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, Jan. 21 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleMon, Jan. 21 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Mama$3,745,505-50%2,647--$1,415$32,147,8151Universal
2Zero Dark Thirty$2,802,769-30%2,9469$951$56,945,1385Sony / Columbia
3Silver Linings Playbook$1,987,543-34%2,5231713$788$56,699,64910Weinstein Company
4Les Miserables (2012)$1,521,610-30%2,579-348$590$131,571,6254Universal
5Gangster Squad$1,487,638-36%3,1030$479$33,238,2382Warner Bros.
6Django Unchained$1,460,313-31%2,516-496$580$139,334,8484Weinstein Company
7The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey$1,446,369-24%2,323-689$623$288,613,0516Warner Bros. / New Line
8Parental Guidance$1,380,4188%2,337-620$591$67,657,9904Fox
9A Haunted House$1,302,007-42%2,1600$603$31,085,2072Open Road
10Lincoln$1,202,965-20%2,174147$553$161,814,30711Disney / DreamWorks
11Broken City$1,190,551-35%2,620--$454$9,459,4591Fox
12The Last Stand$931,894-45%2,913--$320$7,213,3271Lionsgate
13Life of Pi$855,561-19%1,256499$681$100,044,4919Fox
14Wreck-It Ralph$748,13659%1,312836$570$181,557,91412Disney
15Jack Reacher$447,958-23%1,707-1000$262$76,863,2385Paramount
16This is 40$264,880-47%1,232-1088$215$65,178,6855Universal
17Texas Chainsaw 3D$159,984-52%1,474-1185$109$33,622,8713Lionsgate

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleMon, Jan. 21 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Impossible$535,944-27%88678$605$10,728,7475Lionsgate / Summit
2Argo$454,086-27%756135$601$115,238,58715Warner Bros.
3Monsters, Inc. 3D$282,5755%565-562$500$31,975,6355Disney
4Rise of The Guardians$265,04134%474-431$559$99,762,1469Paramount / DreamWorks
5Skyfall$174,654-30%507-316$344$301,030,96911Sony / Columbia
6Hotel Transylvania$132,41312%237--$559$147,211,39417Sony / Columbia
7The Guilt Trip$119,552-31%642-964$186$35,817,3305Paramount
8The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2$69,217-32%306-236$226$290,783,01210Lionsgate / Summit
9Hyde Park on Hudson$68,995-39%194-52$356$4,930,2217Focus
10Here Comes the Boom$66,69014%209--$319$44,712,69215Sony / Columbia
11Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away$57,274-28%265-165$216$12,222,2385Paramount
12Flight$55,091-31%300150$184$93,146,14812Paramount
13Red Dawn (2012)$49,278-23%24924$198$44,337,2689FilmDistrict
14Rust and Bone$40,578--168--$242$1,501,8859Sony Pictures Classics
15Anna Karenina (2012)$28,530-44%117-27$244$12,262,64410Focus
16Frankenweenie$25,664--100--$257$35,172,45316Disney
17Promised Land (2012)$22,580-25%134-1513$169$7,556,7084Focus
18Taken 2$20,212-29%156-34$130$139,674,08316Fox
19Pitch Perfect$16,250-24%125-29$130$64,912,84317Universal
20Hitchcock$14,219-27%122-5$117$5,788,2099Fox Searchlight

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleMon, Jan. 21 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Amour$72,491--36--$2,014$1,217,7725Sony Pictures Classics
2Quartet$41,858-56%3230$1,308$418,1982Weinstein Company
3Beasts of the Southern Wild$32,864--71--$463$11,487,86930Fox Searchlight
4To the Arctic 3D$27,3714%520$526$10,888,20240Warner Bros. / IMAX
5LUV$19,009-11%45--$422$102,2031Indomina Media
6Born to Be Wild 3D$13,3190%300$444$21,787,67994Warner Bros. / IMAX
7The Perks of Being A Wallflower$11,759-27%73-27$161$17,671,12818Lionsgate / Summit
8The Sessions$8,486-32%628$137$5,802,27114Fox Searchlight
9Ice Age: Continental Drift$7,452--40-8$186$161,276,53928Fox
10Cloud Atlas$4,884-48%58-104$84$27,098,58013Warner Bros.
11Searching For Sugar Man$4,737--27--$175$3,140,48326Sony Pictures Classics
12The Master$3,860-13%14-2$276$16,048,22119Weinstein Company
13A Late Quartet$3,489-38%14-3$249$1,448,28712Entertainment One / RKO
14Playing For Keeps (2012)$3,017-22%58-49$52$12,938,5267FilmDistrict
15The Rabbi's Cat$2,010-35%7--$287$19,3237GKIDS
16West of Memphis$1,610--9--$179$57,4164Sony Pictures Classics
17Not Fade Away$1,580-38%56-121$28$607,3275Paramount Vantage
18The Waiting Room$1,300--3--$433$180,63817International Film Circuit
19Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel$941--7--$134$985,14518IDP/Samuel Goldwyn
20Robot & Frank$610--10--$61$3,325,03823IDP/Samuel Goldwyn
21North Sea Texas$257--1--$257$25,85012Strand Releasing
22Officer Down$123-29%1--$123$1,1841Anchor Bay Films
23California Solo$40--1--$40$15,3688Strand Releasing