Friday Box Office Analysis

By Reagen Sulewski

May 9, 2015

I want a C-O-O-L R-I-D-E-R.

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Afterglow weekend at the box office gives us no surprises, and the extremely weak challengers did nothing to even moderately threaten The Avengers: Age of Ultron from handily winning its second weekend.

Looking beyond just that first place finish on Friday, with an estimated $21.3 million, we see some potential weakness in the film, which opened to nearly $200 million last weekend. This figure is off a mighty 75% from last Friday, though of course that number is hugely inflated by the huge number of Thursday night previews. It's also off 25% from The Avengers' second Friday back in 2012, and implies a second weekend figure of about $78 million for Ultron. That should get it to about $310-315 million by the end of the weekend, making it the second fastest film to reach $300 million – tied with The Dark Knight. That's a film that earned $533 million domestic, and is looking like a solid target for Ultron to aim for – although perhaps $500 is more realistic given the larger drop we're seeing out of the gate here.

The biggest new challenger this weekend was Hot Pursuit, which opened to $4.2 million at around 3,000 venues. This compares quite unfavorably to its comparable film, The Heat, which started with over $13 million, or even another Reese action comedy, This Means War, which started with $5.6 million three years ago. We should be looking at a weekend of around $12 million based on these numbers.


The other new wide opener, The D Train, finished well outside of the top 10 with a miserable $160,000 (you read that right) at around 1,000 venues – giving us a projection of about $400,000. An indie comedy with a inadequate marketing campaign and an ill-advised release strategy, this result will place it at the very least in the worst 20 opening weekends of all time for a wide release and with an off chance at the worst 10. If you have any notion of seeing this film in theaters for some reason – do it now.

Returning films are not making much of an impact, as they play out their strings. The Age of Adeline leads the way with $1.5 million, with Furious 7 and Paul Blart 2: Why God Why showing respectable results with $1.4 and $1.2 million respectively. Look for all these films to finish in the $4-5 million range.

Ex Machina gets a slight uptick from $720,000 to $960,000 after an expansion to over 2,000 venues (a bulk of them due to its Canadian debut) and should get it to about $3.5 million this weekend and $15 million after Sunday. Rounding out the slate is Home with $610,000 and a bunch of sub-half million films – Unfriended, Cinderella, The Longest Ride and Woman in Gold.

Projected Estimates for the Top Ten (Three-Day)
Estimated Gross
1 The Avengers: Age of Ultron 78.5
2 Hot Pursuit 12.2
3 The Age of Adeline 4.8
4 Furious 7 4.6
5 Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 3.8
6 Ex Machina 3.5
7 Home 2.8
8 Cinderella 1.8
9 Unfriended 1.6
10 Woman in Gold 1.1



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