The second outing at on the silver screen for Marvel Studios’ fully assembled Avengers has kicked off with a massive debut at the weekend box office.
According to Variety, writer/director Joss Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron has taken in $191.3 million domestically this weekend, signaling that the film has a very healthy box office haul in front of it. By the time the film opens in China on May 12th, it’s likely to have already passed the $1 billion mark, joining previous Marvel Studios films The Avengers and Iron Man 3 in the proverbial “billion dollar club.” This number was revised higher by the end of the day, as it was originally anticipated that it would have grossed closer to the neighborhood of $187 million for it’s opening bow.
Still, while many analysts were expecting Age of Ultron to outdo the opening of the first Avengers film in 2012, the latest entry proved to fall short of that film’s $207.4 million weekend debut at the same point on the calendar three years ago. Still, Disney has the potential to surpass the first Avengers film in just seven months, when J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in theaters worldwide. As far as reasons on why Age of Ultron didn’t meet the high watermark established by its most direct predecessor, a number of factors could have blocked it from hitting a $200 million opening weekend.
One mitigating factor may have been the weaker critical reception when compared to the first Avengers film, with the 2012 outing garnering a Rotten Tomatoes score of 92% from critics, and 91% from audiences. Comparatively, Age of Ultron has a 75% approval rating from critics, but a still high 90% approval rating from audiences. Other factors may include a plethora of sporting events taking place this weekend, such as the NBA Playoffs, the Kentucky Derby, and a highly anticipated boxing match with a high $100 price tag on pay-per-view. It would be very shortsighted to call Age of Ultron a disappointment, though, as its most direct box office competition — Universal’s Furious 7 — took in $147.2 million on its opening weekend, a pretty far cry from the Avengers’ second outing.
In our review, we felt that Age of Ultron may not have been quite as good as the first Avengers film, but that’s largely because it was trying to be something entirely different than what had come before.
We’ll be keeping an eye on the performance of the film at the box office in the weeks to come. For more on the Avengers as it happens, keep it locked on GeekNation!
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