Tuesday, April 28, 2015

'Furious 7' tops $1.3 billion worldwide, as America prepares for 'Age of Ultron'

Furious 7's box office reign was extended to four weekends over the course of the last three days, as the film pulled in a solid $18.2 million. The seventh installment in the blockbuster series has now made $320.5 million in the US, but its worldwide total is even more staggering. Thanks to spectacular grosses in China and other foreign nations, Furious 7's total box office gross now stands at $1.321 billion. The film has snagged just over $1 billion in international markets alone, and is now the fifth highest grossing film of all time behind Avatar, Titanic, The Avengers and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. Both of the latter two are still in reach for Furious 7, but Avengers: Age of Ultron is coming just around the corner and there's a strong possibility that that film will completely cut off Furious 7's gross. Still, an incredible total for this film and the franchise as a whole.

Beyond that, the domestic box office was dead. The only new release was Lionsgate's The Age of Adaline, which grossed $13.3 million. Not a bad total for the decent flick, but definitely not a blockbuster number. Ex Machina also had a spectacular expansion, snagging $5.4 million in just over 1,000 theaters. Little Boy and The Water Diviner both fell short of expectations, and overall, this weekend was the second lowest of the year behind only Super Bowl weekend. However, that will all change next week with the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron and the arrival of the summer movie season.

Foreign audiences got to experience the Age of Ultron a little early, as the film debuted in 44 markets. The second installment in the superhero team-up franchise grossed $200.2 million, which is a solid uptick over both The Avengers and Iron Man 3. There's little doubt in my mind that this film will explode in China when it opens there, as well as have solid performances in Spain and Mexico. Age of Ultron could end up topping Furious 7's international number, which would be quite impressive. But the next question is: how will the film perform in America?

There's one thing to get out of the way first- there's no way that Age of Ultron matches The Avengers' domestic total. Reviews aren't as stellar and the legs won't be as good. However, there's a very good chance that the film's opening weekend is even more massive than the $207 million that Joss Whedon's superhero opus pulled in back in 2012. Most estimates are around $215-$220 million, but could the film go even higher?

Since The Avengers debuted in 2012, Marvel has released four new movies. Each of them debuted to stellar numbers. Let's check those out:

                          -Iron Man 3- $174.1 million
                          -Thor: The Dark World- $85.7 million
                          -Captain America: The Winter Soldier- $95 million
                          -Guardians of the Galaxy- $94.3 million

Each of those films opened nearly $30-$40 above its predecessor. Iron Man 3's total was absurd even when it was first released. Marvel continued to surprise and stun and they created a true box office empire. Avengers: Age of Ultron is one of the most highly anticipated films in recent memory and there's a good chance that it could push $230 million if it holds up like The Avengers did. If audiences fall for it, and word of mouth carries it through Sunday, it'll do just fine. My final prediction is that the film will hit $225 million. We'll see next weekend for sure, but it is sure to be an exciting ride.

Image Credits: Comic Book.com, Apple Trailers, Slash Film

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