A huge sports day prevented 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' from breaking box-office records
"Ultron" was projected to make close to $220 million this weekend, surpassing the all-time weekend opening gross currently held by 2012's "The Avengers" ($207.4 million). However, Saturday had one of the biggest sports days in recent memory outside of the Super Bowl. There were the playoff games in professional basketball and hockey, the Kentucky Derby, and, finally, the touted "fight of the century" between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
"It was one of the greatest sports days perhaps in history," Dave Hollis, distribution chief at Disney, told Variety. "It feels like a barrage of sporting options grabbed a lot of people's attention."
It was certainly evident at the box office as "Ultron" ticket sales dropped 32% on Saturday following it's $84.4 million take on Friday. (Sunday's numbers slipped 20% from Saturday.)
In comparison, ticket sales for 2012's "The Avengers" took a 13.9% dip from Friday to Saturday when it opened in 2012.
Looking at the two opening weekends side-by-side is incredible since "Ultron" made more money than its predecessor in Friday ticket sales.
|Movie||Friday opening weekend gross (ticket sales)||Saturday gross||Sunday gross|
|"The Avengers" (2012)||$80.8 million||$69.6 million||$57.1 million|
|"Avengers: Age of Ultron" (2015)||$84 million (estimate)||$57.2 million||$46 million|
NBC's coverage of the Kentucky Derby delivered the highest ratings in 23 years. And HBO/Showtime reported an estimated $400 million take in pay-per-view revenue from the Pacquiao/Mayweather fight, which ended with Mayweather winning in a unanimous decision.The "Avengers" sequel isn't hurting though. The movie is already well on its way to becoming the second $1 billion film of the year. So far, the sequel has made over $626 million worldwide.
"Ultron" is expected to have another big weekend coming up with the only competition being the comedy "Hot Pursuit," starring Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara.