Disney and Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is heading for box office history with an $84.5 million opening day in U.S., the second-biggest domestic launch ever and enough to match the first day of the $207.4 million opening weekend record for 2012’s “The Avengers.”
Friday’s first-day number for “Age of Ultron” trails only the $91 million opening-day record set in July 2011 by Warner Bros.’ “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.” But it is an impressive 4.5% ahead of the $80.8 million opening day of “The Avengers” three years ago.
“Ultron” is projected to be neck-and-neck with the original “Avengers,” looking at a range of $200 million to $210 million for its opening weekend — even with Saturday’s sports distractions of the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather fight, the Kentucky Derby and the NBA playoffs.
If “Ultron” doesn’t break “The Avengers'” record, it will still finish far ahead of the launch weekend for Disney-Marvel’s “Iron Man 3,” currently the second-highest opening weekend with $174.1 million in May 2013.
The international total has hit $340 million in the wake of launching in 55% of the overseas markets last weekend. The tentpole took in $53 million on Friday, down just 17%, and remains the top title in every market.
South Korea is the highest international market so far at $43 million, followed by the U.K at $39 million, Russia with $23 million, France with $20 million, Australia with $18 million, Germany with $16 million and Mexico with $14 million. The Mexican number has come in just two days.
A trio of holdovers will battle for second place in the U.S. in the $7 million to $8 million range — Universal’s fifth weekend of “Furious 7,” Lionsgate’s second weekend of “The Age of Adaline” and Sony’s third frame of “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2.”
“Furious 7″ should finish the weekend with a U.S. total at about $332 million to go along with more than $1 billion internationally.