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 Wed, Sep. 26 2012

Wide (1000+)

#TitleWed, Sep. 26 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1End of Watch$1,216,923-18%2,730--$446$17,122,0791Open Road
2Trouble with the Curve$1,048,331-15%3,212--$326$15,301,8991Warner Bros.
3Finding Nemo 3D$724,78117%2,9040$250$31,975,0242Disney
4House at the End of the Street$672,166-29%3,083--$218$14,512,2311Relativity Media
5Dredd 3D$528,144-28%2,506--$211$8,109,4471Lionsgate
6Resident Evil: Retribution$524,968-25%3,0164$174$35,236,0752Sony / Screen Gems
7Lawless$236,031-14%2,614-449$90$35,192,1014Weinstein Company
8ParaNorman$221,07464%1,617-709$137$53,050,0436Focus
9The Possession$190,179-16%2,598-262$73$45,874,6304Lionsgate
10The Odd Life of Timothy Green$139,05738%1,752-663$79$48,977,6896Disney
11The Bourne Legacy$136,655-4%1,431-739$95$110,789,0057Universal
122016: Obama's America$126,439-6%1,216--$104$32,403,54911Rocky Mountain Pictures
13The Expendables 2$120,145-15%1,820-1076$66$83,389,8356Lionsgate
14The Campaign$106,174-15%1,250-752$85$85,310,0337Warner Bros.
15Hope Springs (2012)$91,741-13%1,147-799$80$62,424,5777Sony / Columbia
16The Words$76,215-14%1,247-1554$61$11,223,1743CBS Films
17Last Ounce of Courage$65,515-13%1,064--$62$2,970,2382Rocky Mountain Pictures

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleWed, Sep. 26 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Master$383,697-1%788783$487$6,597,3922Weinstein Company
2The Dark Knight Rises$126,126-2%948-633$133$443,481,94210Warner Bros.
3Arbitrage$105,690-2%24447$433$4,154,1042Roadside Attractions
4Barfi!$40,422-37%130-2$311$2,112,9782UTV Communications
5Ice Age: Continental Drift$40,03712%420-121$95$158,668,77911Fox
6Premium Rush$32,279-20%567-772$57$19,763,6225Sony / Columbia
7Ted (2012)$26,515-9%293-118$90$217,918,02013Universal
8Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days$23,23358%374-217$62$47,832,1108Fox
9Heroine$21,753-50%114--$191$471,7831UTV Communications
10The Intouchables$20,899-11%156-24$134$12,313,42118Weinstein Company
11Moonrise Kingdom$17,74613%120-37$148$45,212,23918Focus
12For A Good Time, Call...$17,225-12%105-2$164$1,135,2364Focus
13Hit and Run$16,691-15%291-360$57$13,656,7715Open Road
14Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted$15,52213%240-66$65$215,936,22616Paramount / DreamWorks
15Beasts of the Southern Wild$15,5015%132-80$117$10,945,45313Fox Searchlight
16Step Up Revolution$9,5714%182-86$53$34,986,5779Lionsgate / Summit
17The Cold Light of Day$6,063-33%155-1356$39$3,710,6053Lionsgate / Summit

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleWed, Sep. 26 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Perks of Being A Wallflower$34,69638%4--$8,674$306,7671Lionsgate / Summit
2To the Arctic 3D$15,24741%520$293$8,698,34623Warner Bros. / IMAX
310 Years$10,53317%4340$245$131,0222Anchor Bay Films
4Indiana Jones and The Raiders of the Lost Ark: The IMAX Experience$9,00639%85-237$106$3,077,3413Paramount
5My Uncle Rafael$7,8488%14--$561$130,7931Rocky Mountain Pictures
6The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel$7,248-2%47-33$154$46,282,12721Fox Searchlight
7Born to Be Wild 3D$6,588149%330$200$20,898,88177Warner Bros. / IMAX
8The Watch$5,8143%77-61$76$34,249,2709Fox
9Tales of the Night$3,507--1--$3,507$3,5070GKIDS
10Ruby Sparks$2,919-2%43-27$68$2,486,1339Fox Searchlight
11Magic Mike$2,841-13%55-60$52$113,718,38913Warner Bros.
12Safety Not Guaranteed$2,571-11%40-6$64$3,965,66516FilmDistrict
13Toys in the Attic$830-5%6--$138$50,9933Hannover House
14Cosmopolis$630144%9-22$70$758,6966Entertainment One Films
15The Apparition$549-17%35-33$16$4,862,3815Warner Bros.
16Husbands In Goa$267-44%7--$38$5,4141UTV Communications
17Nitro Circus The Movie 3D$237-39%70$34$3,372,4467ARC Entertainment
18Branded$17-77%2-78$9$353,4133Roadside Attractions