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, Sep. 29 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleThu, Sep. 29 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Lion King 3D$2,208,34731%2,3300$948$68,594,1492Disney
2Moneyball$1,733,96518%2,993--$579$25,968,5381Sony / Columbia
3Dolphin Tale$1,662,385100%3,507--$474$23,271,3771Warner Bros.
4Killer Elite$752,2704%2,986--$252$12,584,4471Open Road
5Contagion$723,09615%3,136-86$231$59,662,4653Warner Bros.
6Abduction$682,30517%3,118--$219$13,489,1881Lionsgate
7Drive (2011)$588,8549%2,90418$203$23,713,3152FilmDistrict
8The Help$548,81416%1,964-1050$279$156,357,0287Disney / DreamWorks
9I Don't Know How She Does It$230,92210%2,49014$93$8,820,4382Weinstein Company
10Straw Dogs (2011)$201,5707%2,4080$84$9,641,2222Sony / Screen Gems
11The Debt$132,65419%1,067-764$124$29,444,8674Focus
12Warrior (2011)$112,52714%1,411-472$80$12,622,4043Lionsgate
13Rise of the Planet of the Apes$96,01120%1,178-1162$82$173,941,5548Fox
14Spy Kids: All The Time in the World$86,440260%1,207-443$72$37,184,7956Weinstein Company

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleThu, Sep. 29 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Laugh at My Pain$92,90514%28757$324$5,515,4883CodeBlack Entertainment
2Colombiana$91,71024%847-1086$108$35,438,0675Sony / TriStar
3Crazy, Stupid, Love$84,28717%675-470$125$82,365,4579Warner Bros.
4Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2$41,58716%320-281$130$378,972,34711Warner Bros.
5The Smurfs$40,18556%669-750$60$138,472,9969Sony / Columbia
6Shark Night 3D$36,01718%637-1445$57$18,350,4174Relativity Media
7Transformers: Dark of the Moon$30,1466%251-55$120$352,021,37813Paramount / DreamWorks
8Horrible Bosses$28,6138%313-131$91$117,052,18912Warner Bros. / New Line
9Captain America: The First Avenger$26,802-7%334-206$80$174,894,21110Paramount
10Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2011)$26,5702%424-910$63$23,579,3685FilmDistrict
11Our Idiot Brother$26,01611%411-1336$63$24,538,9725Weinstein Company
12Cowboys & Aliens$22,4501%345-269$65$99,365,8169Universal
13Sarah's Key$20,04622%151-115$133$6,660,27910Weinstein Company
14Final Destination 5$15,2413%254-48$60$42,445,3447Warner Bros. / New Line
15Apollo 18$12,5575%339-1456$37$17,433,8204Weinstein Company
16The Change-Up$11,8308%169-138$70$37,081,4758Universal
17Super 8$8,60925%117-42$74$127,004,17916Paramount
18Bridesmaids$7,7808%111-59$70$169,106,72520Universal
19Mr. Popper's Penguins$6,51226%153-60$43$68,061,66215Fox
20Kung Fu Panda 2$5,17220%113-29$46$165,249,06318Paramount / DreamWorks

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleThu, Sep. 29 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Born to Be Wild 3D$24,92788%490$509$13,069,67325Warner Bros. / IMAX
2Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame$9,0703%4829$189$301,9024Indomina Media
3The Tree of Life$6,31833%39-2$162$13,228,32918Fox Searchlight
4Circumstance$4,89223%29-2$169$325,3365Roadside Attractions
5Thunder Soul$4,13543%35--$118$64,8521Roadside Attractions
6Machine Gun Preacher$3,5814%4--$895$58,1991Relativity Media
7Conan the Barbarian (2011)$2,4266%56-98$43$21,220,3996Lionsgate
8Saving Private Perez$2,001-24%44-72$45$1,400,7264Lionsgate / Pantelion
9Green Lantern (2011)$1,919-3%49-54$39$116,601,17215Warner Bros.
10Monte Carlo$1,839-7%34-12$54$23,186,76913Fox
11Project Nim$1,412-5%181$78$395,93412Roadside Attractions
12The Future$1,305-17%27-2$48$527,3039Roadside Attractions
13The Devil's Double$976-10%4823$20$1,361,5129Lionsgate