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Weekend Wrap-Up for May 1-3, 2015

Age of Ultron Big – But Not Biggest

By John Hamann

May 3, 2015

Who ya gonna call? Hulk Buster!

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Over the weekend proper, The Avengers: Age of Ultron earned a remarkable $187.7million from 4,276 venues, giving it an average of $43,886. The weekend result means that Age of Ultron had a weekend multiplier of 2.22, which tells us that the sequel – like all good sequels – was much more front-loaded than the original, but these two films performed remarkably similar to each other. The Avengers: Age of Ultron becomes the second biggest opener of all time, at least until December when Star Wars: The Force Awakens takes a shot at the title.

How did Age of Ultron manage to scale the same wall as its predecessor? It used the exactly the same model – big, expensive movie, several A-listers, in a well-made product. They ticked all the boxes again, even though they did take a very slight step backward this time around.

Instead of being 92% fresh like the original (84% from "top critics"), the sequel is 75% fresh from all critics, and 73% from RottenTomatoes’ "top’ critics." The original received an A+ Cinemascore; the sequel earned an A. Reviews and Cinemascores were not going to affect opening weekend, but these results could crimp Ultron’s legs somewhat. The Avengers ended up finishing as the third biggest domestic finisher ever, with a domestic take of $623.4 million. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Age of Ultron finish short of that. Where Disney can make up some ground is on the foreign side. The original earned $895 million from overseas theaters, which represented 59% of its worldwide gross. With $439 million in foreign grosses so far, Age of Ultron looks like it will be out-performing the $1.52 billion worldwide gross of the original.




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There were other films in release this weekend, they simply earned almost $200 million less than the number one film. Due to the size of Age of Ultron, no films are spared from the behemoth. When the original Avengers opened, the average drop in the top 12 that weekend was a searing 57%. Second spot starts that parade this weekend with The Age of Adaline, the Lionsgate release that got started with $13.2 million last weekend. Adaline was hoping to play as counter-programming this weekend against Age of Ultron and boxing. The move worked somewhat, as Adaline earned another $6.2 million this weekend, dropping 53%. Made for $25 million, Adaline has now earned $23.4 million.

Third place finisher Furious 7 falls 66% this weekend from $17.8 million in the previous frame to $6.1 million this weekend. Universal’s timing on Furious 7 was perfect. It opened big on April 3rd, and got to romp in the number one spot for four consecutive weekends. It had pulled in $324 million domestic before the weekend began, so it is facing strong competition just as it begins to wane. Now, the $190 million film has earned $330.5 million stateside and a ludicrous $1 billion (and counting) from foreign theaters. The worldwide gross has now reached $1.35 billion, putting it fourth all-time.

Fourth is Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, which earned $5.5 million this weekend. That puts the Kevin James release off 63%, in line with expectations. The $30 million comedy from Sony has a gross to date of $51.2 million, and it has picked up another $18 million overseas. This result indicates that Sony is going to make out okay financially, but we may spared another sequel. Keep your fingers crossed.


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