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 Thu, Apr. 25 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleThu, Apr. 25 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Oblivion (2013)$2,080,650-9%3,783--$550$47,287,5001Universal
242 (2013)$1,044,184-4%3,250247$321$58,354,3722Warner Bros.
3The Croods$428,312-1%3,435-254$125$156,424,7835Fox / DreamWorks Animation
4The Place Beyond the Pines$398,871-11%1,5421028$259$13,524,8714Focus
5G.I. Joe: Retaliation$361,639-3%3,175-360$114$112,776,1434Paramount
6Olympus Has Fallen$342,118-11%2,638-297$130$90,308,4725FilmDistrict
7Evil Dead$313,198-6%2,823-202$111$49,867,7583Sony / TriStar
8Scary Movie 5$276,841-2%3,4020$81$24,036,9362Weinstein / Dimension
9Jurassic Park 3D$267,950-8%2,330-448$115$39,690,3753Universal
10Oz: The Great and Powerful$172,248-3%2,045-459$84$224,448,1397Disney
11Tyler Perry's Temptation$143,946-3%1,405-400$102$49,534,3234Lionsgate
12The Host (2013)$74,234-1%1,356-816$55$25,487,0864Open Road

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleThu, Apr. 25 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Call$66,829-12%977-653$68$50,403,6336Sony / TriStar
2Girl Rising$53,00256%170122$312$992,4577Gathr Films
3Filly Brown$51,140-11%188--$272$1,745,0911Lionsgate / Pantelion
4Silver Linings Playbook$45,199-8%867416$52$131,225,34223Weinstein Company
5The Lords of Salem$43,311-15%355--$122$855,2931Anchor Bay Films
6Trance$40,787-12%4435$92$2,006,7973Fox Searchlight
7Side Effects (2013)$30,568-16%645592$47$31,946,13311Open Road
8Admission$29,752-6%485-424$61$17,578,3015Focus
9Identity Thief$28,785-14%480-84$60$132,810,38011Universal
10The Sapphires$23,934-13%11421$210$1,236,1645Weinstein Company
11Quartet$22,72212%176-48$129$17,923,11415Weinstein Company
12Safe Haven$19,8612%32548$61$70,954,68810Relativity Media
13Life of Pi$15,145-2%193-24$78$124,586,21222Fox
14The Incredible Burt Wonderstone$13,809-6%265-9$52$22,398,5096Warner Bros. / New Line
15Jack the Giant Slayer$12,8386%255-76$50$63,313,1078Warner Bros. / New Line
16Warm Bodies$12,7904%240-39$53$66,166,78312Lionsgate / Summit
17Spring Breakers$11,532-19%122-304$95$13,889,7586A24
18A Good Day to Die Hard$8,307-5%170-40$49$67,187,37710Fox
19Escape From Planet Earth$8,171-37%240-36$34$54,888,54710Weinstein Company
20Snitch (2013)$6,286-4%161-54$39$42,138,8319Lionsgate / Summit
21Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters$5,7065%112-42$51$55,703,47513Paramount

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleThu, Apr. 25 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1To the Arctic 3D$11,95526%520$230$12,239,88453Warner Bros. / IMAX
2From Up on Poppy Hill$6,7883%48-1$141$745,9116GKIDS
3The Lost Medallion: The Adventures of Billy Stone$6,43646%31--$208$470,9068Methinx Entertainment
421 And Over$5,102-3%50-57$102$25,526,9818Relativity Media
5Dark Skies$5,013-14%9166$55$17,316,0459Weinstein / Dimension
6Born to Be Wild 3D$4,53927%300$151$22,507,246107Warner Bros. / IMAX
7Camp (2013)$3,891-17%3211$122$245,6769Freestyle Releasing
8Django Unchained$3,6094%77-49$47$162,774,77217Weinstein Company
9Emperor$3,4332%64-32$54$3,288,0297Roadside Attractions
10Parental Guidance$3,2011%900$36$77,197,70217Fox
11Starbuck$2,81314%29-3$97$3,706,7675eOne Films US
12Un Flic (2013 re-issue)$2,157-6%1--$2,157$18,4921Rialto Pictures
13Not Today$1,68218%20-21$84$144,8862Freestyle Releasing
14Argo$1,375-14%43-129$32$136,025,50328Warner Bros.
15Stoker$1,161-29%28-2$41$1,696,4458Fox Searchlight
16The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey$80364%51-4$16$303,003,56819Warner Bros. / New Line
17Free Angela and All Political Prisoners$75673%2-11$378$126,4053CodeBlack Films
18Pawn$21455%1--$214$2,7921Anchor Bay Films
19Settai$108-50%2-13$54$85,4333UTV Motion Pictures
20Kai Po Che$20--21$10$1,121,9939UTV Motion Pictures