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 Sun, Apr. 21 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleSun, Apr. 21 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Oblivion (2013)$9,041,355-39%3,783--$2,390$37,054,4851Universal
242 (2013)$4,502,324-44%3,250247$1,385$53,753,5112Warner Bros.
3The Croods$2,590,884-41%3,435-254$754$154,633,0375Fox / DreamWorks Animation
4G.I. Joe: Retaliation$1,580,608-40%3,175-360$498$111,200,1574Paramount
5The Place Beyond the Pines$1,316,491-40%1,5421028$854$11,642,6454Focus
6Scary Movie 5$1,266,006-55%3,4020$372$22,798,1762Weinstein / Dimension
7Olympus Has Fallen$1,176,565-43%2,638-297$446$88,776,7955FilmDistrict
8Jurassic Park 3D$1,130,050-39%2,330-448$485$38,525,3753Universal
9Evil Dead$1,009,690-42%2,823-202$358$48,456,9513Sony / TriStar
10Oz: The Great and Powerful$804,398-44%2,045-459$393$223,726,7527Disney
11Tyler Perry's Temptation$543,258-47%1,405-400$387$48,884,4564Lionsgate
12The Host (2013)$232,003-50%1,356-816$171$25,178,8784Open Road

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleSun, Apr. 21 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Filly Brown$395,480-3%188--$2,104$1,478,3231Lionsgate / Pantelion
2The Call$222,297-44%977-653$228$50,100,4436Sony / TriStar
3The Lords of Salem$153,087-25%355--$431$642,9421Anchor Bay Films
4Silver Linings Playbook$128,513-53%867416$148$131,030,87523Weinstein Company
5Trance$106,744-42%4435$241$1,826,3963Fox Searchlight
6Identity Thief$105,600-56%480-84$220$132,675,99511Universal
7Side Effects (2013)$83,939-40%645592$130$31,803,64511Open Road
8Admission$73,375-56%485-424$151$17,452,4975Focus
9The Sapphires$65,859-47%11421$578$1,137,7275Weinstein Company
10Jack the Giant Slayer$55,075-44%255-76$216$63,261,1268Warner Bros. / New Line
11Safe Haven$48,163-50%32548$148$70,876,74510Relativity Media
12The Incredible Burt Wonderstone$44,023-35%265-9$166$22,339,6676Warner Bros. / New Line
13Life of Pi$44,014-42%193-24$228$124,525,08422Fox
14Quartet$43,817-40%176-48$249$17,843,84415Weinstein Company
15Escape From Planet Earth$42,815-37%240-36$178$54,849,38110Weinstein Company
16Warm Bodies$39,876-42%240-39$166$66,118,64312Lionsgate / Summit
17Girl Rising$32,822-12%170122$193$849,4847Gathr Films
18Spring Breakers$28,794-31%122-304$236$13,831,7486A24
19A Good Day to Die Hard$26,416-39%170-40$155$67,153,51310Fox
20Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters$19,531-29%112-42$174$55,682,07013Paramount
21Snitch (2013)$19,214-48%161-54$119$42,111,9929Lionsgate / Summit

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleSun, Apr. 21 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1From Up on Poppy Hill$22,295-33%48-1$464$722,4246GKIDS
2Dark Skies$16,566-46%9166$182$17,293,0659Weinstein / Dimension
3Parental Guidance$13,023-53%900$145$77,184,90717Fox
4Camp (2013)$10,850-31%32--$339$230,0459Freestyle Releasing
521 And Over$10,318-37%50-57$206$25,505,4758Relativity Media
6To the Arctic 3D$9,846-35%520$189$12,197,94253Warner Bros. / IMAX
7Django Unchained$9,257-51%77-49$120$162,760,25617Weinstein Company
8Emperor$7,826-33%64-32$122$3,274,2487Roadside Attractions
9Not Today$6,514-6%20-21$326$138,6772Freestyle Releasing
10Starbuck$6,198-49%29-3$214$3,696,7785eOne Films US
11The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey$4,976-35%51-4$98$303,001,22919Warner Bros. / New Line
12Argo$3,915-49%43-129$91$136,019,44828Warner Bros.
13Born to Be Wild 3D$2,980-54%300$99$22,493,946107Warner Bros. / IMAX
14Stoker$2,753-38%28-2$98$1,690,8878Fox Searchlight
15Un Flic (2013 re-issue)$2,631-45%1--$2,631$10,3411Rialto Pictures
16Free Angela and All Political Prisoners$996-21%2-11$498$124,3663CodeBlack Films
17Settai$919-56%2-13$460$84,4053UTV Motion Pictures
18Pawn$303-23%1--$303$2,1371Anchor Bay Films
19Kai Po Che$222-57%21$111$1,121,8169UTV Motion Pictures
20Himmatwala$8156%1-2$81$270,8804UTV Motion Pictures