The Next New: Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao Makes More than Avengers This Weekend
*Originally Posted On OpeningRound.com*
By: Keith Nelson Jr (@JusAire) Editor-In-Chief
This weekend, two gladiators square off to determine the king of American commerce. Floyd “Money” Mayweather’s fight with Manny Pacquiao will happen on May 2nd, a day after the U.S. premiere of Avengers: Age of Ultron. You can almost hear the cackling from Marvel fanboys and casual moviegoers alike after reading a boxing match would make more money in ONE night than a blockbuster movie will in three days. Even though there are people willing to sit through the 29-hour Avengers marathon in select theaters, the sweat from their feverish fandom will be a drop in the ocean of celebratory tears of those who have waited for Mayweather to fight Pacquiao for over five years.
But before we delve into HOW Mayweather and Pacquiao will slay Iron Man and his fictional friends, let’s revisit the last time Mayweather faced off against the Marvel Universe’s brightest constellation of stars.
This is not the first time Money Mayweather faced off against Marvel’s collection of cash cows. The weekend of May 6th, 2012 featured the release of the first Avengers movie and Floyd Mayweather’s fight against Miguel Cotto. Avengers handedly Hulksmashed Mayweather into oblivion with a $207.4 million opening weekend gross in the U.S. By comparison, Mayweather/Cotto garnered $94 million dollars from 1.5 million Pay-Per-View buys and a live gate of $12 million, then a Top 10 live gate amount. The combined $106 million of the live gate and PPV buys is barely more than half of what Avengers grossed in its opening weekend; it was never a fair fight.
Mayweather’s yawn-inducing Cinco De Mayo bout against Miguel Cotto was only his second fight in two years after a 16 month sabbatical between May 2010 and September 2011 as he battled a felony domestic violence charge. The Cotto fight succeeded Mayweather’s return to the ring, an even more boring September 2011 bout with Victor Ortiz. That fight generated $78 million in domestic PPV revenue from 1.25 million million buys at an average of $62 per purchase.The fight also generated $9 million from the sale of 13,364 tickets but 3,000 were unsold. The $12 million live gate for the Cotto fight came from the sale of 14,612 tickets with only 440 unsold tickets. People were warming back up to the idea of Mayweather Jr in the ring but the negative press of a domestic violence conviction and a subpar return bout doomed his fight against Avengers 1, especially with how Marvel set this up. The man who never loses, lost one.
By the time May 4th, 2012 rolled around, Avengers anticipation had reached a fevered pitch. It was more than just the culmination of years of hints at future movies in the Marvel Universe appearing at the end of Marvel movies, it was the culmination of one of the most lucrative campaigns ever. In the same 16 month span that Mayweather was absent from boxing (give or take a few months), Marvel unleashed Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America:The First Avenger. Iron Man 2 alone grossed an astounding $625 million worldwide by the time Avengers reached theaters with Thor and Captain America each grossing over $175 million in their opening weekends in the U.S. alone (IM2 grossed $312 million in America).
How Will Mayweather/Pacquiao defeat Avengers: Age of Ultron?
It won’t be easy as Avengers: Age of Ultron is proving to be bigger than its predecessor and may even eclipse Furious 7 as 2015’s fastest grossing movie. With an April 22nd early release to 44 international territories, Avengers: Age of Ultron garnered $201.2 million in just five days with an average of $4.57 million in each territory. Furious 7 garnered $240.05 million in five days from 63 international territories for an average of $3.89 million. But let me make one thing abundantly clear. Nothing in entertainment will matter outside of Las Vegas and specifically MGM Grand as this fight is not proving to just be the fight of the century but potentially the most lucrative non-Super Bowl sporting event.
The tickets were priced between $1,500 and $10,000 with over 16,000 of the possible 16,800 to be sold privately to celebrities as well as both fighter’s respective camps. The tickets were delayed for days and still, when 500 excessively priced tickets went on sale at 3 P.M. EST on April 23rd, they were sold out by 3:01 P.M. EST on April 23rd. This fight potentially made over $3 million in 60 seconds by selling less than 3% of their total tickets. The fight is expected to generate and insane $74 million live gate, over three times more than the previous record, surpassing Super Bowl XLIX’s $60 million in ticket sales and basically swallowing its competition whole:
But $74 million is small peanuts to an Avengers sequel that is predicted to generate over $210 million in its opening weekend, until you factor in the millions of eyeballs that will be watching the fight at home. The PPV prices for Mayweather vs Pacquiao are $90 (standard definition) and $100 (high definition). A fight billed as The Fight Of The Century that went through enough doping allegations and character assassinations to be its own HBO series (think True Detective buddy comedy), will probably have every eye glued to the TV and surpass 3 million PPV buys. So assuming everyone purchases the $90 option, that’s $270 million from the PPV buys alone. If Avengers 2’s high prediction of $230 million opening weekend comes to fruition, Mayweather/Pacquiao would only need 2.56 million standard definition PPV buys to beat it, not even factoring in the live gate. With live gate and PPV buys included, Mayweather/Pacquiao as the potential to reach over $400 million, aka more than the gross domestic product of Thailand and Australia. Yes, Mayweahter vs Pacquiao is it’s own country.
With Avengers 2 only being released to 15 of the 63 international territories it’s scheduled to be released in and Pacquiao being a legit international draw, the playing field overseas should be even. But, in an America that rewards (fictional) middle aged meth dealers and (actual) Wall Street sycophants, Floyd Mayweather Jr’s the right villain with the right opponent at the right time to eclipse, essentially, a collection of men and women running around in tights fighting CGI.
Pacquiao may win, but at his best, no one entertainer can beat “Money” Mayweather at generating, well, money in one night.
EXPECTED TIME OF MANIFESTATION: First week of May 2015 (probably around May 6th).