'Avengers: Age of Ultron' assembles huge opening day

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Sunday, May 3, 2015

LOS ANGELES, CA -- Iron Man and his superhero pals have bested their own opening day record with "Avengers: Age of Ultron." The $250 million sequel pulled in $84.5 million from Thursday night and Friday showings, topping the $80.8 million opening of the first "Avengers" in 2012, according to Disney estimates Saturday.

The Marvel and Disney film, directed by Joss Whedon, now boasts the second biggest opening day of all time, behind the final "Harry Potter" film, which debuted with $91.1 million.

Disney's distribution head Dave Hollis said the film remains "on a pace" to beat the all-time $207.4 million record set by the first film. The studio is projecting a conservative range of $200 million to $210 million by the time the weekend closes out.

But all remain wary of divided attentions on a weekend packed with sports events, including the Kentucky Derby, the NBA playoffs and the Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight.

No matter where "Ultron" ends up on the scale, though, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is poised to claim the top three biggest openings ever, bumping "Iron Man 3" to third. That film opened to $174 million in 2013.

"Ultron" is also a solid global force. Adding in an additional $53 million from international markets on Friday, "Ultron" has already amassed $425 million worldwide. South Korea has had the biggest showing internationally, with $43 million in sales, followed by the U.K. and Russia with $39 million and $23 million, respectively.