Audiences assemble. To no one’s surprise, “Avengers: Age Of Ultron” held the number one spot at the box office this weekend for the second week running. Though the blockbuster did fall 60% in week two, the movie still made an additional $77 million in North America. Marvel’s picture currently stands at $312 million domestically so far. While that’s a fantastic second week total, it’s actually down 16% from the original “The Avengers,” which was at $373 million after its first two weeks of release in 2012. But if the box-office is waning across the board domestically, and it is, internationally the grosses are going in the opposite direction.
‘Age Of Ultron’ is nearing the $900 million mark globally after three weeks of worldwide release ($874 million total). What does this mean exactly? More of the same narrative that we’ll likely see a continuation of over the next year: ‘Age Of Ultron’ will likely gross much more than the $895 million the inaugural film hauled in internationally in 2012, but domestically, the sequel will probably fall 25-30% short of the original. Can it match or surpass the $1.5 billion the film made globally? Considering it hasn’t opened in China or Japan yet, where it could easily make up for the domestic shortage, it’s definitely a good possibility.
Elsewhere at the box-office, Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara went for broad laughs in 20th Century Fox’s “Hot Pursuit,” but the duo could only score mediocre grosses; $13 million from over 3000 screens (read our review. While obviously a counter-programming play, Marvel’s Avengers are still sucking up most of the moviegoing audiences. That was it as far as new wide releases, aside from IFC Films’s “The D Train,” which actually opened on more than 1,000 screens, an unusual move for the indie studio, but perhaps the broad comedy duo of Jack Black and James Marsden gave them a little mainstream hope.
Unfortunately, “The D Train” could not crack the top 10. The comedy took in about $469,000, for an incredibly dismal $465 per screen average (in fact it’s the worst per screen average of 2015 and the 15th lowest PSA ever according to this Box Office mojo Chart, which is probably not definitive, but still pretty comprehensive).
The rest of the box office was fairly indistinguishable — various pictures chugging along — but there were a few highlights. “Furious 7” hit the $1.466 billion mark. Universal‘s action film is still the fourth highest grossing film of all time and at this trajectory should be able to surpass “The Avengers” for the 3rd highest all-time spot. “Cinderella” crossed the $500 million mark midweek, and that’s been another slam dunk for Disney.
A24‘s “Ex Machina” is turning into the indie success story of the year, even beyond the already successful indie horror “It Follows.” Going wide to 2,000 screens, the compelling sci-fi thriller jumped 52% and added another $3.4 million to a tally that is now over $15 million. This means the Alex Garland-directed and written effort is now the highest grossing A24 film domestically. The picture is also $7 million away from reaching the same record worldwide, and considering its strong word of mouth and picture-perfect platforming ascension, it seems like it should only take a few weeks to hit that mark. Indie studios take note.
In limited release, none of the indies that opened posted remarkable numbers. “5 Flights Up” grossed only $234K from 87 screens for a low $2,690 per screen average, and “Maggie,” the zombie movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, could only gross $131K from 79 screens for a very unexceptional $1,658 PSA (though the film was OnDemand at the same time; read our review). But there were a few indies that did fairly well: Sony Pictures Classics‘ “St. Laurent” scored $36,136 from 4 theaters for a good $9,034 PSA, Tribeca Films‘ “I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story” landed a $10,150 PSA from one screen, and Janus‘ “The Apu Trilogy” — a seminal must-see work from the Indian auteur Satyajit Ray — grossed $16,300 at 1 theater in New York. Honestly, it’s one of the greatest trilogies of all time, so if you’re at all a cinephile and haven’t seen it, you need to put it on your must-watch list.
Lastly, “Pitch Perfect 2” is off to a good start; the movie nabbed ;$8.8 million from from Australia and New Zealand.
1. Avengers: Age of Ultron — $77,203,000 ($312,589,000)
2. Hot Pursuit — $13,300,000
3. The Age of Adaline — $5,600,000 ($31,529,000)
4. Furious 7 — $5,272,000 ($338,420,000)
5. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 — $5,190,000 ($58,075,000)
6. Ex Machina — $3,470,000 ($15,722,000)
7. Home — $3,000,000 ($162,116,000)
8. Woman in Gold — $1,652,000 ($26,978,000)
9. Cinderella — $1,574,000 ($196,166,000)
10. Unfriended — $1,412,000 ($30,943,000)