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 Sat, Feb. 11 2012

Wide (1000+)

#TitleSat, Feb. 11 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Vow$16,673,8519%2,958--$5,637$31,966,8931Sony / Screen Gems
2Safe House$16,281,18019%3,119--$5,220$29,926,8051Universal
3Journey 2: The Mysterious Island$12,612,31693%3,470--$3,635$19,153,6781Warner Bros. / New Line
4Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace 3D$8,513,119-1%2,655--$3,206$17,115,2211Fox
5Chronicle$5,480,87354%2,9081$1,885$36,905,2632Fox
6The Woman in Black$4,584,54635%2,8561$1,605$33,124,7492CBS Films
7The Grey$2,320,98570%2,801-406$829$41,425,5663Open Road
8Big Miracle$1,845,04597%2,1334$865$12,119,5002Universal
9The Descendants$1,638,07487%1,581-457$1,036$69,744,94713Fox Searchlight
10Red Tails$1,118,29775%1,580-767$708$44,419,4654Fox
11Underworld Awakening$1,091,61363%1,657-979$659$58,196,4854Sony / Screen Gems
12One For the Money$1,022,23651%2,056-681$497$23,076,0893Lionsgate
13Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close$681,20276%1,375-1130$495$29,003,0668Warner Bros.
14Man on a Ledge$591,80048%1,423-1575$416$17,160,7093Lionsgate
15Contraband$572,93058%1,081-966$530$64,318,5505Universal

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleSat, Feb. 11 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Artist$1,044,43587%808-197$1,293$23,364,33212Weinstein Company
2Hugo$826,064129%702-328$1,177$63,863,57612Paramount
3The Iron Lady$529,83679%512-509$1,035$22,467,8487Weinstein Company
4Beauty and the Beast 3D$394,545209%678-1041$582$46,145,3125Disney
5Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol$341,10582%469-608$727$206,335,8229Paramount
6Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu$278,98342%111--$2,513$475,2281UTV Communications
7Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked$267,445181%502-316$533$128,882,3379Fox
8Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy$264,53395%232-70$1,140$21,847,79410Focus
9The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)$232,09188%269-399$863$100,676,3008Sony / Columbia
10Joyful Noise$226,92973%686-664$331$29,758,8325Warner Bros.
11War Horse$196,90172%502-661$392$78,059,9048Disney / DreamWorks
12We Bought a Zoo$172,31594%420-334$410$73,146,9658Fox
13Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows$161,95871%265-592$611$184,500,7219Warner Bros.
14The Adventures of Tintin$156,473124%257-229$609$75,757,7398Paramount
15Albert Nobbs$122,79275%151-94$813$1,952,7233Roadside Attractions
16Puss in Boots (2011)$104,692144%209-44$501$148,671,31116Paramount / DreamWorks
17My Week with Marilyn$97,28677%125-46$778$13,288,45412Weinstein Company
18Haywire$92,28558%263-988$351$18,525,6414Relativity Media
19Happy Feet Two$89,086150%202-53$441$63,613,87513Warner Bros.
20Jack and Jill$76,97096%187-35$412$73,789,18514Sony / Columbia
21The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1$74,48941%230-66$324$281,117,19813Lionsgate / Summit
22New Year's Eve$27,62743%155-67$178$54,477,82210Warner Bros. / New Line

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleSat, Feb. 11 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Born to Be Wild 3D$42,93263%44-1$976$16,124,18145Warner Bros. / IMAX
2Shame$36,92358%52-12$710$3,582,57011Fox Searchlight
3W.E.$25,44962%1713$1,497$105,2652Weinstein Company
4The Sitter$24,98873%99-27$252$30,394,50710Fox
5The Devil Inside$16,02253%95-208$169$53,141,2466Paramount
6Coriolanus$14,76096%11-3$1,342$258,9734Weinstein Company
7Pariah (2011)$10,58770%13-6$814$650,8907Focus
8Chico & Rita$9,04866%1--$9,048$14,4861GKIDS
9Immortals$8,350101%33-29$253$83,482,28514Relativity Media
10Young Adult$6,77188%35-23$193$16,254,54810Paramount
11J. Edgar$5,63437%42-93$134$37,289,51214Warner Bros.
12In the Land of Blood and Honey$4,59662%103$460$268,6298FilmDistrict
13The Darkest Hour$2,94454%18-21$164$21,215,4608Summit
14Vettai$1,525147%2-2$763$197,0665UTV Communications
15Margin Call$389170%2--$195$5,353,37617Roadside Attractions