Grosses

'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.

Daily Domestic Gross Wed, Apr. 6 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleWed, Apr. 6 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1HOP$2,005,125-24%3,579--$560$44,452,0651Universal
2Source Code$1,070,995-28%2,961--$362$18,462,8571Summit
3Insidious$917,923-21%2,408--$381$16,395,7491FilmDistrict
4Limitless$734,956-25%2,83833$259$57,937,1003Relativity Media
5The Lincoln Lawyer$584,686-23%2,7070$216$41,262,0563Lionsgate
6Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules$528,145-28%3,1692$167$40,065,2332Fox
7Sucker Punch$474,551-19%3,0330$156$31,395,4912Warner Bros.
8Rango$352,279-18%3,134-511$112$114,865,0325Paramount
9Paul$344,250-21%2,550-256$135$32,979,0553Universal
10Battle: Los Angeles$279,800-17%2,263-855$124$79,413,7144Sony / Columbia
11The Adjustment Bureau$160,125-22%1,525-757$105$59,056,0355Universal
12Red Riding Hood$131,353-20%1,788-927$73$36,024,3094Warner Bros.
13The King's Speech$110,552-15%1,007-55$110$136,920,40619Weinstein Company

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleWed, Apr. 6 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Jane Eyre (2011)$130,315-5%18090$724$3,855,8684Focus
2Win Win$87,288-11%149126$586$2,202,9403Fox Searchlight
3Hall Pass$66,498-13%703-501$95$43,962,6786Warner Bros. / New Line
4Beastly$62,438-24%821-764$76$26,989,2545CBS Films
5Just Go With It$50,894-29%597-519$85$101,597,3938Sony / Columbia
6Gnomeo and Juliet$49,293-17%735-629$67$97,024,4358Disney
7Mars Needs Moms$42,175-29%701-1469$60$20,511,9774Disney
8True Grit (2010)$32,262-17%324119$100$170,520,01215Paramount
9Unknown (2011)$22,548-28%325-363$69$62,797,8697Warner Bros.
10I Am Number Four$19,476-13%270-242$72$53,929,4337Disney / DreamWorks
11Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son$18,803-7%250-156$75$37,327,8247Fox
12Cedar Rapids$17,960-19%210-132$86$6,543,7078Fox Searchlight
13Yogi Bear$17,224-24%265-61$65$100,226,46516Warner Bros.
14Black Swan$14,007-10%162-45$86$106,816,62318Fox Searchlight
15No Strings Attached$8,708-15%145-68$60$70,652,32911Paramount
16Justin Bieber: Never Say Never$4,636-27%113-176$41$72,701,9448Paramount

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleWed, Apr. 6 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Hubble 3D$41,82717%0-42--$23,504,42355Warner Bros. / IMAX
2Kill the Irishman$11,396-7%5615$204$744,4524Anchor Bay Films
3The Last Godfather$7,760-20%58--$134$128,9711Roadside Attractions
4Miral$7,6291%1511$509$184,9352Weinstein Company
5Biutiful$6,520-10%58--$112$4,923,74314Roadside Attractions
6Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1$4,465-27%66-19$68$294,996,11420Warner Bros.
7Blue Valentine (2010)$3,9952%39-5$102$9,678,47114Weinstein Company
8The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader$3,708-30%60-12$62$104,362,73817Fox
9The Music Never Stopped$3,64711%28-5$130$206,6343Roadside Attractions
10The Company Men$3,083-25%45-3$69$4,332,42811Weinstein Company
11The Eagle$2,538-21%57-40$45$19,486,8198Focus
12The Rite$2,348-10%72-83$33$33,045,12110Warner Bros. / New Line
13Take Me Home Tonight$2,166-9%52-37$42$6,858,5875Relativity Media
14The Mechanic$2,000-5%43-57$47$29,119,38610CBS Films
15Gulliver's Travels (2010)$1,8766%26-8$72$42,762,38015Fox
16Rabbit Hole$1,779-16%6132$29$2,227,19016Lionsgate
17happythankyoumoreplease$1,580-10%12-4$132$197,5175Anchor Bay Films
18Drive Angry$1,351-20%22-50$61$10,595,1796Summit
19I Love You Phillip Morris$1,0240%123$85$2,030,50718Roadside Attractions