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 Thu, Jun. 30 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleThu, Jun. 30 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Transformers: Dark of the Moon$21,540,018-43%4,011--$5,370$64,765,3470Paramount / DreamWorks
2Cars 2$5,207,012-6%4,115--$1,265$90,930,6151Disney
3Bad Teacher$2,938,181-1%3,049--$964$45,445,9711Sony / Columbia
4Mr. Popper's Penguins$1,300,779-3%3,3423$389$45,024,7222Fox
5Green Lantern (2011)$1,266,0314%3,514-302$360$95,688,2842Warner Bros.
6Super 8$1,216,6052%3,42416$355$100,543,0273Paramount
7Bridesmaids$675,7508%1,590-983$425$149,374,3657Universal
8X-Men: First Class$558,1016%2,023-1352$276$135,711,7274Fox
9Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides$535,92520%1,742-1000$308$231,547,8936Disney
10The Hangover Part II$474,19411%2,025-1435$234$245,851,8825Warner Bros.
11Kung Fu Panda 2$473,3045%2,527-942$187$155,194,6675Paramount / DreamWorks

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleThu, Jun. 30 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Tree of Life$162,7236%215100$757$6,503,4365Fox Searchlight
2Rio (2011)$99,2390%344-64$288$140,032,54811Fox
3Thor$75,40320%404-471$187$177,517,2808Paramount
4Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer$52,258-6%891-1633$59$13,801,5093Relativity Media
5Fast Five$46,3054%343-386$135$207,971,4459Universal
6Water for Elephants$42,8247%292-59$147$57,854,95310Fox
7Something Borrowed$36,93031%23119$160$38,576,5538Warner Bros.
8Rango$23,86413%156-32$153$123,096,80717Paramount
9The Lincoln Lawyer$18,1014%189-31$96$57,697,21315Lionsgate
10Source Code$11,73316%106-55$111$54,577,39813Summit
11Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil$10,381-6%114-48$91$10,027,1819Weinstein Company
12The Art of Getting By$8,717-1%129-481$68$1,423,7722Fox Searchlight

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleThu, Jun. 30 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Born to Be Wild 3D$64,91011%470$1,381$7,975,72612Warner Bros. / IMAX
2Beginners$50,618-7%7329$693$1,766,3684Focus
3Hubble 3D$28,1576%330$853$26,183,94667Warner Bros. / IMAX
4Limitless$7,90234%85-32$93$79,203,16115Relativity Media
5Insidious$7,560-26%74-24$102$53,565,96813FilmDistrict
6Submarine$6,3724%26-2$245$314,7924Weinstein Company
7Hanna$6,02816%59-32$102$40,224,91712Focus
8Jane Eyre (2011)$5,711-5%51-17$112$11,196,17316Focus
9A Better Life$5,1252%4--$1,281$83,6701Summit
10Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules$4,8464%58-32$84$52,659,57814Fox
11The Beaver$3,2226%6643$49$970,8168Summit
12Win Win$2,46219%32-35$77$10,132,53815Fox Searchlight
13Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family$2,142-13%46-25$47$52,898,64910Lionsgate
14Everything Must Go$2,007-15%33-22$61$2,640,2997Roadside Attractions
15The Conspirator$1,87824%0-44--$11,494,02711Roadside Attractions
16The Last Mountain$1,23958%6-1$207$86,8304Dada Films
17Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us?$1,16889%4--$292$215,70641Collective Eye
18Scream 4$1,0032%18-21$56$38,180,92811Weinstein Company
19Beautiful Boy$6213%4-4$155$66,4904Anchor Bay Films
20Kill the Irishman$1307%20$65$1,188,19416Anchor Bay Films
2135 and Ticking$130117%10$130$75,8646Image Entertainment
22The Music Never Stopped$52-37%2-1$26$250,27515Roadside Attractions