No Pursuit of Age of Ultron
By John Hamann
May 10, 2015
The second biggest opening of all time is followed by the second biggest follow-up frame of all-time. Avengers: Age of Ultron is super huge, but is also living in the shadow of its older brother. The Internet needs to quick knocking it for that.
After debuting last weekend to $191.3 million AND being a sequel, Avengers: Age of Ultron was going nowhere but down. The first film was a phenomenon, and the reception Age of Ultron is getting as it relates to it box office is almost sad. Bigger than all films released ever save one, Age of Ultron is being treated like Rodney Dangerfield – not getting a lot of respect through its first 10 days of release. Providing somewhat laughable competition this weekend is Hot Pursuit, the new “comedy” with Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara; however, ugly reviews and a poor Cinemascore kept it down this weekend. Last year over the same weekend, the box office stayed hot thanks to a $49 million opening weekend for Neighbors. That's an element that is missing this weekend, leaving the overall total lagging despite the strength of Ultron.
Our number one film for the second straight weekend is of course Avengers: Age of Ultron, which was looking to hold decently against the $191 million opening weekend in the last frame. The original Avengers dropped only 50% in its second weekend, which really shows the behemoth that it was – a sequel was never going to repeat that feat. Most big money sequels open big and then drop 55-65%, mostly due to the fact that so many people saw the film in the first few days. I think a better comparison for Age of Ultron is Iron Man 3, as it is a sequel, and we can stop comparing a sequel a to an original. Iron Man 3 debuted to $174.1 million over the same weekend as The Avengers and Age of Ultron and fell 58% in its second weekend, earning $72.5 million. This example is good result for a blockbuster sequel, and Age of Ultron would be looking for a drop in a similar area to find success.
On its second Friday, Avengers: Age of Ultron earned $21.3 million, off a mere 75% from its opening Friday of $84.4 million. The problem is that the $84.4 million was really a combination of Thursday and Friday (the term Thursday preview is extremely misleading), and the real Friday figure was $56.9 million once the Thursday dollars are removed. That means the real Friday-to-Friday drop was more like 62.5%, putting Ultron in position to drop less than 60%. To have the second biggest second weekend ever, Age of Ultron needed to earn more than Avatar’s $75.6 million, or decline less than 60.5%.
In the end, Avengers: Age of Ultron continued to dominate, earning $77.2 million over the weekend proper, and dropping a very Iron Man 3-like 60%, giving it the second biggest sophomore frame ever, behind only The Avengers' $103 million second frame. The Marvel sequel has now earned a sizzling $312.6 million after only 10 days of release, tying The Dark Knight for second fastest film to get to $300 million. Ultron has also earned more than half a billion from overseas theaters and has yet to open in huge markets like China and Japan. It won’t be long before Ultron gets to that $1 billion mark worldwide, and who knows where it finishes up. Domestically, Ultron won’t meet the $623 million made by the Avengers, but it should be at least a top 10 finisher all-time.