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.

Studio Weekend Estimates (Domestic) Fri, Mar. 8 - Sun, Mar. 10

Wide (1000+)

#TitleweekendLocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Oz: The Great and Powerful$80,278,000--3,912--$20,521$80,278,0001Disney
2Jack the Giant Slayer$10,020,000-63%3,5250$2,843$43,811,3692Warner Bros. / New Line
3Identity Thief$6,319,000-35%3,002-228$2,105$116,529,8855Universal
4Dead Man Down$5,350,000--2,188--$2,445$5,350,0001FilmDistrict
5Snitch (2013)$5,100,000-34%2,340-171$2,179$31,855,1273Lionsgate / Summit
621 And Over$5,056,000-42%2,7710$1,825$16,839,9752Relativity Media
7Safe Haven$3,800,000-39%2,541-410$1,495$62,884,0974Relativity Media
8Silver Linings Playbook$3,745,000-35%1,727-109$2,169$120,749,34217Weinstein Company
9Escape From Planet Earth$3,207,000-52%2,549-561$1,258$47,832,1824Weinstein Company
10The Last Exorcism Part II$3,120,000-60%2,7000$1,156$12,082,5992CBS Films
11A Good Day to Die Hard$2,100,000-54%1,725-864$1,217$63,346,4014Fox
12Dark Skies$1,275,000-63%1,505-808$847$15,585,1273Weinstein / Dimension
13Warm Bodies$1,020,000-60%1,052-878$970$63,579,3846Lionsgate / Summit

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleweekendLocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Life of Pi$1,625,000-32%67145$2,422$119,413,15216Fox
2Quartet$1,279,000-28%715-10$1,789$13,269,8319Weinstein Company
3Emperor$1,042,800--260--$4,011$1,042,8001Roadside Attractions
4Argo$1,030,000-51%741-244$1,390$134,302,55822Warner Bros.
5Side Effects (2013)$900,000-49%602-510$1,495$29,601,6705Open Road
6Zero Dark Thirty$700,000-46%522-200$1,341$94,654,55912Sony / Columbia
7Lincoln$444,000-55%432-220$1,028$180,847,93118Disney / DreamWorks
8Django Unchained$427,000-56%336-647$1,271$161,095,45211Weinstein Company
9Les Miserables (2012)$320,000-44%286-66$1,119$148,148,76511Universal
10Rise of The Guardians$224,000-23%275-20$815$102,678,92416Paramount / DreamWorks
11Amour$195,511-58%205-128$954$6,244,64912Sony Pictures Classics
12Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters$178,000-68%225-376$791$54,500,9177Paramount
13Mama$152,000-56%214-233$710$71,116,1808Universal
14Jack Reacher$136,000-29%194-31$701$79,893,46812Paramount
15The Impossible$90,000-44%114-37$789$18,478,39112Lionsgate / Summit

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleweekendLocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Gatekeepers$250,1220%6721$3,733$1,027,0926Sony Pictures Classics
2No (2013)$167,36165%3524$4,782$510,5194Sony Pictures Classics
3Stoker$115,239-28%1710$6,779$329,7272Fox Searchlight
4Lore$67,00075%2917$2,310$255,7415Music Box Films
5Bless Me, Ultima$51,074-72%52-131$982$1,381,8733Arenas Entertainment
6Hava Nagila (The Movie)$39,369379%1211$3,281$90,7762International Film Circuit
7Somebody Up There Likes Me (2013)$38,495--1--$38,495$38,4951Tribeca Film
8Hyde Park on Hudson$35,647-30%391$914$6,286,86414Focus
9Happy People: A Year in the Taiga$31,000-22%21-2$1,476$213,0867Music Box Films
10Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey$25,000--23--$1,087$25,0001Cinedigm
11Beyond the Hills$18,000--3--$6,000$18,0001IFC Films
12Like Someone in Love$16,80020%6-2$2,800$107,0004IFC Films
13The We and the I$12,280--1--$12,280$12,2801Paladin/108 Media
14The Girl (2013)$10,400--2--$5,200$10,4001Brainstorm Media / Vitagraph
15The Silence$9,170--2--$4,585$9,1701Music Box Films
16Chasing Ice$7,214--11--$656$1,255,79118Submarine Deluxe
17The Power of Few$1,815--1--$1,815$25,0484Steelyard Pictures