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, Sep. 6 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleTue, Sep. 6 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Help$1,484,070-72%2,84365$522$125,756,1944Disney / DreamWorks
2The Debt$938,212-68%1,826--$514$15,691,2261Focus
3Colombiana$677,856-68%2,6140$259$24,810,1912Sony / TriStar
4Apollo 18$606,592-70%3,328--$182$11,312,1481Weinstein Company
5Rise of the Planet of the Apes$575,007-76%3,193-153$180$163,125,1855Fox
6Our Idiot Brother$564,936-64%2,5550$221$17,838,5292Weinstein Company
7Shark Night 3D$523,481-70%2,806--$187$10,649,9391Relativity Media
8Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2011)$409,642-65%2,78020$147$18,232,0582FilmDistrict
9Crazy, Stupid, Love$291,026-70%1,450-127$201$75,755,8206Warner Bros.
10Spy Kids: All The Time in the World$272,489-86%3,007-298$91$31,473,6793Weinstein Company
11The Smurfs$243,875-85%2,706-155$90$133,920,5806Sony / Columbia
12Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2$203,305-78%1,092-236$186$375,755,3988Warner Bros.
1330 Minutes or Less$172,001-65%1,355-716$127$35,673,4464Sony / Columbia
14Conan the Barbarian (2011)$156,440-63%1,722-1293$91$20,378,6153Lionsgate
15One Day$130,316-67%1,187-538$110$12,829,4553Focus
16Captain America: The First Avenger$128,530-80%1,050-374$122$172,401,2907Paramount
17Cowboys & Aliens$124,425-80%1,185-374$105$97,006,1156Universal
18Final Destination 5$122,152-64%1,226-859$100$41,009,7134Warner Bros. / New Line
19Fright Night (2011)$108,457-61%1,468-1646$74$17,452,8223Disney / DreamWorks
20Cars 2$84,239-85%2,043--$41$189,341,13411Disney

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleTue, Sep. 6 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Seven Days in Utopia$108,882-78%561--$194$1,910,4811Visio Entertainment
2The Change-Up$70,070-64%539-365$130$36,055,6755Universal
3Sarah's Key$68,694-68%31947$215$5,329,3907Weinstein Company
4Horrible Bosses$64,340-65%422-43$152$115,099,8819Warner Bros. / New Line
5Transformers: Dark of the Moon$44,772-71%424-94$106$350,544,78410Paramount / DreamWorks
6Bad Teacher$43,880-46%986911$45$98,903,42311Sony / Columbia
7Saving Private Perez$38,879-76%161--$241$867,1211Lionsgate / Pantelion
8Bridesmaids$24,200-63%220-2$110$168,541,63017Universal
9Kung Fu Panda 2$22,111-83%305111$72$164,849,16015Paramount / DreamWorks
10Super 8$20,273-74%240-2$84$126,549,78213Paramount
11Mr. Popper's Penguins$13,301-83%25213$53$67,520,02912Fox
12Green Lantern (2011)$13,045-79%185-37$71$116,326,46412Warner Bros.
13X-Men: First Class$6,247-72%101-9$62$146,306,24714Fox

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleTue, Sep. 6 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Born to Be Wild 3D$14,688-82%490$300$12,563,28822Warner Bros. / IMAX
2Attack the Block$10,576-64%6636$160$875,8446Sony / Screen Gems
3The Tree of Life$9,357-62%86-11$109$13,022,90615Fox Searchlight
4Another Earth$6,310-70%71-23$89$1,239,5067Fox Searchlight
5The Devil's Double$5,435-66%49-29$111$1,289,8346Lionsgate
6Beginners$5,039-56%34-16$148$5,781,35314Focus
7The Hangover Part II$4,126-64%90-38$46$254,420,56215Warner Bros.
8Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame$3,936-74%3--$1,312$71,5371Indomina Media
9Circumstance$3,885-62%114$353$118,2742Roadside Attractions
10Glee: The 3D Concert Movie$3,664-81%64-159$57$11,833,9394Fox
11The Future$3,231-61%17-5$190$451,0016Roadside Attractions
12Monte Carlo$1,333-82%41-50$33$22,945,63810Fox
13In/Sight$1,184-64%23--$51$14,0601Check Entertainment
14Snow Flower and the Secret Fan$773-22%12-3$64$1,333,0048Fox Searchlight
15Project Nim$719-73%15-1$48$365,2379Roadside Attractions
16Rio (2011)$604-87%25-14$24$143,618,98821Fox
17Redemption Road$342-71%10-16$34$28,8172Freestyle Releasing
185 Days of War$290-61%32$97$16,1833Anchor Bay Films
19Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us?$196106%2--$98$243,85751Collective Eye
20Insidious$92-74%4-3$23$54,008,88323FilmDistrict
21Everything Must Go$67-48%41$17$2,710,41217Roadside Attractions