'Avengers: Age of Ultron' Tops With $77.2 Million, 'Hot Pursuit' Flounders
By Brent Lang
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - "Avengers: Age of Ultron" iced out "Hot Pursuit" at the weekend box office, picking up $77.2 million and topping charts for a second consecutive time.
Disney and Marvel's comic book adventure has made $312.9 million domestically since debuting stateside ten days ago. That massive figure makes it the second fastest film to clear $300 million domestically, and its sophomore weekend is the second biggest in movie history, surpassing "Avatar's" $75.6 million haul.
The film "Avengers: Age of Ultron" trails on both counts? Its predecessor, 2012's "Marvel's The Avengers," which had earned $373 million at a similar point in its run after scoring a $103 million second weekend.
"It's a dominant force," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak. "These second weekend numbers would be a great opening weekend debut for a lot of films."
Internationally, "Avengers: Age of Ultron" picked up $68 million, pushing the film to $875.3 million globally. Given that major markets such as China and Japan are still left to open and domestic audiences continue to embrace the film, "Avengers: Age of Ultron" should have no trouble becoming the second 2015 release to clear $1 billion globally, behind "Furious 7."
With Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, and the rest of the super team dominating ticket sales, Warner Bros.' "Hot Pursuit" landed with a thud, picking up a frosty $13.3 million opening from 3,003 locations. The Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara retread of "The Heat" was crippled by withering reviews, with its debut falling short of projections that pegged an opening of $18 million or higher. It's also on the low-end of Witherspoon's recent bows for more commercial fare such as "Water for Elephants" ($16.8 million debut) and "This Means War" ($17.4 million debut).
"Given our expectations it was a little lighter than we had hoped for," said Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros. distribution executive vice president.
He argued the negative critical reaction took a toll. Continued...