Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
April 29, 2015
Kim Hollis: The last time a sequel to a comic book film adaptation of this scale opened in theaters, The Dark Knight Rises failed to meet its overly ambitious expectations in terms of box office and film quality. What are your expectations for Avengers: Age of Ultron, the biggest release of the summer and arguably the year, depending where you stand on Star Wars.
Edwin Davies: In terms of the Dark Knight Rises comparison, it's probably worth pointing out that film had a couple of disadvantages that Age of Ultron doesn't (or, in the case of one of them, hopefully won't). Firstly, TDKR was shot in 2D, and while it did have a pretty wide-scale IMAX release, that wouldn't have given it the bump or the reach that a 3D release has. Secondly, the release of TDKR was overshadowed by the horrible shooting in Aurora, which occurred at an early screening and could very well have convinced people to stay away from the theaters that weekend. We can't say for certain that the film would have broken the opening weekend record without that event - again, there is a ceiling on how much money a 2D release can make - but it probably would have done better.
The biggest difference between two, for me, is that while anticipation for the TDKR had been building in the four years since The Dark Knight came out, Warner Bros. could only stoke excitement for it so much because they could not put out other Batman-related films in that time. Audiences have been reminded of the Age of Ultron constantly since 2012, since we've had three Marvel movies that functioned as direct sequels (Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and one that just reminded them that Marvel are pretty adept at this whole blockbuster game (Guardians of the Galaxy). Everyone has been primed for The Avengers to re-assemble, and I think that will ensure that it makes at least $200 million next weekend, and there is a very, very good chance that it surpasses its predecessor, if only by a couple of million. Even if it doesn't, it's still going to be huge.
Felix Quinonez: I don't believe the DKR comparison is either accurate or necessary. As Edwin pointed out, DKR did have disadvantages with its lack of 3D premiums but more important, the tragic events in Aurora had a huge impact on its box office performance. So it wasn't just a case of a movie failing to meet expectations. And as far as the quality, that's obviously subjective, and I would argue that it did meet, and exceed, expectations. And its "A" Cinemascore and its reviews (88% at Rotten Tomatoes) suggest that a lot of people would agree.
As far as Age of Ultron goes, it's obviously going to be huge but I find it hard to believe it can top the $207 million opening of the first one. I think the movie looks amazing and will be seeing it more than one time but how much higher can it really go? At one point there has to be a ceiling. And it hasn't been that long since the first movie, so inflation won't be such a big factor. Also I have to wonder how much of an impact the novelty factor had on the first one. So I'm predicting it will open right around $200 million (maybe a little less) but it won't hold up as well as the first one, at least domestically.