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 Sun, Feb. 19 2012

Wide (1000+)

#TitleSun, Feb. 19 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Safe House$7,412,375-24%3,1212$2,375$77,911,1902Universal
2Journey 2: The Mysterious Island$6,920,170-18%3,50030$1,977$52,961,6242Warner Bros. / New Line
3Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance$6,469,785-26%3,174--$2,038$22,115,3341Sony / Columbia
4The Vow$6,448,359-30%2,9580$2,180$84,991,9142Sony / Screen Gems
5This Means War$4,928,641-29%3,189--$1,546$19,015,7351Fox
6Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace 3D$2,706,808-19%2,6550$1,020$33,839,6662Fox
7Chronicle$2,482,491-21%2,556-352$971$51,098,8093Fox
8The Secret World of Arrietty$2,180,325-15%1,522--$1,433$6,446,3951Disney
9The Woman in Black$2,007,896-26%2,559-297$785$45,289,8143CBS Films
10The Grey$1,044,010-21%2,107-694$495$48,035,1704Open Road
11The Descendants$974,076-25%1,243-338$784$75,015,59414Fox Searchlight
12Big Miracle$825,170-8%1,634-499$505$16,707,0103Universal
13Red Tails$459,647-23%1,009-571$456$47,558,6295Fox

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleSun, Feb. 19 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Artist$854,109-16%8080$1,057$27,529,31913Weinstein Company
2Hugo$641,130-5%558-144$1,149$66,741,80813Paramount
3Underworld Awakening$374,546-20%826-831$453$61,380,4875Sony / Screen Gems
4The Iron Lady$358,579-21%623111$576$24,423,4908Weinstein Company
5One For the Money$257,275-21%933-1123$276$25,461,1474Lionsgate
6Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close$209,835-21%577-798$364$30,630,5959Warner Bros.
7Contraband$176,400-21%420-661$420$65,765,7056Universal
8Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked$176,045-18%400-102$440$129,683,21810Fox
9Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows$170,185-27%403138$422$185,271,15610Warner Bros.
10Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy$169,169-23%184-48$919$22,695,33811Focus
11Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol$157,611-24%275-194$573$207,299,47910Paramount
12The Adventures of Tintin$135,694-18%30346$448$76,391,1709Paramount
13The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)$118,904-18%189-80$629$101,364,9149Sony / Columbia
14War Horse$104,703-13%394-108$266$78,706,2989Disney / DreamWorks
15Man on a Ledge$103,071-25%401-1022$257$18,377,4564Lionsgate
16Beauty and the Beast 3D$102,192-2%214-464$478$46,999,1186Disney
17We Bought a Zoo$95,591-25%287-133$333$73,656,6549Fox
18Puss in Boots (2011)$79,53111%163-46$488$148,998,02617Paramount / DreamWorks
19My Week with Marilyn$72,040-14%120-5$600$13,642,95813Weinstein Company
20Albert Nobbs$68,854-16%119-32$579$2,360,2314Roadside Attractions
21Joyful Noise$65,759-27%340-346$193$30,307,8946Warner Bros.
22Jack and Jill$41,812-17%134-53$312$74,020,22315Sony / Columbia
23Happy Feet Two$35,063-16%135-67$260$63,826,40014Warner Bros.
24The Darkest Hour$32,605-21%11395$289$21,319,6969Summit
25The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1$16,306-29%148-82$110$281,267,66314Lionsgate / Summit

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleSun, Feb. 19 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu$74,570-22%98-13$761$1,026,3032UTV Communications
2Born to Be Wild 3D$54,790-6%451$1,218$16,373,13046Warner Bros. / IMAX
3Haywire$23,106-21%79-184$292$18,751,4605Relativity Media
4Shame$21,561-22%44-8$490$3,720,16712Fox Searchlight
5W.E.$18,847-11%203$942$206,9463Weinstein Company
6Coriolanus$14,615-9%132$1,124$321,9655Weinstein Company
7Undefeated$12,657-2%5--$2,531$33,1651Weinstein Company
8Young Adult$9,350-19%8752$107$16,295,03311Paramount
9Pariah (2011)$7,454-8%130$573$687,9228Focus
10The Devil Inside$4,413-21%34-61$130$53,180,7847Paramount
11New Year's Eve$3,231-41%33-122$98$54,538,01311Warner Bros. / New Line
12In the Land of Blood and Honey$2,295-26%8-2$287$284,9919FilmDistrict
13J. Edgar$1,82743%11-31$166$37,304,45115Warner Bros.
14Immortals$1,366-42%29-4$47$83,502,40315Relativity Media
15Vettai$1,342125%1-1$1,342$202,5816UTV Communications