Tracking for one of this summer’s most highly anticipated tentpoles, Disney/Marvel’s The Avengers: Age Of Ultron, came out this morning and, as expected, it’s tracking a little better than The Avengers at the same point in the cycle. That one, which was the highest opening in history, debuted to $207.4M in May 2012. This new superhero cluster flick — which includes everyone from Captain America and Iron Man to The Hulk, Thor, Falcon, Quicksilver, and Black Widow — bows May 1 in 3D and Imax 3D and is expected to be one of the highest — if not the highest — opening in history.
The picture will open in previews Thursday, April 30 at 7 P.M. Advance ticket sales started early last month. Right now, sales are through the roof and the sequel is “significantly outselling” the first Avengers, said a Fandango spokesperson. “Theaters around the country are sold out and managers are right now adding showtimes to meet the fan demand.” MovieTickets.com also that U.S. advance ticket sales are six times greater than The Avengers.
If you look at the comp for this sequel it is tracking around the same as Iron Man 3, which opened to $174.1M and went onto gross $409M domestically on its way to a $1B worldwide take. Geez, what will Disney/Marvel do if they only open to $200M on this one? The most important segment on tracking is unaided awareness, and that is a little below The Avengers right now — about two points lower — which means the audience that you want to tap into beyond the core doesn’t have it top of mind quite yet. The demos are skewed male, but females are right in line with where a normal Marvel title would be.
Avengers: Age Of Ultron, directed by Joss Whedon, may beat Marvel’s The Avengers (also directed by Whedon) as the highest opening ever. After debuting with $207.4M at 4,349 theaters The Avengers ended its domestic run at $623.4M becoming the third-highest-grossing film in North American behind Jim Cameron’s one-two punch of Avatar ($760.5M in 2009) and Titanic ($658.7M in 1997).
Age Of Ultron stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Cheadle, Paul Bettany, Idris Elba, and James Spader as the voice of the evil Ultron who wants to eliminate the entire human species.
There are two sequels already planned for this superhero fan film — both have Avengers: Infinity War in their titles. They will be released in May of 2018 and 2019 and be helmed by Joe and Anthony Russo.