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Joss Whedon‘s Avengers: Age of Ultron, from Disney and Marvel, is dominating the North American box office for the second weekend in a row, with early estimates pointing to a weekend haul north of $80 million.
The Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara comedy, Hot Pursuit, appears headed to collect around $4.5 million on Friday as it eyes an opening weekend take of about $13 million. Hoping to cater to females over Mother’s Day weekend, the movie began rolling out in North American theaters Thursday night, when it earned $450,000.
Meanwhile, Age of Ultron, which took in $191 million in North America during its opening weekend, is racing towards the $1 billion mark globally. Through Thursday, the tentpole had earned a staggering $753.3 million worldwide, already putting it ahead of every Marvel Cinematic Universe film save for The Avengers ($1.52 billion), Iron Man 3 ($1.21 billion) and Guardians of the Galaxy ($774.2 million). And Friday, Age of Ultron is crossing $500 million internationally, a feat only accomplished by Iron Man 3 and The Avengers.
Age of Ultron looked to be taking in an estimated $22-25 million on Friday, bringing its eight-day domesic total to close to $260 million. With a weekend purse in sight of $80-85 million, it appeared headed to a solid 55 percent drop from its opening weekend, with its ten-day total in North America expected to cross the $300 million on Sunday.
Anne Fletcher directed Witherspoon and Vergara in Hot Pursuit, an MGM and New Line comedy which is going out through Warner Bros. MGM and Witherspoon’s company, Pacific Standard, ran production on Hot Pursuit, starring Witherspoon as an inept police officer who must protect the widow of a drug dealer from criminals and corrupt cops.
So far, the $35 million movie is one of the worst reviewed films of Witherspoon’s career. The actress was last in theaters in Wild, the Fox Searchlight title that earned her an Oscar nomination. In terms of her comedies, This Means War debuted to $17.4 million in February 2012.
The weekend’s other new nationwide offering is Jack Black comedy The D Train, which IFC Films opens in more than 800 theaters, marking its widest release ever. The film, directed by Jarrad Paul and premiering at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, looks as if it will attract just a little over $1 million during the course of the weekend.
Making a limited play is Maggie, the Arnold Schwarzenegger–Abigail Breslin zombie thriller that Roadside Attractions opens in 76 theaters.
And Sony Pictures Classics opens Saint Laurent in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles.
9:35 pm, May 8 This story was updated to reflect the latest studio estimates.
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