Record shattered by critic-proof Marvel blockbuster

Some critics derided Avengers: Age of Ultron as bloated, bombastic and nonsensical, but Australian moviegoers clearly dismissed or didn’t read the reviews

The Marvel blockbuster directed by Joss Whedon captured $15.7 million last weekend and $17.1 million including Wednesday night previews.

That’s the third biggest 4-day opening of all time behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and The Twilight Saga: New Moon.

The superhero adventure starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson and Mark Ruffalo eclipsed the 2012 debut of The Avengers, which raked in $13.3 million.

To be fair, the original opened on a Wednesday, ANZAC Day, making $6 million on that day, and finished up with a towering $53.2 million.

The Disney release accounted for a whopping 71% of the entire market as nationwide receipts shot up by 34% to $22.1 million, according to Rentrak’s estimates. The four-day tally was up 18.5% on last year.

Universal’s Fast & Furious 7 is starting to run out of gas but climbed to $40.3 million after earning $1.57 million in its fourth outing.

Sony’s Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 s wearing out its welcome, plunging by 64% to $553,000, which brings its 11-day tally to $2.46 million.

Becker Films launched Boychoir, a drama from director François Girard (The Red Violin) starring Dustin Hoffman, Kathy Bates, Eddie Izzard, Josh Lucas and Glee’s Kevin McHale, on 78 screens but it whistled up just $216,000 with previews.

Rave reviews for Testament of Youth didn’t help as James Kent’s WW1 drama featuring Game of Thrones'  Kit Harington and Alicia Vikander bowed with $174,000 on 64 screens and $210,000 including sneaks.

Among the limited releases, HBO documentary Banksy Does New York, which follows the street artist as he produces one art work per day for a month in the city, drew a fair $33,000 on six screens.