Weekend Box Office: AGE OF ULTRON Assembles Second Highest Debut of All Time

     May 3, 2015


For the second time in three years, The Avengers have caught box office watchers a bit off guard. On this same weekend back in 2012, the surprise came when Marvel’s The Avengers crushed its debut weekend: earning an unprecedented $207.4 million and setting a new all-time domestic opening record. And this morning? That record is still standing, so – surprise!

We told you yesterday that studio projections had Avengers: Age of Ultron heading for a new domestic weekend opening record of approximately $210 million. That didn’t happen. Instead, Age of Ultron earned a reported $187.66 million. That estimate includes the film’s $84.4 million Friday take and another $57.22 million yesterday. Whether the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight was responsible for Ultron dropping 32% between Friday and Saturday, the result was the same: The Avengers’ original box office record remains intact.

Here is the current list of the top five domestic openings of all time. Note that Marvel/Disney films now hold the top three spots:

 Title Opening
1.  Marvel’s The Avengers $207.438
2.  Avengers: Age of Ultron $187.660
3.  Iron Man 3 $174.144
4.  Harry Potter 7 Part 2 $169.189
5.  The Dark Knight Rises $160.887


Even though Age of Ultron fell short of setting a new box office record, it’s future seems secure. The sequel has already earned over $340 million from its international territories, which puts the film’s global cume at over $500 million. And in terms of its long-range prospects? Ultron is facing no competition of consequence next weekend and should be able to hold off Pitch Perfect 2 and Mad Max: Fury Road on May 16-17, if current projections hold. That would ensure that Ultron stays in first place for three consecutive frames – just like its predecessor.avengers-age-of-ultron-black-widow-poster

It’s worth noting that Ultron has not received the same overwhelming critical support that attended The Avengers. The film has a current Rotten Tomato rating of 75%, compared to the 91% of the first film. Even so, that shouldn’t have a significant impact on Ultron’s box office, especially considering that audiences gave the sequel a near-perfect ‘A’ CinemaScore. So what if The Avengers’ got an ‘A+’?

The Avengers went on to earn $623.35 million in North America and more than $1.5 billion worldwide – more than any film other than Avatar and Titanic. And then there were the Marvel Cinematic Universe titles that followed The Avengers, each of which opened well above initial projections thanks to the so-called ‘Avengers bump’ of box office legend.

Here’s a look at how the Marvel Cinematic Universe has fared at the box office up to this point:

 Title Opening Domestic Global
1.  Iron Man (2008) $98.6 $318.4 $585.1
2.  The Incredible Hulk (2008) $55.4 $134.8 $263.4
3.  Iron Man 2 (2010) $128.1 $312.4 $623.9
4.  Thor (2011) $65.7 $181 $449.3
5.  Captain America (2011) $65 $176.6 $368.6
6.  Marvel’s The Avengers (2012) $207.4 $623.3 $1.5 bil.
7.  Iron Man 3 (2013) $174.1 $409 $806.4
8.  Thor: The Dark World (2013) $85.7 $206.3 $644.7
9.  Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) $95 $259.7 $714.7
10.  Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) $94.3 $331.7 $774.1


I’m not even going to pretend there’s something more interesting than Avengers: Age of Ultron to talk about this weekend. Fox Searchlight opened the Thomas Hardy adaptation Far From the Madding Crowd (starring Carey Mulligan) in ten locations on Friday and earned an estimated $172,000. But as far as the top ten is concerned, it’s all about Ultron.

Here’s this weekend’s top ten, according to studio estimates.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Avengers: Age of Ultron $187,660,000 $187.6
2.  The Age of Adaline $6,250,000 $23.4
3.  Furious 7 $6,100,000 $330.5
4.  Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 $5,550,000 $51.2
5.  Home $3,300,000 $151.1
6.  Cinderella $2,357,000 $193.6
7.  Ex Machina $2,230,000 $10.8
8.  Unfriended $2,000,000 $28.5
9.  The Longest Ride $1,700,000 $33.2
10.  Woman in Gold $1,681,000 $24.5

Image via Disney-Marvel

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