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, Sep. 7 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleWed, Sep. 7 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Help$1,341,384-10%2,84365$472$127,097,5784Disney / DreamWorks
2The Debt$749,060-20%1,82640$410$16,440,2861Focus
3Colombiana$515,409-24%2,6140$197$25,325,6002Sony / TriStar
4Our Idiot Brother$447,648-21%2,5550$175$18,286,1772Weinstein Company
5Rise of the Planet of the Apes$445,497-23%3,193-153$140$163,570,6825Fox
6Apollo 18$427,789-29%3,328--$129$11,739,9371Weinstein Company
7Shark Night 3D$337,165-36%2,806--$120$10,987,1041Relativity Media
8Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2011)$312,185-24%2,78020$112$18,544,2432FilmDistrict
9Crazy, Stupid, Love$252,119-13%1,450-127$174$76,007,9396Warner Bros.
10Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2$179,469-12%1,092-236$164$375,934,8678Warner Bros.
11The Smurfs$153,646-37%2,706-155$57$134,074,2266Sony / Columbia
12Spy Kids: All The Time in the World$142,451-48%3,007-298$47$31,616,1303Weinstein Company
1330 Minutes or Less$139,785-19%1,355-716$103$35,813,2314Sony / Columbia
14Conan the Barbarian (2011)$123,120-21%1,722-1293$71$20,501,7353Lionsgate
15One Day$112,409-14%1,187-538$95$12,941,8643Focus
16Captain America: The First Avenger$108,701-15%1,050-374$104$172,509,9917Paramount
17Cowboys & Aliens$106,650-14%1,185-374$90$97,112,7656Universal
18Final Destination 5$99,259-19%1,226-859$81$41,108,9724Warner Bros. / New Line
19Fright Night (2011)$94,528-13%1,468-1646$64$17,547,3503Disney / DreamWorks
20Cars 2$57,823-31%2,043--$28$189,398,95711Disney

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleWed, Sep. 7 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Seven Days in Utopia$93,756-14%561--$167$2,004,2371Visio Entertainment
2Sarah's Key$69,1561%31947$217$5,398,5467Weinstein Company
3Horrible Bosses$58,550-9%422-43$139$115,158,4319Warner Bros. / New Line
4The Change-Up$56,705-19%539-365$105$36,112,3805Universal
5Transformers: Dark of the Moon$41,384-8%424-94$98$350,586,16810Paramount / DreamWorks
6Bad Teacher$38,743-12%986911$39$98,942,16611Sony / Columbia
7Saving Private Perez$33,081-15%161--$205$900,2021Lionsgate / Pantelion
8Bridesmaids$24,1650%220-2$110$168,565,79517Universal
9Super 8$19,933-2%240-2$83$126,569,71513Paramount
10Kung Fu Panda 2$16,054-27%305111$53$164,865,21415Paramount / DreamWorks
11Green Lantern (2011)$11,350-13%185-37$61$116,337,81412Warner Bros.
12Mr. Popper's Penguins$10,046-24%25213$40$67,530,07512Fox
13X-Men: First Class$5,835-7%101-9$58$146,312,08214Fox

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleWed, Sep. 7 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Born to Be Wild 3D$14,318-3%490$292$12,577,60622Warner Bros. / IMAX
2Attack the Block$11,71811%6636$178$887,5626Sony / Screen Gems
3The Tree of Life$10,48212%86-11$122$13,033,38815Fox Searchlight
4Another Earth$5,591-11%71-23$79$1,245,0977Fox Searchlight
5Beginners$5,3075%34-16$156$5,786,66014Focus
6The Devil's Double$5,076-7%49-29$104$1,294,9106Lionsgate
7Circumstance$4,78823%114$435$123,0622Roadside Attractions
8The Hangover Part II$3,590-13%90-38$40$254,424,15215Warner Bros.
9Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame$3,514-11%3--$1,171$75,0511Indomina Media
10The Future$3,4808%17-4$205$454,4816Roadside Attractions
11Glee: The 3D Concert Movie$2,371-35%64-159$37$11,836,3104Fox
12Project Nim$1,34387%15-1$90$366,5809Roadside Attractions
13In/Sight$1,2163%23--$53$15,2761Check Entertainment
14Monte Carlo$1,060-20%41-50$26$22,946,69810Fox
15Snow Flower and the Secret Fan$92219%12-3$77$1,333,9268Fox Searchlight
165 Days of War$41643%32$139$16,5993Anchor Bay Films
17Rio (2011)$380-37%25-14$15$143,619,36821Fox
18Redemption Road$313-8%10-16$31$29,1302Freestyle Releasing
19Insidious$198115%4-3$50$54,009,08123FilmDistrict
20Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us?$193-2%2--$97$244,05051Collective Eye
21The Music Never Stopped$110--1--$110$257,86925Roadside Attractions
22Everything Must Go$10658%41$27$2,710,51817Roadside Attractions