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 Wed, Oct. 2 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleWed, Oct. 2 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2$1,078,722-30%4,001--$270$37,975,5351Sony / Columbia
2Prisoners$862,457-23%3,29030$262$41,385,7942Warner Bros.
3Rush (2013)$826,420-21%2,2972292$360$12,951,3342Universal
4Don Jon$770,119-21%2,422--$318$11,206,2511Relativity Media
5Baggage Claim$464,070-25%2,027--$229$10,657,1591Fox Searchlight
6Insidious: Chapter 2$355,133-20%3,120-35$114$70,516,3223FilmDistrict
7The Family (2013)$334,044-19%2,894-197$115$32,800,8623Relativity Media
8Lee Daniels' The Butler$228,726-13%2,062-869$111$110,965,2337Weinstein Company
9We're the Millers$226,397-13%2,405-598$94$143,066,7308Warner Bros. / New Line
10Riddick$145,775-16%1,826-1196$80$40,522,0354Universal
11Battle of the Year$102,295-31%2,0080$51$7,851,8952Sony / Screen Gems
12Planes$46,191-3%1,426-1020$32$87,827,2048Disney
13Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters$38,043-26%1,007-466$38$65,514,4958Fox

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleWed, Oct. 2 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Enough Said$203,211-1%227223$895$3,045,1172Fox Searchlight
2Instructions Not Included$173,805-25%948-30$183$39,259,2745Lionsgate / Pantelion
3Metallica Through The Never$121,4865%305--$398$1,921,5641Picturehouse
4Besharam$71,661--217--$330$71,6610Reliance Entertainment
5Elysium$45,860-21%562-830$82$92,001,6668Sony / TriStar
6Despicable Me 2$41,350-15%748-256$55$361,909,56513Universal
7The Wizard of Oz 3D$40,7657%305-13$134$5,199,7072Warner Bros.
82 Guns$28,405-21%403-349$70$75,093,3359Universal
9The Wolverine$25,402-12%329-133$77$131,383,23510Fox
10Thanks for Sharing$22,22513%251-18$89$957,6272Roadside Attractions
11The World's End$19,030-18%281-552$68$25,756,1136Focus
12The Conjuring$18,618-1%338-223$55$137,026,51411Warner Bros. / New Line
13The Heat$16,176-15%251-59$64$158,998,02614Fox
14In a World...$12,431-9%121-23$103$2,633,8138Roadside Attractions
15Turbo$12,146-7%282-51$43$82,001,16911Fox / DreamWorks Animation
16Salinger$10,84523%134-4$81$533,2624Weinstein Company
17The Spectacular Now$10,267-6%142-429$72$6,687,2579A24
18Pacific Rim$9,991-12%140-62$71$101,654,80512Warner Bros.
19World War Z$7,054-10%160-43$44$202,300,18815Paramount
20The Way, Way Back$6,843-3%158-166$43$21,345,27513Fox Searchlight
21The Grandmaster$6,816-20%143-330$48$6,528,7406Weinstein Company
22Red 2$6,052-19%110-68$55$52,887,83611Lionsgate / Summit
23You're Next$1,984-26%112-420$18$18,416,9346Lionsgate

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleWed, Oct. 2 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Haute Cuisine$5,34115%1411$382$68,5462Weinstein Company
2Fruitvale Station$4,2155%42-61$100$16,023,00812Weinstein Company
3Jobs$3,8582%84-68$46$16,128,0157Open Road
4Paranoia$3,247-4%66-22$49$7,385,0157Relativity Media
5Much Ado About Nothing (2013)$2,647141%8-10$331$4,323,59817Roadside Attractions
6Populaire$2,11231%244$88$135,3984Weinstein Company
7The Ultimate Life$1,806-61%47-137$38$1,319,4944High Top Releasing
8Unfinished Song$1,45216%19-4$76$1,701,65815Weinstein Company
9Getaway$1,409-29%74-441$19$10,499,9805Warner Bros.
10The Wicker Man: The Final Cut$1,1988%1--$1,198$8,4901Rialto Pictures
11We Are What We Are (2013)$1,03427%2--$517$16,5701eOne Films US
12Antoine and Antoinette (2013 re-issue)$9339%21$467$7,9171Rialto Pictures
13C.O.G.$51724%9-11$57$50,9642Screen Media / Focus World
14Morning$229-36%4--$57$3,6341Anchor Bay Films
15Hotel Normandy$218-24%1--$218$3,2931Rialto Premieres
16Chennai Express$158-74%9-11$18$5,307,7438UTV Motion Pictures
17Stories We Tell$33--4-1$8$1,598,18221Roadside Attractions