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Weekend Box Office: Age of Ultron Easily Tops Sputtering Hot Pursuit

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By Chris Kavan - 05/10/15 at 08:58 PM CT

It was another slam dunk for Disney and Marvel at the box office as The Avengers: Age of Ultron had little competition to worry about and easily retained its number one position. Meanwhile, the pairing of Reece Witherspoon and Sofía Vergara opened to soft numbers as withering reviews and a lukewarm audience response kept it at a very distant second place. Ultron isn't going to have it as easy next week when the bonkers action film Mad Max: Fury Road drops as well as Pitch Perfect 2 - both movies should provide much stiffer competition and we'll see how strong The Avengers really are when faced with this onslaught.


For now, the super heroic team of The Avengers can rest easy. The film had a 59.6% drop, but that still translated to an impressive $77.2 million second weekend. That is the second best second weekend (after the original Avengers $103.1 million) just topping Avatar's $75.6 million. That puts Age of Ultron up to $312.6 million on the domestic front and it will pass Furious 7 (currently at $338.4 million) by next weekend to become the highest-grossing film of 2015. Not only that, but it currently has passed fellow Marvel films Captain America ($177M), Thor ($181M), Thor: The Dark World ($206M) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($259M). Internationally, it's doing even better - the $875.3 puts it ahead of almost every other Marvel film and it should top $1 billion as it still has China (opening Tuesday) and Japan yet to add to its total. It should also be able to top Furious 7 in global total as well as domestic in the next two weeks. As mentioned, the biggest test yet it coming up when it goes up against two films that should actually be able to provide decent competition. Even if they do take a big chunk out, a total of over $400 million is all but guaranteed at this point.


Opening in a distant second place, the Reece Witherspoon, Sofía Vergara comedy Hot Pursuit brought in $13.3 million. That is a bit of a disappointment as early tracking had this at around $18 million, but reviews were harsh and the "C+" Cinemeascore meant audiences weren't much kinder. The last Witherspoon comedy to open was This Means War back in 2011 - a film that opened in fifth place, but still earned $17.4 million. Should Hot Pursuit follow the same track, it could wind up with about $35 million, but with all things considered, it's likely to fall short of even that modest amount. It's likely what audience support it has will be gobbled up by Pitch Perfect 2, and thus a total under $30 million is more likely at this point.


One of the reasons Hot Pursuit likely fared poorly is that Age of Adeline (a romance targeting roughly the same audience) did much better in its third weekend. It had a nice hold, dipping under 10% and adding another $5.6 million to its total, which now stands at $31.5 million. It also held on to its third-place spot and should be able to top the total for The Longest Ride (currently at $35.2 million) to become the top romance film of the year.


With Age of Ultron continuing to erode its audience, Furious 7 took a nearly 21% hit, dropping to 4th place in the process. The not-quite-final ride for the popular franchise took in $5.27 million and now stands at $338.4 million - and nearly $1.5 billion globally. It's still going to be an uphill battle to reach the $350 million mark - but it still might happen, though it is likely going to lose its domestic and global top 2015 position to Age of Ultron in the next few weekends. Still, I rate this film higher than Age of Ultron personally - and for the 7th film in a series, it's an astounding accomplishment.


Paul Blart managed a nice hold on his how - dipping just under 12% in its fourth weekend out, slipping from 4th to 5th place in the process. The Kevin James comedy took in $5.19 million and raised its total to just over $58 million. The movie will soon double its $60 million budget - though I doubt it's going to be enough to warrant a Mall Cop 3 (or at least one can hope).

Outside the top five: Ex-Machina, the A.I. sci-fi drama, added another 725 theater, meaning its now playing in over 2000 theaters nationwide. It jumped nearly 52% and landed in sixth place with $3.5 million and giving the film a new total of $15.7 million. We'll see if it continues its expansion or if it retains its current count. Either way, this is shaping up to be a nice total for the well-reviewed and well-received film.

Opening well outside the top 10 was The D Train. The Jack Black/James Marsden high school reunion bittersweet comedy opened in just over 1000 theaters and managed just $469,000 (17th place) and it had pretty much the worst average per-theaters (at just $465) out of nearly every film currently playing. Considering the $3 million pricetage IFC paid for this one, the result has to be seen as pretty disappointing - and it will likely leave theaters quickly.

Next week Mad Max: Fury Road will prove once and for all if you can make a film out of a hour-long (or longer) car chase and the Barden Bellas return (this time on an international stage) in Pitch Perfect 2. The two films will certainly provide the biggest competition yet for Age of Ultron and it will be interesting to see how it stands up to the pressure.


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View hoods_breath's Profile


Wrote on 05/13/15 at 11:52 AM CT

I'm excited to see a few cann films this year but they haven't been added yet to the website's database
The Kung Fu one looks good especially. Hopefully these get added to the database soon so I can put them on my list!

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