"The Avengers: Age of Ultron" showed superhuman strength the box office Friday, grossing an estimated $84,460,000 in North America. The film is now poised to break the record for the biggest opening weekend for a motion pictue ever currently held by its predecessor, “The Avengers.”
The Disney/Marvel film is expected to gross $200 million or more this weekend, according to analysts. “Age of Ultron” will have to top the $207 million made during “The Avengers” opening weekend in 2012 to break the all-time U.S.-Canada record.
According to a MovieTickets.com report, North American ticket presales for "Ultron" are already 3.7 times those of its predecessor at the same point in each film's sales cycle. Disney said the sequel has already made $255.4 million overseas since its rollout on April 22.
The film features an all-star cast of superheroes played by a returning all-star cast of Hollywood untouchables: Robert Downey Jr. is Iron Man, Chris Evans is Captain America, Chris Hemsworth plays Thor, Mark Ruffalo turns green as the Hulk and Scarlett Johansson plays fetching and deadly Black Widow.
The sequel, directed by Joss Whedon, harnesses the power of other costumed avengers such as Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and the Vision (Paul Bettany), as well as returning guest star stints from Falcon (Anthony Mackie), War Machine (Don Cheadle), S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). And who better to play the villain than James Spader, who joins “Ultron’s” cast as the robot villain Ultron?
According to early estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com, Friday’s other top box-office draws include “Furious 7” ($2.1 million), “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” ($1.8 million), “Age of Adaline” ($2.2 million) and “Home” ($870,000).
Follow @lorraineali on Twitter for more entertainment news.