sacrament$583--1--$583$5831Magnolia / Magnet
61Manakamana$357-58%1-1$357$21,9338Cinema Guild
6220 Feet from Stardom$250100%10$250$4,946,16052RADiUS-TWC
63Sweet Dreams (2013)$244-89%2-1$122$58,34432International Film Circuit
64Ilo Ilo$227--1--$227$40,86910Film Movement
65Heropanti$211-98%3-8$70$62,1573UTV Motion Pictures
66Half of a Yellow Sun$200-94%2-4$100$25,6664Monterey Media
67The Jewish Cardinal$200-60%20$100$129,68522Film Movement
68Next Year Jerusalem$150-93%1-1$150$7,9854First Run Features