Update – May 10, 2015 – In its second weekend, Avengers 2 topped the box office chart with $77.1 million from 4,276 screens to jump the $300 million mark domestically in only 10 days and putting its world total at $875.3 million. The film enjoyed the second-biggest second weekend of all time after the first Avengers ($865.3 million), and tied with The Dark Knight to become the fastest film to reach $300 million behind Avengers (nine days).
Still, Avengers 2 fell more than expected in in North America, 59.6%, compared to 50.3% for its predecessor. However, overseas, it continues to pace well ahead of Avengers, even though it has yet to open in China and Japan. For the weekend, it earned $68 million for a foreign total of $562.4 million.
Update – May 3, 2015 – In North America, all eyes were on Avengers 2 to see if it could beat the $207.4 million debut of the first Avengers on the same weekend in 2012 and become the new champ. Instead, it came in more than 9% behind.
As the weekend wore on, it became apparent that Saturday night’s Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fight was hurting Ultron in a big way. Some box office observers believe the movie could have approached $200 milion were it not for competition from the PPV event. Moviegoing tumbled 40 percent from Friday to Saturday in Los Angeles and San Francisco, for instance, and more than 50 percent in some Hispanic markets, such as El Paso, Texas.
Costing $89-$99 to watch, the fight is expected to have generated hundreds of millions in revenue. Additionally, thousands watched the fight on pirate sites. “The fight dinged all films across the board. The numbers on Ultron are still phenomenal but definitely less than they would have been,” said one rival studio executive.
Males made up 59% of Ultron’s audience, while nearly 60% of ticket buyers were 25 and over. Families represented 22% and teens 12%.
Overseas, where the summer’s first tentpole began opening last weekend, Age of Ultron earned another $168 million from 88 territories for a foreign total of $439 million and early worldwide haul of $627 million. In only 12 days, it has surpassed the lifetime global earnings of Captain America ($371 million), Thor ($449 million), Iron Man ($583 million) and Iron Man 2 ($622 million).
Update – May 2, 2015 – Kicking off the summer at the North American box office, Disney and Marvel Studios’ Avengers 2 grossed a massive $84.5 milion on Friday, the biggest opening day for a superhero film and the second biggest of all time after the final Harry Potter film ($91.7 million).
On the same weekend in 2012, The Avengers earned $81 million on its first Friday for a record-breaking weekend debut of $207.4 million, the largest opening weekend in history, not accounting for inflation. Most box office observers believe Age of Ultron will narrowly become the new record-holder with $208 million or more, although Disney insiders are being more conservative and saying $200 million-plus for the weekend.
Whether the sequel can surprass The Avengers depends upon how much traffic drops on Saturday. One wild card is the Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fight Saturday night, since the PPV event could impact moviegoing among males. Cable and satellite providers are charging $89.95 to watch the fight, and an extra $10 for HD.
Either way, Marvel Studios will now claim the top three opening weekends of all time domestically, between Avengers, Age of Ultron and Iron Man 3, which debuted to $174.1 million in May 2013. Age of Ultron pushes Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 ($169.2 million).
Globally, Age of Ultron has already jumped the $300 million mark, thanks to an early foreign cume of $287 million.
Thursday night, Age of Ultron took in a hefty $27.6 million as it began rolling out in North America, compared to $18.7 million for The Avengers (Thursday’s gross was rolled into Friday’s tally).
Early exits show that 60% of the audience is male, with nearly 60% of all ticket buyers under the age of 25.
Last weekend, Age of Ultron opened in 55% of the international marketplace, grossing a dazzling $201 million and coming in 44% ahead of the first film.
Age of Ultron is rolling out in a raft of additional foreign markets this weekend, including Mexico, where it scored the top opening day of all time Thursday with $6.8 million. In many markets, the movie will be helped by the May Day holiday.
In North America, presales for Age of Ultron are equal to presales for all previous Marvel films combined, according to Fandango, while MovieTickets.com reports that advance sales are nearly four times greater than The Avengers.
Imax locations are already delivering big results. Thursday night’s contribution was $3 million, a record showing for Thursday night previews. The Dark Knight was the previous best with $2.3 million.
Age of Ultron, costing $250 million to make, returns Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk, Chris Evans as Captain America and Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow. The ensemble cast also includes Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle and Paul Bettany. This time, the superheroes and their allies must work together to stop Ultron (James Spader), who intends to destroy the world.
Update – May 1, 2015 – The Avengers 2 took in over $27.6 million in the U.S. during Thursday night (April 30) showings.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 remains the record-holder for top Thursday night grosser with $43.5 million. The Dark Knight Rises, along with a trio of titles from the Twilight Saga franchise, all earned roughly $30 million on their first Thursday night.
Check back all weekend for The Avengers 2 Box Office Report updates.
A week ahead of its U.S. release, Avengers: Age of Ultron opened to $201.2 million overseas. According to Disney, it was up 44 percent on the first Avengers movie, and up 24 percent on Iron Man 3 (in local currency, not in dollars).
Its top market was South Korea, where its $28.2 million debut ranked second all-time. A large portion of the movie is set in South Korea, and a handful of the Avengers swung through last week as part of their worldwide promotional tour. It was also huge in the U.K., where it scored the biggest superhero debut ever ($27.3 million).
It also opened to $16.2 million in Russia, which is neck-and-neck with Furious 7 for the top opening ever. It was second all-time in Brazil ($13.1 million) and third all-time in Australia ($13.1 million). Other top markets included France ($12.4 million) and Germany ($9.3 million).
There are a handful of other major territories on the way, including Spain and Mexico next weekend. China, which is sure to be the movie’s biggest market, doesn’t open until May 12th. The first Avengers earned over $86 million, which was a massive result three years ago. With the way that market has changed in the years since, it’s hard to imagine Age of Ultron making anything less than $200 million.