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 Mon, Sep. 24 2012

Wide (1000+)

#TitleMon, Sep. 24 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1End of Watch$1,268,421-63%2,730--$465$14,421,1041Open Road
2Trouble with the Curve$854,376-68%3,212--$266$13,016,4161Warner Bros.
3House at the End of the Street$611,964-73%3,083--$198$12,899,1981Relativity Media
4Dredd 3D$567,929-65%2,506--$227$6,846,4201Lionsgate
5Resident Evil: Retribution$542,746-71%3,0164$180$34,012,2762Sony / Screen Gems
6Finding Nemo 3D$457,093-83%2,9040$157$30,632,5422Disney
7Lawless$204,706-64%2,614-449$78$34,681,8404Weinstein Company
8The Possession$167,245-71%2,598-262$64$45,458,8624Lionsgate
92016: Obama's America$119,289-55%1,216--$98$32,141,89111Rocky Mountain Pictures
10ParaNorman$111,096-85%1,617-709$69$52,693,8246Focus
11The Expendables 2$107,954-71%1,820-1076$59$83,127,7596Lionsgate
12The Bourne Legacy$107,325-69%1,431-739$75$110,509,9007Universal
13The Campaign$93,420-64%1,250-752$75$85,079,6217Warner Bros.
14The Odd Life of Timothy Green$81,862-80%1,752-663$47$48,737,6906Disney
15Hope Springs (2012)$73,572-62%1,147-799$64$62,227,9557Sony / Columbia
16Last Ounce of Courage$63,502-61%1,064--$60$2,829,0372Rocky Mountain Pictures
17The Words$57,838-66%1,247-1554$46$11,058,0493CBS Films

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleMon, Sep. 24 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Master$351,070-66%788783$446$5,798,0452Weinstein Company
2The Dark Knight Rises$103,442-67%948-633$109$443,227,45610Warner Bros.
3Arbitrage$82,592-71%24447$338$3,940,7992Roadside Attractions
4Ice Age: Continental Drift$31,812-80%420-121$76$158,593,10411Fox
5Barfi!$31,321-83%130-2$241$2,008,8492UTV Communications
6Premium Rush$25,957-68%567-772$46$19,691,0595Sony / Columbia
7Ted (2012)$23,440-62%293-118$80$217,862,34013Universal
8Moonrise Kingdom$17,188-46%120-37$143$45,178,81118Focus
9Heroine$16,613-82%114--$146$406,5141UTV Communications
10The Intouchables$15,851-65%156-24$102$12,269,03418Weinstein Company
11Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days$14,846-85%374-217$40$47,794,1648Fox
12Hit and Run$14,226-58%291-360$49$13,620,4445Open Road
13For A Good Time, Call...$14,142-61%105-2$135$1,098,3944Focus
14Beasts of the Southern Wild$12,262-63%132-80$93$10,915,23513Fox Searchlight
15Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted$10,550-84%240-66$44$215,907,00116Paramount / DreamWorks
16Step Up Revolution$7,762-80%182-86$43$34,967,8309Lionsgate / Summit
17The Cold Light of Day$4,140-62%155-1356$27$3,695,5343Lionsgate / Summit

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleMon, Sep. 24 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Perks of Being A Wallflower$18,621-67%4--$4,655$246,9801Lionsgate / Summit
2To the Arctic 3D$14,890-29%520$286$8,672,27223Warner Bros. / IMAX
3Indiana Jones and The Raiders of the Lost Ark: The IMAX Experience$6,558-70%85-237$77$3,061,8613Paramount
410 Years$6,381-63%4340$148$111,4942Anchor Bay Films
5My Uncle Rafael$5,897-83%14--$421$115,6451Rocky Mountain Pictures
6The Watch$5,158-62%77-61$67$34,237,8089Fox
7The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel$4,424-63%47-33$94$46,267,48521Fox Searchlight
8Born to Be Wild 3D$4,090-31%330$124$20,889,64377Warner Bros. / IMAX
9Magic Mike$2,291-49%55-60$42$113,712,28313Warner Bros.
10Safety Not Guaranteed$2,146-59%40-6$54$3,960,19116FilmDistrict
11Ruby Sparks$1,986-61%43-27$46$2,480,2409Fox Searchlight
12Toys in the Attic$725-65%6--$121$49,2873Hannover House
13The Apparition$685-65%35-33$20$4,861,1725Warner Bros.
14Nitro Circus The Movie 3D$351-60%70$50$3,371,8207ARC Entertainment
15Cosmopolis$242-63%9-22$27$757,8086Entertainment One Films
16Husbands In Goa$187-84%7--$27$4,6701UTV Communications
17Branded$94-11%2-78$47$353,3213Roadside Attractions