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. 24 2012

Wide (1000+)

#TitleThu, May. 24 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Marvel's The Avengers$4,445,16712%4,249-100$1,046$476,684,7883Disney
2Battleship$1,678,9501%3,690--$455$33,505,3451Universal
3The Dictator$1,542,6411%3,0085$513$31,848,1041Paramount
4Dark Shadows$1,151,34210%3,7550$307$55,482,8962Warner Bros.
5What to Expect When You're Expecting$1,051,6347%3,021--$348$15,021,2481Lionsgate
6The Hunger Games$399,29521%2,064-467$193$393,008,7859Lionsgate
7Think Like a Man$257,4127%1,722-295$149$86,871,9415Sony / Screen Gems
8The Lucky One (2012)$206,12819%2,005-834$103$57,712,8335Warner Bros.
9The Pirates! Band of Misfits$168,39513%1,840-1008$92$26,204,3044Sony / Columbia
10The Five-Year Engagement$135,12510%1,175-1394$115$27,655,2854Universal

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleThu, May. 24 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel$471,0052%354176$1,331$10,203,4963Fox Searchlight
2Chimpanzee$99,72416%895-505$111$27,373,6465Disneynature
3The Cabin in the Woods$52,2389%448-581$117$40,758,7216Lionsgate
4Mirror Mirror$46,56833%407-200$114$61,718,2578Relativity Media
5Dr. Seuss' The Lorax$45,48020%379-76$120$210,363,77012Universal
6Wrath of the Titans$40,9411%36095$114$82,695,3768Warner Bros.
7The Three Stooges$39,58310%594-433$67$41,981,3546Fox
8Bully (2012)$37,126-10%204-59$182$3,254,4738Weinstein Company
9Girl in Progress$34,72010%3220$108$2,278,2732Lionsgate / Pantelion
10Safe (2012)$34,0201%503-1187$68$16,736,9534Lionsgate
11The Raven$33,9813%432-1456$79$15,675,4904Relativity Media
12American Reunion$24,65031%290-231$85$56,592,1057Universal
13Journey 2: The Mysterious Island$20,22722%245-15$83$102,933,49315Warner Bros. / New Line
14Salmon Fishing in the Yemen$16,37321%134-66$122$8,780,83511CBS Films
15Lockout$8,89416%191-64$47$14,326,8656Open Road
16A Thousand Words$6,17514%110-17$56$18,398,11811Paramount
17The Artist$4,24718%103-648$41$44,563,75026Weinstein Company

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleThu, May. 24 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1To the Arctic 3D$73,41216%490$1,498$2,084,7715Warner Bros. / IMAX
2Born to Be Wild 3D$21,69825%340$638$19,003,85659Warner Bros. / IMAX
3Crooked Arrows$19,11732%55--$348$318,4351Branded/Peck Films
4Titanic 3D$8,78940%70-87$126$57,767,5917Paramount
5Sound of My Voice$6,2309%37-9$168$272,9404Fox Searchlight
6This Means War$5,8377%90-42$65$54,692,77014Fox
7Act of Valor$4,98531%96-22$52$69,994,27713Relativity Media
8Friends With Kids$1,625-13%25-11$65$7,232,75911Roadside Attractions
9Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7th Day$1,1320%17-6$67$1,206,6836Code Black Entertainment
10The Road (2012)$1,12330%10-40$112$92,4762Freestyle Releasing
11Coriolanus$1,118-23%8-3$140$754,30218Weinstein Company
12Lovely Molly$994-8%5--$199$16,5541Image Entertainment
13Undefeated$7423%9-4$82$551,21414Weinstein Company
14Blue Like Jazz$398-9%7-4$57$593,9746Roadside Attractions
15Red Tails$199-31%3-6$66$49,869,88118Fox
16Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace 3D$5216%1-11$52$43,456,13215Fox