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 Tue, Jan. 3 2012

Wide (1000+)

#TitleTue, Jan. 3 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol$3,428,017-61%3,4557$992$144,614,6633Paramount
2Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows$2,558,120-57%3,7030$691$139,468,3393Warner Bros.
3The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)$2,076,721-52%2,9140$713$62,027,6742Sony / Columbia
4Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked$1,931,414-62%3,72441$519$99,779,5283Fox
5The Adventures of Tintin$1,707,277-57%3,0870$553$53,107,7272Paramount
6War Horse$1,566,288-57%2,547171$615$45,656,0742Disney / DreamWorks
7We Bought a Zoo$1,516,891-60%3,16346$480$46,007,8902Fox
8New Year's Eve$606,315-52%2,2250$273$47,864,1384Warner Bros. / New Line
9The Darkest Hour$587,176-46%2,3273$252$14,802,8102Summit
10The Sitter$301,037-40%1,348-138$223$27,117,3774Fox
11The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1$299,396-50%1,4110$212$276,424,8727Lionsgate / Summit
12The Muppets$277,177-73%1,5415$180$83,838,2506Disney
13Arthur Christmas$115,478-54%1,343-181$86$46,188,6416Sony / Columbia

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleTue, Jan. 3 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Descendants$371,550-58%7585$490$40,687,2157Fox Searchlight
2Young Adult$301,218-50%9870$305$12,970,4704Paramount
3Hugo$281,983-67%9510$297$50,595,4786Paramount
4The Artist$178,394-56%1670$1,068$5,627,1116Weinstein Company
5My Week with Marilyn$143,888-47%63028$228$9,351,1086Weinstein Company
6Puss in Boots (2011)$111,038-56%3890$285$145,849,36510Paramount / DreamWorks
7Happy Feet Two$63,410-60%5250$121$61,029,2767Warner Bros.
8J. Edgar$35,202-55%4550$77$36,686,0338Warner Bros.
9Tower Heist$34,155-50%253-30$135$76,836,3809Universal
10Dolphin Tale$24,524-53%1880$130$72,040,49315Warner Bros.
11Immortals$23,534-45%2280$103$82,722,9668Relativity Media
12A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas$18,776-44%2450$77$34,947,3219Warner Bros. / New Line
13In Time$16,915-44%12311$138$37,093,33010Fox
14Footloose (2011)$12,230-86%1820$67$51,682,74212Paramount
15Paranormal Activity 3$7,143-51%1240$58$104,014,97111Paramount

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleTue, Jan. 3 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy$118,994-63%572$2,088$4,399,1804Focus
2Shame$40,477-48%555$736$2,084,3425Fox Searchlight
3Born to Be Wild 3D$21,192-41%490$432$15,204,85739Warner Bros. / IMAX
4The Iron Lady$20,285-69%4--$5,071$306,0941Weinstein Company
5Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close$15,526-61%60$2,588$367,9432Warner Bros.
6The Way$8,036-54%4720$171$4,195,44413Producers Distribution Agency
7Pariah (2011)$6,548-61%4--$1,637$108,3031Focus
8Drive (2011)$4,452-38%25-1$178$34,844,64316FilmDistrict
9Margin Call$3,813-51%29-1$131$5,258,00011Roadside Attractions
10Like Crazy$2,401-41%300$80$3,374,50110Paramount Vantage
11In the Land of Blood and Honey$1,734-59%2-1$867$55,0902FilmDistrict
12Inni$1569%10$156$117,84710Cinema Purgatorio