Weekend Report - 'Ultron' Hot, 'Pursuit' Not
Avengers: Age of Ultron didn't plummet from the sky like that Sokovian fiefdom in the film but, with its $77.2 million 2nd week outing, it did drop 59.6% from its opening take of $191 million. Surprising amounts of Monday-morning quarterbacking this last week noted that Ultron could have become the new #1 film for all-time weekend box office if it hadn't been up against several sporting events that siphoned off eyeballs.

Even still the Disney/Marvel property has a lot to celebrate. Domestically it easily dominated the box office at the #1 position with a per theater take of $18K in 4,276 venues. That $77.2M is still the 2nd highest 2nd weekend gross, just ahead of the 2nd weekend of Fox's Avatar ($75.6 million), and is topped only by it predecessor, Marvel's The Avengers ($103.1 million). Ultron's domestic take to date ($313M) has also already surpassed the lifetime domestic cumes of Captain America ($177M), Thor ($181M), Thor: The Dark World ($206M) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($259M).

Internationally Ultron is holding up impressively, hauling in $65M, crossing $562 million for an foreign cume, with a total worldwide take of $875.3M. It's also, as Disney will be quick to tell you, yet to open in Japan and the burgeoning behemoth that is China, which it does this coming Tuesday, further adding from foreign coffers.

The film did fall further than other, recent Marvel films. Iron Man 3's second week, in the same 2nd week frame in May 2013, fell 58.4%. But, to put things in further perspective that 59.6% is nowhere near the drop the previous #1 weekend-record slot took, a film not in the Marvel Universe, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. The finale to the wildly popular film series dropped a whopping 72% in its second weekend, going from an opening of $169 million to $47 million.

Meanwhile the well-cut, funny trailer for New Line/MGM/Warner's Hot Pursuit couldn't outrun the negative reviews as the latest Reese Witherspoon vehicle counter-programmed itself to a pint-sized $13.3 million in 3,003 theaters for a per theater average just shy of $4,400K per. That figure is lower than analysts' $18M estimates for the film, a road comedy with Witherspoon (who also produced under her Pacific Standard banner) playing an uptight cop stuck protecting a drug informant's strong-willed wife, played by Sofia Vergara (of "Modern Family" fame). It's Witherspoon's first comedy since 2011's This Means War. That comedy, with its multiple endings shot-and-tested opened in a now-looking-pretty-good 5th place on Presidents' Day weekend in 2012 with $17.4 million (just for the three day comp). If it follows the same pattern as This Means War—not a guarantee, by any stretch of the imagination—it will end its run with a soft $35M. A C+ CinemaScore even calls that final tally into question.

In holdover titles Ex Machina was up 56%, earning $3.5M in 2,004 theater for a $15.7M domestic cume.

Age of Adaline had just a little work done, nipping and tucking just 10% off from last weekend for a $5.6M weekend and a domestic cume to date of $31.5.

The D Train opened soft, making $469K in 1,000 venues, which might be a bit of a disapointment for IFC Films which acquired it in Sundance for $3M. It stars Jack Black as the organizer of his high school reunion who travels to L.A. to retrieve the big man on campus, played by James Marsden.

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Last Weekend

'Ultron's Massive $188M Debut Falls Short of 'Avengers' Record

This Timeframe in Past Years:

• 2014 - 'Neighbors' Hazes 'Spider-Man'

• 2013 -
'Gatsby' Great, But 'Iron Man' Leads Again

• 2012 - 'Avengers' Shatters More Records, 'Shadows' Mostly Sucks

• 2011 - 'Thor' Holds on to Throne, 'Bridesmaids' a Strong Second

• 2010 - 'Iron Man 2' Buckles But Still Burns, 'Robin Hood' More Merry Than Medieval

• 2009 - 'Star Trek' Prospers

• 2008 - 'Iron Man' Builds, 'Speed Racer' Burns

• 2007 - 'Spider-Man 3' Unravels But Rules

• 2006 - 'Poseidon' Capsizes, Cruise Clings to Top Spot

• 2005 - 'Monster-in-Law' Claws to the Top

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