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 Tue, Jan. 25 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleTue, Jan. 25 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1No Strings Attached$1,873,21821%3,018--$621$23,068,3101Paramount
2The Green Hornet$1,199,49810%3,5840$335$65,311,7482Sony / Columbia
3The King's Speech$1,054,46666%1,680137$628$59,003,8129Weinstein Company
4True Grit (2010)$766,90141%3,4645$221$139,274,1785Paramount
5The Dilemma$691,60521%2,9433$235$34,011,7152Universal
6Black Swan$672,92037%2,40779$280$84,414,2648Fox Searchlight
7The Fighter$466,71846%2,275-139$205$73,467,6447Paramount
8Little Fockers$282,39512%2,979-415$95$141,647,3155Universal
9TRON: Legacy$250,373-1%2,018-421$124$163,710,7506Disney
10Season of the Witch$203,7769%2,307-520$88$22,580,7663Relativity Media
11Country Strong$196,95132%1,44117$137$17,190,8605Sony / Screen Gems
12Tangled$162,643-11%1,860-188$87$186,702,6729Disney
13Yogi Bear$162,439-19%2,510-192$65$89,013,0406Warner Bros.
14The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader$77,024-6%1,135-569$68$100,779,1777Fox
15Gulliver's Travels (2010)$51,702-22%1,100-566$47$40,139,3735Fox

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleTue, Jan. 25 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Way Back$124,34314%678--$183$1,452,5261Newmarket Films
2Blue Valentine (2010)$118,14134%24212$488$4,666,1114Weinstein Company
3The Tourist$89,83137%875-545$103$66,049,2267Sony / Columbia
4Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1$72,4213%725-216$100$291,483,20110Warner Bros.
5The Company Men$49,797-2%106--$470$791,4271Weinstein Company
6The Social Network$43,18229%38563$112$95,485,22117Sony / Columbia
7Megamind$30,501-13%320-21$95$146,406,30012Paramount / DreamWorks
8Rabbit Hole$24,97539%1011$247$1,310,9396Lionsgate
9Due Date$24,09812%275-66$88$100,494,06412Warner Bros.
10Unstoppable (2010)$20,00911%278-25$72$80,769,46211Fox
11The Heart Specialist$12,534-15%293-129$43$949,9642Freestyle
12Love and Other Drugs$11,85212%146-20$81$32,179,2089Fox
13Red (2010)$10,2719%153-53$67$90,258,61115Summit
14Faster (2010)$5,595-8%10629$53$23,093,3849CBS Films

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleTue, Jan. 25 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Somewhere (2010)$21,87512%8330$264$1,348,3505Focus
2Hubble 3D$21,79037%0-48--$20,876,87045Warner Bros. / IMAX
3127 Hours$19,75657%69-7$286$11,329,14912Fox Searchlight
4Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries)$18,40657%78--$236$395,7201UTV Communications
5I Love You Phillip Morris$9,52021%75-20$127$1,808,9828Roadside Attractions
6Fair Game (2010)$4,69015%72-7$65$9,385,46712Summit
7Life As We Know It$3,8259%86-46$44$53,366,28516Warner Bros.
8No One Killed Jessica$2,01777%28-17$72$431,8483UTV Communications
9Winter's Bone$1,481155%82$185$6,273,15133Roadside Attractions
10Biutiful$1,0462%4--$262$94,1664Roadside Attractions
11The Warrior's Way$692-16%29-48$24$5,658,3068Relativity Media
12Summer Wars$64050%6-3$107$64,3595GKIDS