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 Sat, Feb. 16 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleSat, Feb. 16 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1A Good Day to Die Hard$10,165,91641%3,553--$2,861$25,609,3661Fox
2Identity Thief$9,906,45052%3,16524$3,130$63,714,2302Universal
3Safe Haven$8,381,64718%3,223--$2,601$24,337,2241Relativity Media
4Escape From Planet Earth$6,680,25480%3,288--$2,032$10,381,5081Weinstein Company
5Warm Bodies$3,662,06041%2,897-112$1,264$47,486,4143Lionsgate / Summit
6Beautiful Creatures (2013)$3,037,09532%2,950--$1,030$7,876,9261Warner Bros.
7Silver Linings Playbook$2,721,64178%2,202-607$1,236$96,622,05014Weinstein Company
8Side Effects (2013)$2,654,41758%2,6050$1,019$17,155,2642Open Road
9Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters$1,487,34371%2,103-1182$707$48,588,4384Paramount
10Zero Dark Thirty$1,280,35891%1,527-1035$838$86,881,0829Sony / Columbia
11Mama$1,161,84053%1,648-1029$705$67,400,0955Universal
12Lincoln$705,08697%1,007-510$700$175,651,64915Disney / DreamWorks
13Django Unchained$641,49676%1,017-485$631$156,497,9748Weinstein Company

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleSat, Feb. 16 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Argo$961,47497%903-502$1,065$126,111,98019Warner Bros.
2Life of Pi$644,14794%647-277$996$110,278,29913Fox
3Quartet$557,05264%33389$1,673$6,473,6056Weinstein Company
4The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey$426,39696%605-396$705$299,527,80410Warner Bros. / New Line
5Les Miserables (2012)$361,66075%676-771$535$145,233,8208Universal
6Wreck-It Ralph$343,76297%506-251$679$185,252,04516Disney
7The Impossible$205,67974%422-317$487$17,350,7039Lionsgate / Summit
8Parental Guidance$204,21672%603-616$339$74,986,7258Fox
9Rise of The Guardians$178,40899%33863$528$101,227,85513Paramount / DreamWorks
10Parker$176,29353%705-1299$250$16,847,8874FilmDistrict
11A Haunted House$131,41175%340-573$387$39,454,2746Open Road
12The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2$119,06172%25494$469$291,681,73814Lionsgate / Summit
13Skyfall$116,25660%262-108$444$303,819,94115Sony / Columbia
14Bullet to the Head$98,24460%470-1934$209$9,153,3613Warner Bros.
15Gangster Squad$79,84349%210-732$380$45,277,8876Warner Bros.
16Jack Reacher$56,19751%175-132$321$79,299,3299Paramount
17This is 40$41,75047%167-111$250$67,403,5809Universal
18Stand Up Guys$41,28747%119-551$347$3,124,4043Lionsgate / Roadside
19Hotel Transylvania$38,760107%144-47$269$148,248,97421Sony / Columbia
20Broken City$34,23344%133-622$257$19,462,9455Fox

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleSat, Feb. 16 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Top Gun 3D$55,09647%40-260$1,377$2,909,5812Paramount
2Hyde Park on Hudson$42,93461%86-44$499$5,982,99011Focus
3To the Arctic 3D$32,98773%520$634$11,251,62344Warner Bros. / IMAX
4Texas Chainsaw 3D$24,46876%96-89$255$34,267,4347Lionsgate
5Here Comes the Boom$24,04880%96-48$251$45,257,85819Sony / Columbia
6ABCD - Any Body Can Dance$21,95891%22-3$998$159,5892UTV Motion Pictures
7The Guilt Trip$20,69644%88-137$235$36,778,1949Paramount
8Anna Karenina (2012)$15,20550%51-40$298$12,747,40714Focus
9Born to Be Wild 3D$14,62823%300$488$21,966,29198Warner Bros. / IMAX
10Red Dawn (2012)$11,95267%56-49$213$44,786,04613FilmDistrict
11The Last Stand$10,25068%54-185$190$11,950,1535Lionsgate
12Race 2$7,183114%11-52$653$1,559,7204UTV Motion Pictures
13Movie 43$7,08213%35-742$202$8,773,6524Relativity Media
14A Late Quartet$5,397135%131$415$1,526,22516Entertainment One / RKO
15The Sessions$5,379115%16-2$336$5,950,09318Fox Searchlight
16Hitchcock$4,03549%14-22$288$5,941,20213Fox Searchlight
17Playing For Keeps (2012)$3,35948%23-58$146$13,097,41211FilmDistrict
18Lost in Thailand$3,06948%350$88$52,4172WAMCR
19Taken 2$2,53264%16-19$158$139,850,17020Fox
20The Package (2013)$422-25%1--$422$9811Anchor Bay Films