'Avengers: Ultron' No. 2 US debut of all time with $187.7M; hits $627M globally
Continuing Marvel and Disney's winning streak, Joss Whedon's Avengers: Age of Ultron opened to $187.7 million from 4,276 theaters in North America, the No. 2 opening of all time behind The Avengers.
Overseas, where the summer's first tentpole began opening last weekend, Age of Ultron has earned $439M for an early mega-global haul of $627 million.
In North America, all eyes were on the sequel 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.
But as the weekend wore on, it became apparent that Saturday night's Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fight was taking a bite out of Ultron. The PPV event, costing $89.9-$99.9, 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.
Marvel Studios now boasts the top three opening weekends of all time domestically, thanks to the two Avengers entries 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) to No. 4.
Only eight films in history have opened to $150 million or more domestically, with only Marvel cracking the $170 threshold. In other words, when a film gets to the level of Age of Ultron, no one is going on the attack against Marvel and Disney.
The bigger question will be Age of Ultron's staying power, and whether it can ultimately match the $1.5 million earned by Avengers worldwide in 2012. The latter had the cache of being the first superhero mash-up and earned an A+ CinemaScore, compared to an A for Age of Ultron.
On Friday, Age of Ultron grossed a massive $84.5 milion domestically, the biggest opening day for a superhero film and the second biggest of all time after the final Harry Potter film ($91.7 million). In 2012, Avengers pulled in $80.8 million on its first Friday.
IMAX theaters generated $25.2 million in worldwide ticket sales this weekend without the benefit of China, a new record.
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.
Elsewhere, Universal's Furious 7 finished Sunday with a global gross of $1.429 billion, passing up Deathly Hallows ($1.341 billion) became the No. 4 top-grossing title of all time at the worldwide box office behind Avengers, Titanic ($2.2 billion) and Avatar ($2.8 billion).
No other film dared open nationwide opposite Age of Ultron, leaving the rest of the box office battle to holdovers.
Blake Lively-starrer The Age of Adaline placed No 2 in North America, falling 53 percent in its second weekend to $6.3 million for a 10-day cume of $23.4 million for Lakeshore and Lionsgate. Furious 7 followed with $6.1 million, while Sony's Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 placed No 4 with $5.5 million for a domestic total of $51.2 million.
A24 Films' indie hit El Machina crossed $10 million in North America, grossing $2.2 million from 1,279 theaters for a total of $10.9 million. The sci-fi film placed No. 7.
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