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, May. 17 2012

Wide (1000+)

#TitleThu, May. 17 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Marvel's The Avengers$6,208,368-2%4,3490$1,428$402,021,4152Disney
2The Dictator$2,865,807-31%3,003--$954$7,041,0810Paramount
3Dark Shadows$1,689,368-8%3,755--$450$38,138,4211Warner Bros.
4The Hunger Games$384,3152%2,531-263$152$388,631,1108Lionsgate
5Think Like a Man$377,850-1%2,0177$187$83,187,9114Sony / Screen Gems
6The Lucky One (2012)$309,168-1%2,839-166$109$55,156,1754Warner Bros.
7The Five-Year Engagement$274,500-4%2,569-372$107$25,992,6353Universal
8The Pirates! Band of Misfits$208,5522%2,848-510$73$23,911,5043Sony / Columbia
9Chimpanzee$161,82719%1,400-131$116$26,340,9874Disneynature
10The Raven$127,4141%1,888-321$67$15,309,1363Relativity Media
11Safe (2012)$98,590-8%1,690-581$58$16,295,7733Lionsgate
12The Cabin in the Woods$83,605-1%1,029-640$81$40,170,0735Lionsgate
13The Three Stooges$54,9603%1,027-1147$54$41,394,1375Fox

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleThu, May. 17 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel$304,373-5%178151$1,710$4,997,4412Fox Searchlight
2Girl in Progress$54,159-13%322--$168$1,678,0141Lionsgate / Pantelion
321 Jump Street$49,5486%510-530$97$135,357,2809Sony / Columbia
4Bully (2012)$48,12222%2630$183$3,029,9767Weinstein Company
5American Reunion$40,47012%521-335$78$56,231,0506Universal
6Mirror Mirror$36,996-2%607-315$61$61,147,4227Relativity Media
7Dr. Seuss' The Lorax$32,980-6%455-66$72$209,732,73011Universal
8The Artist$20,9527%751710$28$44,522,60925Weinstein Company
9Salmon Fishing in the Yemen$18,435-7%200-47$92$8,626,23610CBS Films
10Journey 2: The Mysterious Island$18,0443%260-43$69$102,652,43414Warner Bros. / New Line
11Titanic 3D$17,29212%157-176$110$57,685,6526Paramount
12Lockout$16,2167%255-56$64$14,203,4685Open Road
13Wrath of the Titans$10,323-6%265-450$39$82,043,9637Warner Bros.
14Safe House$8,1609%136-39$60$126,181,63014Universal
15This Means War$6,6553%132-39$50$54,612,14213Fox
16Jeff Who Lives at Home$6,089-2%11770$52$4,269,4269Paramount Vantage
17A Thousand Words$5,920-2%127-13$47$18,317,62610Paramount
18Act of Valor$5,2697%118-75$45$69,925,48512Relativity Media
19Tyler Perry's Good Deeds$3,72310%110-33$34$35,025,79112Lionsgate

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleThu, May. 17 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1To the Arctic 3D$69,01533%49-1$1,408$1,617,8484Warner Bros. / IMAX
2Born to Be Wild 3D$18,750-27%340$551$18,859,74558Warner Bros. / IMAX
3Sound of My Voice$6,8087%4618$148$218,8163Fox Searchlight
4The Road (2012)$5,115-5%50--$102$82,7471Freestyle Releasing
5Casa de mi Padre$3,4561%56-12$62$5,909,4839Lionsgate / Pantelion
6Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked$2,98829%67-8$45$133,071,77322Fox
7Chronicle$2,9183%51-27$57$64,523,15915Fox
8Friends With Kids$2,50521%362$70$7,215,55510Roadside Attractions
9Project X (2012)$1,769-3%40-32$44$54,731,86511Warner Bros.
10Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7th Day$1,652-2%23-7$72$1,189,1235Code Black Entertainment
11Coriolanus$1,1871%11-7$108$744,52517Weinstein Company
12Blue Like Jazz$64510%11-9$59$590,7615Roadside Attractions
13Kalakalappu @ Masala Cafe$600-43%10--$60$21,3661UTV Communications
14Undefeated$59711%130$46$544,37213Weinstein Company
15Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace 3D$53012%12-5$44$43,455,62314Fox
16Red Tails$34744%9-3$39$49,867,76117Fox
17Tonight You're Mine$226-9%2--$113$3,1521Roadside Attractions
18Touchback$148-20%4-8$37$203,6415Anchor Bay Films
19Albert Nobbs$20-77%2-3$10$3,014,69616Roadside Attractions