'The Avengers' may already be the third highest-grossing film of all time, but it looks like this summer's sequel 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' could surpass it, at least when it comes to opening weekend box office receipts.
Industry researched boxoffice.com predicts that ‘Age of Ultron’ will rake in $217m domestically (in US and Canada) over its opening weekend when it’s released on May 1st, smashing the record of $207m currently held by 2012’s ‘The Avengers’.
"This film [‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’] has to be big,” Martin Pyykkonen, an analyst with Rosenblatt Securities Inc. told Bloomberg. “Everything they’ve said for quite a few months has been very bullish about the film segment.”
Boxoffice.com says it has based its forecast on sentiments expressed by the moviegoing public on social media sites including Facebook and Twitter.
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"On Twitter," Phil Contrino, chief analyst at Boxoffice.com said, "the number and intensity of positive posts [about ‘Avengers; Age of Ultron’] have been the strongest Boxoffice.com researchers have seen for any movie since they started monitoring the site."
"The way fans have reacted to trailers has been very encouraging, with a lot of enthusiasm."
Another analyst, Doug Creutz of Cowen Group, adds that although Disney may see bigger box office returns for its super-sequel, profits for the film (which reportedly cost $220m to make) may be lower due to the increase in wages demands from its stars.
“It is unlikely ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ will be a more profitable film than the original, given that talent costs will have increased, but if it is it won’t be by a lot more,” Creutz said.
Boxoffice.com concluded though that even if Disney does set a new box office record with ‘Age of Ultron’, they’re likely to beat it again with the release of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ what that’s released on 18 December.
For ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ to beat the global box office haul of the first ‘Avengers’, it’ll need to take over $1.5bn.
A tall order indeed.
Image credits: Disney