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 Thu, Jan. 19 2012

Wide (1000+)

#TitleThu, Jan. 19 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Contraband$1,574,650-4%2,863--$550$33,897,9201Universal
2Beauty and the Beast 3D$801,5983%2,625--$305$24,808,3801Disney
3Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol$743,5853%3,346-209$222$191,809,1875Paramount
4Joyful Noise$631,2185%2,735--$231$15,827,9821Warner Bros.
5The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)$570,899-1%2,674-276$214$91,025,0684Sony / Columbia
6Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows$568,0075%3,155-448$180$173,806,2295Warner Bros.
7War Horse$499,770-2%2,85673$175$69,134,6784Disney / DreamWorks
8The Devil Inside$381,1261%2,551266$149$48,621,1072Paramount
9We Bought a Zoo$288,4365%2,909-261$99$66,781,5854Fox
10The Adventures of Tintin$244,56313%2,073-933$118$70,102,1654Paramount
11Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked$191,4949%2,849-576$67$121,606,0375Fox
12New Year's Eve$61,16612%1,092-772$56$54,048,6926Warner Bros. / New Line
13The Darkest Hour$56,429-3%1,182-981$48$20,891,5914Summit

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleThu, Jan. 19 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Iron Lady$497,620-11%802797$620$8,901,6793Weinstein Company
2The Descendants$305,6611%660-77$463$48,887,3609Fox Searchlight
3Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy$237,733-4%88677$268$16,565,5976Focus
4The Artist$177,864-4%21644$823$9,747,9158Weinstein Company
5Hugo$94,0673%545-298$173$54,949,7828Paramount
6My Week with Marilyn$76,620-3%400-184$192$11,739,3578Weinstein Company
7The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1$56,47512%708-350$80$279,953,7399Lionsgate / Summit
8Young Adult$43,9372%387-443$114$15,937,2356Paramount
9The Sitter$41,089-2%449-309$92$29,878,6636Fox
10The Muppets$26,7058%547-689$49$86,774,9618Disney
11Happy Feet Two$23,618-2%36580$65$62,170,0539Warner Bros.
12Puss in Boots (2011)$21,4669%316-35$68$147,366,98612Paramount / DreamWorks
13Tower Heist$16,9200%260-35$65$77,643,09511Universal
14Immortals$15,777-8%18759$84$83,147,36010Relativity Media
15In Time$8,02525%106-26$76$37,397,21112Fox

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleThu, Jan. 19 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Shame$23,1951%41-4$566$2,739,4007Fox Searchlight
2Born to Be Wild 3D$11,841-3%450$263$15,562,17841Warner Bros. / IMAX
3Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close$10,94916%60$1,825$691,9074Warner Bros.
4Pariah (2011)$10,678-5%2413$445$432,6083Focus
5J. Edgar$6,2693%8-144$784$37,005,86210Warner Bros.
6In the Land of Blood and Honey$5,56724%1811$309$175,5324FilmDistrict
7Drive (2011)$3,978-1%322$124$34,983,92118FilmDistrict
8Vettai$3,76124%34--$111$114,5411UTV Communications
9Dolphin Tale$2,3256%91-58$26$72,254,79717Warner Bros.
10Margin Call$1,9187%20-10$96$5,335,95613Roadside Attractions