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Weekend Box Office: Age of Ultron Dominates, Falls Short of Record

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By Chris Kavan - 05/03/15 at 08:25 PM CT

There was no questions what film was going to reign supreme over the weekend - the only question was how big was it going to open? It turns out the Avengers couldn't quite stand up to the might of The Avengers - but it wasn't for trying. The film still set some records and its numbers helped push Disney across the $1 billion mark in the international market for 2015. There's no question that Marvel's superheroes continue to be a major draw and there's no sign things are going to slow down any time soon.


When The Avengers dropped in 2012, it was to great fanfare and massive hype - hype, for once, that the film lived up to. This weekend, Age of Ultron opened in a similar position and while it couldn't top the original film's massive opening, it came close. The Avengers opened to $207.4 million and while many thought Age of Ultron had a chance of topping $210 million, it had to settle for a mere $187.7 million (the second-biggest opening of all time). The film had the best Friday total of all time with $87 million and fell just short of the best day total (still help by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 at $91.07). Age of Ultron is also now the most popular franchise of all time, surpassing the Harry Potter series and with plenty more films on the way, it's going to be hard for any other franchise to equal the might of the Marvel Cinematic Universe any time soon. So why did Age of Ultron fall short? Many are saying that the weekend's many sports offerings (some are saying Saturday was the biggest sports day of the year) including the Kentucky Derby, NBA playoffs and the fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather likely took away anywhere from $5 to $10 million (even with the competition it still had the third-best Saturday on record with $57.2 million). Some records Age of Ultron now holds: it accounted for 85% of the total box office out of the top 12 films - topping the 83% Spider-Man 3 once held. It also has a new record for premium large-format screens - $13.5 million, topping Furious 7's $11.8 average. 3D showing accounted for $56 million (about 30%) while IMAX added in another $18 million. Audiences gave the film an "A" Cinemascore and was mostly male (59%) and slightly older (59% over 25). If the film follows the same path as The Avengers, it will top out at $550 million - should it rather go the same route as Iron Man 3, it will likely fall short of $450 million. It will be huge - but we'll see how huge. Internationally the film has already made $439 million with China and Japan still on the way (likely nearly doubling that total alone).


Thanks to Avengers scooping up the male audiences, it meant that the female-drive Age of Adeline jumped to second place. It was still off about 53%, taking in $6.25 million, and the film now stands at $23.4 million. It was a good bit of counter-programming, considering most other films fell by over 60% (competing directly with the audience for Age of Ultron). Still, the romance isn't likely to benefit much more and will still wind up with a total under the $40 million mark.


After weeks atop the box office, Furious 7 felt the full force of The Avengers effect on audiences and dipped a hefty 66%, falling to third place with $6.11 million. The film now stands at $330.5 million and it's now looking as if it will fall short of $350 million on the domestic front. On the global front, it's less than $100 million away from topping The Avengers for third place on the all-time list - which now stands at $1.43 billion and counting. Even if Age of Ultron steals much of its thunder, it should have little problem reaching that milestone.


Dropping two spots as well was the Kevin James' comedy sequel, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. The film took an equally huge hit, a 62.4% drop, and wound up with $5.55 million. The film now stands at $51.2 million. That is likely the last milestone Blart is going to hit, as $75 million seems an unlikely goal at this point.


The animated offering wasn't immune to Age of Ultron, either. It dipped nearly 59%, but remained in the top five for the sixth straight week. It added another $3.3 million to its total, which now stands at $158.1 million. It is winding down now and will likely wind up at under $170 million when it finally leaves theaters.

Outside the top five: Far from the Madding Crowd opened to $172,000 from 10 locations for a decent (though not spectacular) $17,200 per-theater average. The film will likely continue to expand for the coming month, though its total won't likely raise that many eyebrows.

Next week two comedies drop - the high school reunion comedy with James Marsden, Jack Black - The D Train and the Reese Witherspoon/Sofía Vergara comedy Hot Pursuit. Neither are likely to pose much threat to Age of Ultron.


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