Grosses

'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.

Daily Domestic Gross Sun, Jul. 11 2010

Wide (1000+)

#TitleSun, Jul. 11 2010LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Despicable Me$14,215,865-32%3,476--$4,090$56,397,1251Universal
2The Twilight Saga: Eclipse$8,351,095-32%4,4680$1,869$235,370,8152Summit
3Predators$5,886,517-30%2,669--$2,206$24,706,8821Fox
4Toy Story 3$5,588,658-38%3,753-275$1,489$339,240,8574Disney
5The Last Airbender$4,695,299-30%3,20334$1,466$99,712,7572Paramount
6Grown Ups$4,215,292-35%3,463-71$1,217$110,721,5313Sony / Columbia
7Knight and Day$1,920,817-42%2,628-476$731$61,808,1103Fox
8The Karate Kid (2010)$1,386,406-39%2,458-651$564$164,301,1245Sony / Columbia
9The A-Team$450,160-39%1,236-917$364$73,923,5945Fox

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleSun, Jul. 11 2010LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Cyrus$327,767-44%200123$1,639$3,426,5454Fox Searchlight
2Get Him to the Greek$196,695-34%442-442$445$59,424,0556Universal
3Shrek Forever After$130,059-37%461-496$282$233,784,8978Paramount / DreamWorks
4Winter's Bone$112,231-48%10623$1,059$2,512,4555Roadside Attractions
5Solitary Man$100,390-50%172-4$584$3,505,2798Anchor Bay
6Iron Man 2$100,117-41%333-189$301$309,237,29410Paramount
7Marmaduke$91,092-35%383-92$238$31,545,7376Fox
8How to Train Your Dragon$82,939-34%254-49$327$216,893,96716Paramount / DreamWorks
9Letters to Juliet$73,978-52%241-99$307$51,726,0649Summit
10Robin Hood$71,985-41%300-78$240$104,494,8059Universal
11Killers (2010)$56,917-53%269-458$212$45,845,6086Lionsgate
12Sex and the City 2$55,899-35%156-199$358$94,701,6897Warner Bros. / New Line
13Date Night$48,556-37%205-37$237$98,002,74614Fox
14Splice$42,352-17%20464$208$16,762,2086Warner Bros
15Clash of the Titans (2010)$24,933-25%130-45$192$163,102,60015Warner Bros.

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleSun, Jul. 11 2010LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Kids Are All Right$148,647-26%7--$21,235$491,9711Focus
2Hubble 3D$67,340-29%531$1,271$10,272,71717Warner Bros. / IMAX
3I Hate Luv Storys$28,669-48%79--$363$748,3752UTV
4City Island$20,051-53%65-16$308$6,498,01017Anchor Bay
5Just Wright$14,440-37%80-15$181$21,416,3939Fox Searchlight
6Under the Sea 3D$12,018-42%130$924$22,816,25574Warner Bros. / IMAX
7Furry Vengeance$11,148-50%86-21$130$17,596,25611Summit
8Jonah Hex$9,941-43%65-285$153$10,083,2394Warner Bros.
9The Back-up Plan$9,468-36%61-36$155$37,447,76712CBS Films
10Avatar$8,737-51%90$971$749,657,40930Fox
11A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)$8,579-24%53-57$162$63,059,65511Warner Bros. / New Line
12Diary of a Wimpy Kid$8,056-34%51-19$158$63,870,49717Fox
13Grease Sing-a-Long$4,451-86%12--$371$95,7691Paramount
14Princess Kaiulani$1,729-16%61$288$846,7719Roadside Attractions
15The Secret of Kells$1,130-22%10-4$113$681,17119GKIDS
16The Joneses$8515%21$426$1,474,50813Roadside Attractions
17The Square (2010)$743-48%50$149$400,87514Apparition
18Racing Dreams$644-60%1-2$644$55,5898Hanover House
19Raajneeti$288-70%5--$58$1,514,5576UTV Communications