“Avengers: The Age of Ultron” doesn’t hit the U.S. until May 1, but it’s already shaping up to be an overseas juggernaut.
The superhero sequel will debut to between $160 million and $175 million when it bows in a number of foreign counties such as France, Italy, Korea, the U.K. and Russia. It will screen in roughly 55% of the international market before completing its world domination in the coming weeks.
The “Avengers” sequel faces some currency headaches. The relative strength of the dollar, coupled with a weak euro and a feeble ruble, could depress the total. That’s been cited as a reason that recent blockbusters such as “The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies” fell short of previous films in the franchise.
“Avengers: Age of Ultron” is expected to earn north of $200 million when it debuts in the U.S., hoping to eclipse the record-setting $207.4 million to which the first “Avengers” debuted in 2012.
The presence of “Avengers” makes the Stateside box office essentially an after-thought. Among new releases, Lionsgate’s “Age of Adaline” will drop in 2,991 locations, where it should pull in a solid $12 million. The romantic drama stars Blake Lively as a woman who does not age (a recurring fantasy in Hollywood), and co-stars Harrison Ford and Ellen Burstyn. The $30 million production was also backed by Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Lakeshore Entertainment.
Open Road will also debut the war drama “Little Boy” in more than 1,000 theaters, where it should pull in roughly $3 million. The coming-of-age story cost $20 million to produce and is looking to appeal to faith-based crowds.
With “Avengers” still on the horizon, “Furious 7” will likely hold the top slot at the box office for the fourth week in a row, earning roughly $16 million. That figure will push the film past the $300 million mark domestically.
Last weekend’s big new release, “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2,” looks unlikely to show much endurance, as it falls victim to bad reviews and mediocre CinemaScore ratings. It should pull in $13 million.
Also of note, A24 will push “Ex Machina” from 39 to 1,200 theaters. The trippy sci-fi thriller has already earned more than $1 million in limited release.
Warner Bros. will also release Russell Crowe’s directorial debut in 300 theaters, but the Australian war drama may struggle to find an audience given the wealth of options, such as “Ex Machina” and “While We’re Young,” for adult audiences in the marketplace.