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, Oct. 3 2012

Wide (1000+)

#TitleWed, Oct. 3 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Looper$1,552,486-34%2,992--$519$26,491,0091Sony / TriStar
2Hotel Transylvania$1,540,030-30%3,349--$460$48,054,9241Sony / Columbia
3End of Watch$649,935-27%2,78050$234$28,222,0082Open Road
4Trouble with the Curve$523,076-32%3,2120$163$25,281,8212Warner Bros.
5House at the End of the Street$365,229-28%3,0830$118$23,448,3562Relativity Media
6Resident Evil: Retribution$266,325-24%2,381-635$112$39,590,5973Sony / Screen Gems
7Dredd 3D$249,144-28%2,55751$97$11,797,3912Lionsgate
8Finding Nemo 3D$225,618-18%2,639-265$85$37,171,5893Disney
9Won't Back Down$188,972-33%2,515--$75$3,274,7761Fox
10Lawless$91,419-22%1,503-1111$61$36,578,3685Weinstein Company
11The Possession$85,790-12%1,618-980$53$47,682,2085Lionsgate
12The Odd Life of Timothy Green$53,210-4%1,187-565$45$49,868,6687Disney
13ParaNorman$43,045-18%1,209-408$36$54,074,0517Focus

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleWed, Oct. 3 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Pitch Perfect$391,950-16%335--$1,170$6,383,9081Universal
2The Master$181,370-36%85668$212$10,245,5843Weinstein Company
3The Perks of Being A Wallflower$79,499-15%10298$779$1,684,3582Lionsgate / Summit
4The Dark Knight Rises$73,197-18%655-293$112$444,613,16411Warner Bros.
5Arbitrage$61,371-40%25612$240$5,343,1513Roadside Attractions
6The Bourne Legacy$53,560-19%824-607$65$111,872,9958Universal
7The Campaign$44,233-23%630-620$70$86,042,3478Warner Bros.
8The Expendables 2$39,533-26%815-1005$49$84,158,3987Lionsgate
9Ice Age: Continental Drift$20,578-22%387-33$53$159,149,40512Fox
10Ted (2012)$19,125-15%225-68$85$218,177,05014Universal
11Barfi!$16,168-32%127-3$127$2,514,5263UTV Communications
12The Intouchables$12,237-42%121-35$101$12,516,08119Weinstein Company
13The Words$11,725-45%278-969$42$11,479,2234CBS Films
14Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days$9,049-19%332-42$27$48,065,1219Fox
15Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted$8,444-23%203-37$42$216,122,87417Paramount / DreamWorks
16Hit and Run$5,588-9%132-159$42$13,730,3826Open Road
17Step Up Revolution$4,209-9%110-72$38$35,070,44310Lionsgate / Summit
18The Cold Light of Day$3,191-33%104-51$31$3,760,2854Lionsgate / Summit

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleWed, Oct. 3 2012LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1To the Arctic 3D$15,91831%520$306$8,845,58024Warner Bros. / IMAX
2Moonrise Kingdom$7,463-22%82-38$91$45,317,91719Focus
3Born to Be Wild 3D$6,27472%330$190$20,943,02178Warner Bros. / IMAX
4Beasts of the Southern Wild$6,183-27%69-63$90$11,051,52514Fox Searchlight
5For A Good Time, Call...$6,137-12%84-21$73$1,224,0175Focus
6The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel$5,0317%32-15$157$46,328,95622Fox Searchlight
7Heroine$4,800-47%97-17$49$578,1732UTV Communications
810 Years$4,585-8%6320$73$191,4653Anchor Bay Films
9The Watch$3,586-6%46-31$78$34,298,55310Fox
10Thaandavam$3,409-48%45--$76$143,8481UTV Communications
11The Apparition$3,158-10%6530$49$4,911,1376Warner Bros.
12Indiana Jones and The Raiders of the Lost Ark: The IMAX Experience$2,438-7%40-45$61$3,121,8314Paramount
13Ruby Sparks$1,090-34%17-26$64$2,502,84310Fox Searchlight
14Safety Not Guaranteed$970-47%34-6$29$3,984,89617FilmDistrict
15Cosmopolis$488152%5-4$98$762,8807Entertainment One Films
16Toys in the Attic$3357%60$56$60,7164Hannover House
17Nitro Circus The Movie 3D$17422%70$25$3,375,1428ARC Entertainment
18Husbands In Goa$4014%4-3$10$7,5752UTV Communications
19Branded$40700%1-1$40$353,5134Roadside Attractions