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 Tue, Oct. 1 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleTue, Oct. 1 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2$1,532,08514%4,001--$383$36,896,8131Sony / Columbia
2Prisoners$1,122,03232%3,29030$341$40,523,3372Warner Bros.
3Rush (2013)$1,045,13530%2,2972292$455$12,124,9142Universal
4Don Jon$970,45223%2,422--$401$10,436,1321Relativity Media
5Baggage Claim$617,46013%2,027--$305$10,193,0891Fox Searchlight
6Insidious: Chapter 2$444,92421%3,120-35$143$70,161,1893FilmDistrict
7The Family (2013)$410,46836%2,894-197$142$32,466,8183Relativity Media
8Lee Daniels' The Butler$264,11128%2,062-869$128$110,736,5077Weinstein Company
9We're the Millers$261,19620%2,405-598$109$142,840,3338Warner Bros. / New Line
10Riddick$173,47019%1,826-1196$95$40,376,2604Universal
11Battle of the Year$148,92437%2,0080$74$7,749,6002Sony / Screen Gems
12Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters$51,64916%1,007-466$51$65,476,4528Fox
13Planes$47,638-8%1,426-1020$33$87,781,0138Disney

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleTue, Oct. 1 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Instructions Not Included$232,35016%948-30$245$39,085,4695Lionsgate / Pantelion
2Enough Said$205,51621%227223$905$2,841,9062Fox Searchlight
3Metallica Through The Never$115,6097%305--$379$1,800,0781Picturehouse
4Elysium$57,81323%562-830$103$91,955,8068Sony / TriStar
5Despicable Me 2$48,6208%748-256$65$361,868,21513Universal
6The Wizard of Oz 3D$38,126-4%305-13$125$5,158,9422Warner Bros.
72 Guns$36,18038%403-349$90$75,064,9309Universal
8The Wolverine$28,70717%329-133$87$131,357,83310Fox
9The World's End$23,34322%281-552$83$25,737,0836Focus
10Thanks for Sharing$19,60413%251-18$78$935,4022Roadside Attractions
11The Heat$19,08435%251-59$76$158,981,85014Fox
12The Conjuring$18,80710%338-223$56$137,007,89611Warner Bros. / New Line
13In a World...$13,66632%121-23$113$2,621,3828Roadside Attractions
14Turbo$13,0915%282-51$46$81,989,02311Fox / DreamWorks Animation
15Pacific Rim$11,30827%140-62$81$101,644,81412Warner Bros.
16The Spectacular Now$10,90820%142-429$77$6,676,9899A24
17Salinger$8,851-2%134-4$66$522,4174Weinstein Company
18The Grandmaster$8,5049%143-330$59$6,521,9246Weinstein Company
19World War Z$7,87023%160-43$49$202,293,13415Paramount
20Red 2$7,45648%110-68$68$52,881,78411Lionsgate / Summit
21The Way, Way Back$7,0746%158-166$45$21,338,43213Fox Searchlight
22You're Next$2,69117%112-420$24$18,414,9506Lionsgate

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleTue, Oct. 1 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Haute Cuisine$4,65844%1411$333$63,2052Weinstein Company
2The Ultimate Life$4,635155%47-137$99$1,317,6884High Top Releasing
3Fruitvale Station$4,02427%42-61$96$16,018,79312Weinstein Company
4Jobs$3,78229%84-68$45$16,124,1577Open Road
5Paranoia$3,37443%66-22$51$7,381,7687Relativity Media
6Getaway$1,985-5%74-441$27$10,498,5715Warner Bros.
7Populaire$1,6122%244$67$133,2864Weinstein Company
8Unfinished Song$1,254-24%19-4$66$1,700,20615Weinstein Company
9The Wicker Man: The Final Cut$1,10760%1--$1,107$7,2921Rialto Pictures
10Much Ado About Nothing (2013)$1,09880%8-10$137$4,320,95117Roadside Attractions
11Antoine and Antoinette (2013 re-issue)$85789%1--$857$6,9841Rialto Pictures
12We Are What We Are (2013)$815-18%2--$408$15,5361eOne Films US
13Chennai Express$597131%9-11$66$5,307,5858UTV Motion Pictures
14C.O.G.$41824%9-11$46$50,4472Screen Media / Focus World
15Morning$356106%4--$89$3,4051Anchor Bay Films
16Hotel Normandy$28722%1--$287$3,0751Rialto Premieres