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 Sat, Mar. 15 2014

Wide (1000+)

#TitleSat, Mar. 15 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Mr. Peabody & Sherman$9,518,31675%3,95117$2,409$56,952,7932Fox / DreamWorks Animation
2300: Rise of an Empire$7,901,86337%3,49020$2,264$72,870,1902Warner Bros.
3Need For Speed$6,730,2481%3,115--$2,161$13,392,6631Disney / DreamWorks
4Non-Stop (2014)$4,679,01046%3,18370$1,470$66,067,7353Universal
5The LEGO Movie$3,348,08163%3,040-250$1,101$234,628,3996Warner Bros.
6Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club$3,234,2301%1,896--$1,706$6,449,5581Lionsgate
7Son of God$2,208,10752%2,990-281$738$49,139,7663Fox
8The Monuments Men$939,56761%1,594-407$589$73,342,6136Sony / Columbia
9Frozen (2013)$937,24579%1,466-194$639$395,698,63917Disney
103 Days to Kill$772,32354%1,566-782$493$28,006,4374Relativity Media
11Ride Along$629,76046%1,024-299$615$131,781,3209Universal

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleSat, Mar. 15 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Veronica Mars$617,071-39%291--$2,121$1,620,8221Warner Bros.
212 Years a Slave$540,20160%925-140$584$54,744,79822Fox Searchlight
3RoboCop (2014)$371,56057%965-749$385$56,279,1515Sony / Columbia
4About Last Night$294,76241%624-450$472$47,650,1475Sony / Screen Gems
5American Hustle$293,31573%503-102$583$149,206,56914Sony / Columbia
6Pompeii$257,86051%671-987$384$22,257,2034Sony / TriStar
7Gravity$250,59467%320-64$783$272,525,74724Warner Bros.
8The Nut Job$204,16663%405-85$504$61,937,7539Open Road
9The Wolf of Wall Street$193,19966%286-73$676$116,241,34812Paramount
10Philomena$185,15463%502-168$369$36,528,93517Weinstein Company
11The Wind Rises$183,68770%305-191$602$4,140,6554Disney
12Dallas Buyers Club$168,51564%281-31$600$26,674,93320Focus
13Lone Survivor$121,66054%316-156$385$124,504,53612Universal
14The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug$110,03261%277-56$397$257,735,87114Warner Bros. / New Line
15The Hunger Games: Catching Fire$87,99046%268135$328$424,282,09017Lionsgate
16Endless Love (2014)$68,11023%278-258$245$23,364,5755Universal
17Her (2013)$67,78454%121-34$560$25,201,13513Warner Bros.
18Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit$59,41340%15245$391$50,249,5849Paramount
19That Awkward Moment$56,23417%122-66$461$25,818,9457Focus
20August: Osage County$46,51461%2037$229$37,444,19012Weinstein Company
21Repentance$46,11453%126-31$366$1,089,7883Lionsgate / Codeblack Films
22Nebraska$34,45073%120-60$287$17,592,61318Paramount Vantage

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleSat, Mar. 15 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Grand Budapest Hotel$1,436,15030%6662$21,760$3,678,5982Fox Searchlight
2Bad Words$46,78824%6--$7,798$84,6501Focus
3Gloria (2014)$35,40356%75-1$472$1,880,0698Roadside Attractions
4The Secret Life of Walter Mitty$25,49234%88-45$290$58,103,18012Fox
5I, Frankenstein$19,71948%76-16$259$19,043,8978Lionsgate
6Ernest & Celestine$17,473178%93$1,941$55,6373GKIDS
7Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2$15,86767%74-37$214$119,781,16225Sony / Columbia
8Walking With Dinosaurs$15,85761%98-66$162$35,969,44513Fox
9The Art of the Steal (2014)$15,79520%60--$263$28,9901RADiUS-TWC
10Stalingrad (2014)$13,43863%70-73$192$949,1193Sony / Columbia
11The Book Thief$12,39628%47-2$264$21,393,93119Fox
12Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues$9,45947%50-254$189$127,338,34013Paramount
13Winter's Tale$7,84620%50-32$157$12,500,7195Warner Bros.
14Labor Day (2013)$6,27837%42-42$149$13,358,1967Paramount
15Free Birds$3,51950%32-42$110$55,745,25020Relativity Media
16Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom$2,80741%23-19$122$8,304,77716Weinstein Company
17Vampire Academy$1,76982%12-20$147$7,758,2936Weinstein Company
18The Word$1,3688%1--$1,368$2,6401Scarlet Sky Productions
19Highway$438-17%1-8$438$528,5884UTV Motion Pictures