Road to Infinity War - AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Retrospective

Welcome to the Road to AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR. This is my own little retrospective of each of Marvel Studios' films every week of 2018 and by the time I am done looking back at all of the MCU movies, Infinity War will be releasing in theaters in the U.S. on May 4 worldwide on April 27. I've already talked about IRON MAN, THE INCREDIBLE HULK, IRON MAN 2, THOR, CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER, and THE AVENGERS to conclude Phase 1.

Phase 2 has taken shape with IRON MAN 3, THOR: THE DARK WORLD, CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, but now it is very close to conclusion with AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON...

Full disclosure: I've always been a big fan of Ultron so when Marvel Studios announced that he would be the main villain of the second Avengers movie, I was beyond ecstatic. I remember being at San Diego Comic-Con International 2012 when AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON was announced and that next day at the Con (Sunday) the first thing I did was go to several comic book vendors on the show floor to try and find myself a copy of Ultron's first appearance, but unfortunately the vendors I went to had already increased the price of that book due to the movie announcement. I did find it on eBay for an affordable cost as the seller I purchased it from must have not been paying attention to the movie announcement or the fact he/she was seller Ultron's first appearance book.

Anyway, writer and director Joss Whedon would return to helm his sequel to THE AVENGERS and after the first movie made over $1.5 billion worldwide it was easy to assume that a tremendous amount of pressure would be on his shoulders.

During post-production of Age of Ultron, it was reported that there was some disconnect between Whedon and Marvel Studios execs when it came to a few sequences in the sequel. Hawkeye's farm scene, Thor's vision in the cave, and some of the visions Scarlet Witch gave some of the Avengers were all being questioned. Test audiences did not like the extended Thor vision scene in the cave, so it was shortened along with Loki and Heimdal cameos being cut out of the movie's film version. Whedon reportedly fought hard to keep the Hawkeye farm scenes as a means to break-up the film's action pieces further apart, however, Whedon was very vocal after the film released at his displeasure with butting heads of the executives.

In the end, Whedon and execs were able to work together and come to a compromise although Whedon stopped working with Marvel Studios after serving in sort of a consultant role for all of the Phase 2 movies.

Excitement for the sequel was strong with the reveal that Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver would be introduced — as well as the intro of Iron Man's Hulkbuster armor. However, as more trailers and television spots were released, many fans grew annoyed with Marvel Studios for seemingly releasing way too much footage of the Hulk v. Hulkbuster fight. And truth be told, the fans were right as the majority of that epic fight was in fact seen in trailers and TV spots. Fortunately, the studio listened and have since stopped releasing too much footage in advance of their film releases.

Releasing on May 1, 2015, AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON opened with $191 million in the domestic box office. At the time, this was the studios' second highest opening weekend ever and this maintained until BLACK PANTHER opened bigger in February 2018.

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON took in a total of $459 million domestically, while taking in a huge $946 million Internationally, for a grand worldwide total of $1.4 billion. A huge number, for sure, but falling short of its predecessor's total of $1.5 billion.

Critically, Age of Ultron was not as big of a hit with reviewers as it currently holds the fourth lowest score for a Marvel Studios movie on RottenTomatoes at 75%. Only IRON MAN 2 (73%), THE INCREDIBLE HULK (67%) and THOR: THE DARK WORLD (66%) are lower.

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON more or less served as the conclusion the studios' Phase 2 story arc with ANT-MAN up next serving as the epilogue to Phase 2 as sort of a palate cleanser to get fans ready for the start of Phase 3.

Written by Daniel Wolf, Founder & Publisher

Previous Road to Infinity War Posts:
Road to Infinity War: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Retrospective

Road to Infinity War - CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER Retrospective

Road to Infinity War - THOR: THE DARK WORLD Retrospective

Road to Infinity War: IRON MAN 3 Retrospective

Road to Infinity War: THE AVENGERS Retrospective

Road to Infinity War - CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER Retrospective

Road to Infinity War - THOR Retrospective

Road to Infinity War - IRON MAN 2 Retrospective

Road to Infinity War - THE INCREDIBLE HULK Retrospective

Road to Infinity War - IRON MAN Retrospective