‘Hot Pursuit’ ain’t hot enough to take on the Avengers

Avengers: Age of Ultron continues to be a dominating force at the domestic box-office and the international one too. The movie dipped by 59.6% on its second weekend in North America, but that still leaves it with an impressive weekend collection of $77.2 million. The drop is pretty much what we expect nowadays from big budget blockbusters which are heavily front-loaded. Even the other impressive movie from the Marvel world – Iron Man 3 – fell by 58.4% in its second weekend. In comparison though, 2012’s The Avengers had dropped by only 50.3% in its second weekend after having a record-breaking opening weekend, which just goes on to show that it was on a different pedestal altogether which is yet to be touched. That kind of performance will be difficult to match for any of the superhero flicks! Avengers: Age of Ultron is having a fine run of its own though, with $313 million earned domestically in 10 days and $562 million earned in foreign markets – that totals to a staggering figure of $875 million already. The movie is yet to open in China and Japan, which are going to be massive markets, so expect the numbers to have shot past the $1 billion mark by next weekend. Nothing can match the might of the Avengers!

Earnings_Avengers - Age of Ultron v3

The comedy film Hot Pursuit did make a feeble attempt to shake things up a bit, but it hardly caught anyone’s attention despite starring Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara. The movie, which has a production budget of $35 million, only earned a meagre $13.3 million on its opening weekend in North America. That is quite a disappointment, even after considering the obvious might of its competition. Three years back, The Avengers had been challenged by a high budget comedy film Dark Shadows in the second week of May, and while the latter’s $30 million opening was a disappointment too, it was still more than twice that of Hot Pursuit in absolute terms. Both the movies competing with The Avengers and its sequel have been distributed by Warner Bros. incidentally. Hot Pursuit may still manage to salvage something from the international markets on the back of the star power of its lead actors, though terrible reviews (6% score on Rottentomatoes) will not help much.

Earnings_Hot Pursuit

Among the other big names, Furious 7 has earned about $1.47 billion so far globally, and is only about $50 million shy of crossing the earnings of The Avengers. The sci-fi Ex Machina added more theatres over the weekend and is running in more than 2,000 theatres in North America. The movie has earned a bit more than $24 million worldwide so far, though I expect its DVD sales to be quite strong on the back of brilliant reviews. In other news, Disney’s Cinderella crossed $500 million earnings worldwide during the week; the modestly budgeted comedy Get Hard earned more than $100 million worldwide which could move it to the ‘hit’ category; Kingsman: The Secret Service crossed $400 million worldwide – a big hit indeed!

Here are the top 5 weekend earners at the US box-office (estimates):

1. Avengers: Age of Ultron ($77.2 million; second weekend)

2. Hot Pursuit ($13.3 million)

3. The Age of Adaline ($5.6 million; third weekend)

4. Furious 7 ($5.3 million; sixth weekend)

5. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 ($5.2 million; fourth weekend)


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