'Age of Ultron' Age of Second Place Avenging - Week 1 | Jurassic World | Avengers: Age of Ultron | Inside Out

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'Age of Ultron' Age of Second Place Avenging - Week 1

Jurassic World
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Inside Out
Minions
Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation
Ant-Man
Terminator: Genisys
Ted 2
Hot Pursuit
The first day of the Summer Movie Pool is like Christmas, the 4th of July, and Talk Like A Pirate all combined. People just fill into multiplexes muttering "Arrh" with only their popcorn and soda combo costing more than their ticket. Folks are coming to be entertained and often the first film of the season sets the table for what's to come.

A disappointment, like last year's The Amazing Spider-Man 2, casts a shadow on the whole season kind of being a dud. It took till the August release of Guardians of the Galaxy before people said, "Oh yeah, that's what a summer movie is supposed to be like!" When Iron Man 3 avoided oxidation in 2013 with now the 3rd best opening of all-time, it brought 19 other films over the $100 million mark with it. Once you suck people into the theater, they have a tendency to keep sucking.

Where does that place the sequel to the greatest opening of all-time? The second film happens to fall as the second biggest opening of all-time as Avengers: Age of Ultron debuted with $191.3 million, more than $15 million behind The Avengers $207.4 million haul in 2012. Certainly nothing to Hulk-out about, yet sequels tend to open even larger than their original films. The Dark Knight, Iron Man 2, Despicable Me 2, Toy Story 2, and even Another Stakeout started bigger than Stakeout... before flaming out $45 million less than the original, touching story of how Madeleine Stowe falls in love with Richard Dreyfuss, the man we've all been wanting to punch for 40 years.

That means the good news is that this is a fantastic opening for the summer season. This film is almost guaranteed to finish somewhere north of $400 million and there's probably not another film this season that will even come close. Franchise-wise, however, it must be a little disturbing for Marvel Studios who saw bigger starts to Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America sequels after The Avengers came out and is now seeing a smaller opening for its own sequel. Maybe it's the curse of the Dr. Pepper promotion? Always let Pepsi lead the way! It's why the Spice Girls lasted as long as they did.

As to Avengers: Age of Ultron itself, it'll be interesting to see if it has the staying power of the first film. Certainly, casting James Spader as Ultron, this generation's Richard Dreyfuss (someone we always want to see getting punched), doesn't hurt. Casting Black Widow as Betty Crocker, Hawkeye as Little House on the Prairie, Thor as Fabio, the twins as Boris and Natasha, Tony Stark as the mad scientist, and Captain America as the Beaver? That was sometimes a little more hard to swallow. Still, little flaws are forgiven when things are entertaining and for the most part that's right where the Age of Ultron lies. At least until the Reese Witherspoon/Sofia Vergara Hot Pursuit brings out the big guns this weekend... Well, they'll at least be bringing out the big something.

The Top Five If Today Was Labor Day:
#1. Avengers: Age of Ultron - $191.3 million
#2. n/a
#3. n/a
#4. n/a
#5. n/a

*****
Extra Bonus Section

Since other poolers ask, here's my esteemed, extremely well thought-out and perpetually doomed to fail 2015 prognostications.

Avengers: Age of Ultron was a gimmie for #1 but everything for #2-#5 was a total crapshoot. I favored on brands and studios (well, as long as that studio is Pixar) for the rest. I think there will be a lot of successful movies this summer (it feels like a good selection of flicks), yet these five I believe will be standing in the end.

#1. Avengers: Age of Ultron - Duh. I had them at $533 million as my total which feels like it might be a little high now... kind of like some of my poolers.

#2. Minions - Everybody loves the minions! Three year-olds, my mom, moms who act like three year-olds. Pretty much everyone except the Green Lantern. Despicable Me 2 made $368 million dollars and while I don't think this'll do quite as well, to paraphrase Babe, "That'll do, Dave. That'll do."

#3. Jurassic World - There's a lot of kids who's Star Wars was Jurassic Park and they're going to drag the kids they have now to Jurassic World. It's got the funny guy from Guardians of the Galaxy and, to its credit, it actually looks like the first "new" looking JP film since the first one. All the others had that been there, seen it feel. Still, it really could be as terrible as Jaws 3 (also based in a theme park), but as a brand, it's bronze.

#4. Inside Out - Talk about banking on a brand... Pixar, don't let me down here! Even their original films make more than $200 million, so this should be able to do the job... Right? Right?! Why are my hands shaking as I type this?

#5. Ted 2 - It was a total teddy bear fight for my #5 pick. Ant-Man, Terminator: Genisys, and Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation all crossed my mind, but the $218 million of Ted 1 crossed my mind more. I figure those same people will be back for more of the same. As The Hangover 2 proved, people will come back for depressingly repetitive sequels and this is the biggest fruit on the adult comedy tree this summer.


by Matt Neuenburg on 05/05/2015

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Ant-Man, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Hot Pursuit, Inside Out, Jurassic World, Minions, Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, Ted 2, Terminator: Genisys
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