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 Mon, Sep. 9 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleMon, Sep. 9 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Riddick$1,398,150-69%3,107--$450$20,428,5251Universal
2Lee Daniels' The Butler$662,659-68%3,3300$199$92,065,7654Weinstein Company
3We're the Millers$577,143-68%3,4450$168$124,191,0745Warner Bros. / New Line
4Elysium$267,852-66%2,241-298$120$85,386,4515Sony / TriStar
5The World's End$199,276-65%1,520-33$131$21,983,3873Focus
6This Is The End$187,068-60%2,1612127$87$99,034,98013Sony / Columbia
7Planes$184,201-85%3,033-226$61$79,309,1965Disney
8The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones$153,978-74%2,519-599$61$28,005,1823Sony / Screen Gems
9Getaway$144,106-72%2,1355$67$8,824,2692Warner Bros.
10One Direction: This Is Us$128,778-87%2,7350$47$24,065,7432Sony / TriStar
11You're Next$122,591-66%1,902-535$64$17,029,6233Lionsgate
122 Guns$110,675-67%1,165-246$95$72,188,0956Universal
13Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters$101,366-85%2,045-348$50$59,874,6715Fox
14Despicable Me 2$68,250-84%1,050-234$65$357,626,56510Universal

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleMon, Sep. 9 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Instructions Not Included$582,582-82%717369$813$20,943,4752Lionsgate / Pantelion
2The Grandmaster$92,146-68%80455$115$5,051,1523Weinstein Company
3Closed Circuit$80,307-63%8700$92$5,103,9742Focus
4The Spectacular Now$58,474-65%41530$141$4,834,2106A24
5The Wolverine$57,273-68%698-290$82$129,468,4067Fox
6The Conjuring$56,061-65%716-187$78$135,242,0468Warner Bros. / New Line
7Kick-Ass 2$49,650-67%662-984$75$28,144,2104Universal
8The Ultimate Life$41,560-72%412--$101$701,4721High Top Releasing
9World War Z$37,908-68%374-873$101$201,396,92712Paramount
10Jobs$33,744-67%502-800$67$15,557,8724Open Road
11The Way, Way Back$32,277-68%550-104$59$20,441,41010Fox Searchlight
12The Smurfs 2$29,143-90%949-417$31$68,206,5696Sony / Columbia
13The Heat$25,379-68%350-43$73$157,922,04511Fox
14Pacific Rim$25,242-71%307-94$82$100,885,6329Warner Bros.
15Monsters University$25,221-81%596-1293$42$265,014,35712Disney
16Turbo$22,649-83%358-80$63$80,636,3978Fox / DreamWorks Animation
17In a World...$19,975-71%10211$196$1,689,0075Roadside Attractions
18Now You See Me$14,587-70%205-34$71$117,400,87715Lionsgate / Summit
19Red 2$12,223-66%250-11$49$52,455,5378Lionsgate / Summit
20Fruitvale Station$10,192-59%188-106$54$15,770,6799Weinstein Company
21R.I.P.D.$9,955-76%1810$55$33,294,5858Universal
22Man of Steel$7,984-76%201-83$40$290,933,45513Warner Bros.
23Star Trek Into Darkness$6,001-61%106-852$57$228,762,23317Paramount
24Paranoia$4,935-58%178-214$28$7,197,8954Relativity Media

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleMon, Sep. 9 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Salinger$6,446-71%4--$1,612$93,4021Weinstein Company
2Satyagraha$3,899-85%79-4$49$677,0362UTV Motion Pictures
3Chennai Express$2,323-85%53-40$44$5,223,2495UTV Motion Pictures
4Passion$1,643-59%13-1$126$73,4892eOne Films US
5Populaire$1,477-64%3--$492$17,1671Weinstein Company
6Epic$1,457-88%56-24$26$107,493,74116Fox
7Contempt (2013 re-issue)$1,233-44%1--$1,233$9,5551Rialto Pictures
8Unfinished Song$1,134-66%214$54$1,648,88812Weinstein Company
9Much Ado About Nothing (2013)$992-67%196$52$4,280,34014Roadside Attractions
10Stories We Tell$942-49%9--$105$1,592,04918Roadside Attractions
11Savannah$347-64%50$69$30,0203Ketchup Entertainment
12Mud$247-43%4-2$62$21,589,55420Roadside Attractions
13The Servant (2013 re-issue)$114-76%1-1$114$36,7827Rialto Pictures
14Underdogs (2013)$42147%10$42$34,8524Freestyle Releasing
15Girl Most Likely$32-93%21$16$1,378,4588Roadside Attractions