Yawn. I’m bored with acknowledging the fact that Avengers: Age of Ultron had no serious competition for its second weekend in U.S. theaters. Once again it occupied the number one spot at the box office. But it continues a trend where even though it made $77 million in North America, domestic grosses continue to decline. In 2012, The Avengers was at $373 million after two weeks in release in America. Ultron is at $312.5 million. Just the opposite is global numbers. This sequel, which hasn’t opened in territories like China and Japan, is on pace to gross more than the $895 million the first film hauled in back in 2012.
Finishing in second place was the non-laugh riot Hot Pursuit starring Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara. What could have been a bad-ass female take on Martin Brest’s Midnight Run instead whiffs with tame humor and broad laughs. Opening on a little more than 3000 screens the comedy would make $13.3 million. That’s a far cry from what Reese did nearly 15 years ago with the release of Legally Blonde, which raked in $20.3 million from 2600 screens for its opening weekend.
Though, in her defense she’s not the draw like a Sandra Bullock or Meryl Streep when it comes to openings. Plus, she’s been in smaller projects of late (The Good Lie, Wild), which opened in small release, or she’s doing supporting turns for Paul Thomas Anderson (Inherent Vice) and Jeff Nichols (Mud). Then there’s the calamitous action rom-com This Means War. A McG movie that made co-star Tom Hardy swear he’d never do another romantic comedy again.
Outside of spots #1 and #2, no other film in the top ten made it above $5.6 million for the weekend. Actually, only a few $100k separate #5 Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 and #3 The Age of Adaline. Furious 7 is stuck in between. It has made $338.4 million in North America since its debut in April.
Still chugging along is Cinderella. It re-entered the top ten last weekend and is still there (in ninth) with $1.57 million. Not bad for a film that opened back in mid-March. Overseas, the live-action retelling of one of Disney’s famed animated classics has made $316.9 million to bring its total gross to $513 million.
My favorite stories are the ones involving small movies that have found success in spite of competition that is more attractive to the casual movie fan. By that I mean A24’s Ex Machina. After a short platform opening, A24 decided to push the screen count above 2,000 for its fifth weekend and Alex Garland’s sci-fi thriller jumped 52% in attendance numbers. It is now the highest grossing A24 film domestically. Even better is knowing it has made $8.4 million internationally thus far and that number should continue to climb. For all indie studios out there, make a note at what A24 and Radius TWC (with It Follows) have done and try a similar strategy when it comes to competing with the summer blockbusters.
This weekend it will be Max (Mad Max: Fury Road) against the Bellas (Pitch Perfect 2). I predict a Fury Road victory, but I’m more interested to see how well Pitch Perfect 2 does. When the original opened the last weekend of September 2012 it was to the tune of $5.1 million. That was on 335 screens, where it ranked 6th for the weekend. Following expansion the next weekend it jumped to third place with $14.8 million. Spending 20 weeks in theaters, Pitch Perfect made $65 million in the U.S. I fully expect it to make at least half of that total gross back when Pitch Perfect 2 opens this weekend.
Full Top 10 below.
01. Avengers: Age of Ultron — $77,203,000 ($312,589,000)
02. Hot Pursuit — $13,300,000
03. The Age of Adaline — $5,600,000 ($31,529,000)
04. Furious 7 — $5,272,000 ($338,420,000)
05. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 — $5,190,000 ($58,075,000)
06. Ex Machina — $3,470,000 ($15,722,000)
07. Home — $3,000,000 ($162,116,000)
08. Woman in Gold — $1,652,000 ($26,978,000)
09. Cinderella — $1,574,000 ($196,166,000)
10. Unfriended — $1,412,000 ($30,943,000)
Tags: Avengers: Age of Ultron, box office, Ex Machina, Hot Pursuit