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Avengers: Age of Ultron is a 2015 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team the Avengers. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Paramount Pictures, it is the sequel to The Avengers (2012) and the 11th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Written and directed by Joss Whedon, the film features an ensemble cast including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Anthony Mackie, Hayley Atwell, Idris Elba, Stellan Skarsgård, James Spader, and Samuel L. Jackson. In the film, the Avengers fight Ultron, an artificial intelligence obsessed with causing human extinction.


The sequel was announced in May 2012 after the successful release of The Avengers, with Whedon set to return as writer and director in August. Whedon updated Ultron's origin for the film to involve the MCU's Avengers team, and introduced the characters Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch to whom Marvel shared the rights with 20th Century Fox. Casting began in June 2013 with the re-signing of Downey. Second unit filming began in February 2014 in South Africa with principal photography taking place between March and August, primarily at Shepperton Studios in Surrey, England. Additional footage was filmed in Italy, South Korea, Bangladesh, New York state, and around England. With an estimated net production budget of $365 million, the film is the second most expensive film ever made, behind Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011).

Avengers: Age of Ultron premiered in Los Angeles on April 13, 2015, and was released in the United States on May 1, 2015, as part of Phase Two of the MCU. The film received generally positive reviews from critics and grossed over $1.4 billion worldwide, becoming the fourth-highest-grossing film of 2015 and the fifth-highest-grossing film of all time. Two sequels have been released: Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019).

Plot

Spoiler warning: The following contains plot details about
the entire movie.

In the Eastern European country of Sokovia, the Avengers — Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Thor, Bruce Banner, Natasha Romanoff, and Clint Barton — raid a Hydra facility commanded by Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, who has experimented on humans using the scepter previously wielded by Loki. They meet two of Strucker's test subjects — twins Pietro (who has superhuman speed) and Wanda Maximoff (who has telepathic and telekinetic abilities) — and apprehend Strucker, while Stark retrieves Loki's scepter.

Stark and Banner discover an artificial intelligence within the scepter's gem, and secretly decide to use it to complete Stark's "Ultron" global defense program. The unexpectedly sentient Ultron, believing he must eradicate humanity to save Earth, eliminates Stark's A.I. J.A.R.V.I.S. and attacks the Avengers at their headquarters. Escaping with the scepter, Ultron uses the resources in Strucker's Sokovia base to upgrade his rudimentary body and build an army of robot drones. Having killed Strucker, he recruits the Maximoffs, who hold Stark responsible for their parents' deaths by his company's weapons, and goes to the base of arms dealer Ulysses Klaue in Johannesburg to get vibranium. The Avengers attack Ultron and the Maximoffs, but Wanda subdues them with haunting visions, causing Banner to turn into the Hulk and rampage until Stark stops him with his anti-Hulk armor.

A worldwide backlash over the resulting destruction, and the fears Wanda's hallucinations incited, send the team into hiding at Barton's farmhouse. Thor departs to consult with Dr. Erik Selvig on the apocalyptic future he saw in his hallucination, while Nick Fury arrives and encourages the team to form a plan to stop Ultron. In Seoul, Ultron uses Loki's scepter to enslave the team's friend Helen Cho. They use her synthetic-tissue technology, vibranium, and the scepter's gem to craft a new body. As Ultron uploads himself into the body, Wanda is able to read his mind; discovering his plan for human extinction, the Maximoffs turn against Ultron. Rogers, Romanoff, and Barton fight Ultron and retrieve the synthetic body, but Ultron captures Romanoff.

The Avengers fight among themselves when Stark and Banner secretly upload J.A.R.V.I.S. — who is still working after hiding from Ultron inside the Internet — into the synthetic body. Thor returns to help activate the body, based on his vision that the gem on its brow is the Mind Stone, one of the six Infinity Stones, the most powerful objects in existence. This "Vision" earns their trust by being worthy of lifting Thor's hammer, Mjölnir. Vision and the Maximoffs go with the Avengers to Sokovia, where Ultron has used the remaining vibranium to build a machine to lift a large part of the capital city skyward, intending to crash it into the ground to cause global extinction. Banner rescues Romanoff, who awakens the Hulk for the battle. The Avengers fight Ultron's army while Fury arrives in a Helicarrier with Maria Hill, James Rhodes, and S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to evacuate civilians. Pietro dies when he shields Barton from gunfire, and a vengeful Wanda abandons her post to destroy Ultron's primary body, which allows one of his drones to activate the machine. The city plummets, but Stark and Thor overload the machine and shatter the landmass. In the aftermath, the Hulk, unwilling to endanger Romanoff by being with her, departs in a Quinjet, while Vision confronts and seemingly destroys Ultron's last remaining body.

Later, with the Avengers having established a new base run by Fury, Hill, Cho, and Selvig, Thor returns to Asgard to learn more about the forces he suspects have manipulated major events. As Stark leaves and Barton retires, Rogers and Romanoff prepare to train new Avengers: Rhodes, Vision, Sam Wilson, and Wanda.

In a mid-credits scene, Thanos, dissatisfied by the failures of his pawns, dons a gauntlet and vows to retrieve the Infinity Stones himself.

Cast

  • Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man, the benefactor of the Avengers who is a self-described genius, billionaire, playboy, and philanthropist with electromechanical suits of armor of his own invention. On how his character evolves after the events of Iron Man 3 (2013), Downey said, "I think he realizes that tweaking and making all the suits in the world—which is what he has been doing—still didn't work for that thing of his tour of duty that left him a little PTSD. So his focus is more on how can we make it so that there's no problem to begin with. That, you know, there's a bouncer at our planet's rope. That's the big idea."
  • Chris Hemsworth as Thor, an Avenger and the crown prince of Asgard, based on the Norse mythological deity of the same name. Regarding Thor's place in the film, Hemsworth stated that as Thor has remained on Earth since Thor: The Dark World (2013), and has begun to feel at home here, he considers Ultron's threat a personal attack. Hemsworth stated that he had to work harder to bring new elements to the character to avoid repeating himself saying, "It gave us room to kind of make him a little more grounded and human and have him in some civilian clothes and mixing it up at a party." Hemsworth noted that Thor's motivations in this film were completely different, as it was the first MCU film where he did not play against Tom Hiddleston's character of Loki.
  • Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner / Hulk, an Avenger and genius scientist who, because of exposure to gamma radiation, transforms into a monster when enraged or agitated. To prepare for the role, Ruffalo worked with motion capture performer Andy Serkis' The Imaginarium. He stated that his character had grown since the previous film and was "a bit more complex". Ruffalo explained that a confrontation is brewing between Banner and the Hulk saying, "There's a very cool thing happening: Hulk is as afraid of Banner as Banner is afraid of Hulk.. and they have got to come to peace somehow with each other." While filming in London, Ruffalo said that Whedon still had not given him any of the Hulk's lines. Whedon later explained that he writes the Hulk's dialogue spontaneously, saying, "What makes the Hulk so hard to write is that you're pretending he's a werewolf when he's a superhero. You want it vice versa [...] So the question is, how has he progressed? How can we bring changes on what the Hulk does? And that's not just in the screenplay, that's moment to moment."
  • Chris Evans as Steve Rogers / Captain America, the leader of the Avengers and a World War II veteran who was enhanced to the peak of human physicality by an experimental serum and frozen in suspended animation before waking up in the modern world. Evans stated that since the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Rogers has been left to depend on his Avenger teammates without the structure of military life and is now "looking to understand where he belongs, not just as a soldier, as Captain America, but as Steve Rogers, as a person." Evans said that he was able to maintain the strength he built up for Captain America: The Winter Soldier by working out up to an hour a day. Regarding Captain America's fighting style, Evans felt he did not want to take a step back from the skills shown in The Winter Soldier, making sure Rogers' fight style advanced, showing "a consistent display of strength", and having Rogers utilizing his environment.
  • Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow, an Avenger who formerly worked for S.H.I.E.L.D. as a highly trained spy. Producer Kevin Feige stated that more of the character's backstory is explored in the film. Johansson elaborated, "In Avengers 2 we go back [...] we definitely learn more about Widow's backstory, and we get to find out how she became the person you see. All of these characters have deep, dark pasts, and I think that the past catches up to some of us a little bit." Regarding where the film picks up Widow's story, Johansson felt it was a continuation of what was seen for her character in The Winter Soldier, with the fact that "'[Widow] never made an active choice. [She's] a product of other people's imposition.' That's going to catch up with her. That's bound to have a huge effect. There's got to be a result of that realization [...] You'll see her actively making some choices in her life, for better or worse." A mixture of close-ups, concealing costumes, stunt doubles, and visual effects were used to help hide Johansson's pregnancy during filming.
  • Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton / Hawkeye, an Avenger and master archer who previously worked as an agent for S.H.I.E.L.D. Whedon said that Hawkeye interacts more with the other characters in the film, as opposed to the first film where the character had been "possessed pretty early by a bad guy and had to walk around all scowly." As the character did not appear in any other of Marvel's Phase Two films, Whedon stated Age of Ultron sheds light on to what the character was doing since the end of The Avengers. Renner described the character as "kind of a loner" and "a team player only 'cause he sort of has to be. He's not really a company man. Captain America can be that guy. In [Age of Ultron] you'll understand why [Hawkeye] thinks the way he thinks."
  • Don Cheadle as James "Rhodey" Rhodes / War Machine, an officer in the U.S. Air Force and Tony Stark's close personal friend who operates the War Machine armor.
  • Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Pietro Maximoff, the twin brother of Wanda who can move at superhuman speed. Taylor-Johnson felt Pietro was defined by the fact that he and his sister were abandoned by their family, and they both had to grow up "in Eastern Europe defending and looking out for themselves and each other," that they both look to the other for guidance. Taylor-Johnson also said that Quicksilver was "very overprotective" of Scarlet Witch and has "real anger frustration", which results in him being easily bored because of a short attention span.Feige stated exploring Quicksilver's relationship with his sister and his backstory growing up in Eastern Europe would help differentiate the character from Evan Peters' version in X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014). Taylor-Johnson stated that the running style for Quicksilver went through multiple iterations. Much of Taylor-Johnson's scenes were filmed outdoors to give "life" to his running, as opposed to running indoors in front of a green screen.
  • Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff, the twin sister of Pietro who can engage in hypnosis and telekinesis. Olsen felt Wanda was "overly stimulated" rather than "mentally insane" because "she has such a vast amount of knowledge that she's unable to learn how to control it. No one taught her how to control it properly [...] she can connect to this world and parallel worlds at the same time, and parallel times." Describing her character's mind control powers, Olsen said that the character is able to do more than manipulating someone's mind, with Wanda Maximoff able to "feel and see what they feel and see" by projecting visions that they have never seen. Olsen drew on her relationship with her older brother and her sisters to prepare for the role, as well as looking to the comics for inspiration. Olsen revealed that Whedon was inspired by dancers as a way to visually represent how the character moves. As such, Olsen mostly trained with a dancer in lieu of traditional stunt training. Olsen was signed for this film and another.
  • Paul Bettany as J.A.R.V.I.S. and Vision:

Bettany, who voiced J.A.R.V.I.S., Stark's A.I. companion in previous films, was cast again as the Vision, an android created by Ultron. Bettany stated that he was surprised when Whedon asked him if he wanted to be the Vision because once an actor has been cast as a particular character in the MCU, they usually are not cast as another. On what intrigued him about the Vision, Bettany said, "The thing that appealed to me is that this sort of nascent creature being born, being both omnipotent and totally naive, the sort of danger of that and complex nature of a thing being born that is that powerful and that created in a second and the choices he makes morally are really complex and interesting. They've really managed to maintain all of that". Bettany also stated that the Vision feels paternal and protective to a number of people in the film, particularly Scarlet Witch, and has the ability to change his density. Bettany did wire work for the part. Whedon stated he wanted to include the Vision in a second Avengersfilm before he signed onto the first film. Bettany's make-up, which consisted of a mix of face paint and prosthetics, took two hours to apply with make-up artists Jeremy Woodhead and Nik Williams citing the correct hue of the Vision's skin as the hardest thing to figure out. The prosthetics were ultimately replaced in post-production with CGI elements.

  • Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill, a former high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who now works for Stark. Describing Hill's situation in the film, Smulders said that after The Winter Soldier, Hill does not "really know who's a good guy and who's a bad guy and she's trying to figure out that throughout this film." She added, "She's not getting any sleep. She's doing all the work. She doesn't have the kind of manpower that she had in S.H.I.E.L.D.," instead working for Tony Stark at the Avengers' headquarters "trying to keep everything running as smoothly as possible [...] it's an entirely different vibe for her."
  • Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson / Falcon, a former pararescueman trained by the military in aerial combat using a specially designed wing pack and a friend of Steve Rogers. Discussing the relationship between Wilson and Rogers, Mackie said that the two characters have a mutual "soldier respect", which is explored in the film and in Captain America: Civil War (2016). Feige said that it was decided to reshoot the final scene of the film to incorporate the new Falcon suit designed for Ant-Man (2015), which was released after Age of Ultron, as Falcon was originally shot in his original suit from The Winter Soldier. Mackie stated he did not realize Wilson had become an Avenger until he watched the film at the premiere, as he was only given the script for the scenes he worked on.
  • Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter, a retired officer with the Strategic Scientific Reserve and co-founder of S.H.I.E.L.D. who is a former love interest of Steve Rogers.
  • Idris Elba as Heimdall, the all-seeing, all-hearing Asgardian sentry of the Bifröst Bridge, based on the mythological deity of the same name.
  • Stellan Skarsgård as Erik Selvig, an astrophysicist and friend of Thor. Skarsgård said he was originally not supposed to appear in the film, but received a call because "they'd written a couple of scenes, and I went and did them," not knowing if the scenes would appear in the final cut of the film.
  • James Spader as Ultron, an artificial intelligence repurposed by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner for a pilot peace program that is overwhelmed with a god complex and now desires to pacify the Earth by eradicating humanity. Director Joss Whedon stated that Spader was his "first and only choice" for the role, because of his "hypnotic voice that can be eerily calm and compelling" while also being very human and humorous. Feige clarified that Spader's face and body were motion captured "to create a whole performance [...] We did not hire James Spader to do a robot voice." Extensive scans were taken of Spader's head and body in preparation for the role. About the character Whedon said, "He's always trying to destroy the Avengers, goddamn it, he's got a bee in his bonnet. He's not a happy guy, which means he's an interesting guy. He's got pain. And the way that manifests is not going to be standard robot stuff." Whedon added that Ultron is "not a creature of logic—he's a robot who's genuinely disturbed. We're finding out what makes him menacing and at the same time endearing and funny and strange and unexpected, and everything a robot never is." Whedon compared Ultron to Frankenstein's monster, saying, "It's our new Frankenstein myth [...] We create something in our own image and the thing turns on us. It has that pain of 'Well, why was I made? I want to kill Daddy.'" Spader called the character "self-absorbed" and added, "I think he sees the Avengers as being part of a problem, a more comprehensive problem in the world. He sees the world from a very strange, [biblical] point of view because he's brand new, he's very young [...] He's immature, and yet has knowledge of comprehensive, broad history and precedent, and he has created in a very short period of time a rather skewed worldview." Spader elaborates, "He truly is an artificial intelligence with absolutely no censorship at all, no parameters really [...] he's got too much power, too much strength and speed and size, so he's a very dangerous child."
  • Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, the former director of S.H.I.E.L.D. who originally recruited the Avengers and continues to be a mentor and leader for the team. Jackson described the role as a cameo, saying the character didn't participate in the action scenes because "There's not a lot I could do except shoot a gun."

Thomas Kretschmann and Henry Goodman reprise their roles as Baron Wolfgang von Strucker and Dr. List, Hydra leaders who specialize in human experimentation, advanced robotics, and artificial intelligence from Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Linda Cardellini portrays Laura Barton, Hawkeye's wife; Claudia Kim portrays Helen Cho, a world-renowned geneticist who helps the Avengers from her office in Seoul; Andy Serkis portrays Ulysses Klaue, a South-African black-market arms dealer, smuggler and gangster who is a former acquaintance from Stark's weapons-dealing days; and Julie Delpy appears as Madame B., who mentored Black Widow into becoming an assassin. Kerry Condon voices the artificial intelligence F.R.I.D.A.Y., a replacement for J.A.R.V.I.S., while Spader also voices Stark's Iron Legion droids. Josh Brolin makes an uncredited appearance during the mid-credits scene as Thanos, reprising his role from Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). Avengers co-creator Stan Lee makes a cameo appearance in the film as a military veteran who attends the Avengers' victory party. Tom Hiddleston was to reprise his role of Loki, but his scenes did not make the theatrical cut of the film.

Production

In March 2012, Joss Whedon, director of the first film, stated that he would want a sequel to be "smaller. More personal. More painful. By being the next thing that should happen to these characters, and not just a rehash of what seemed to work the first time. By having a theme that is completely fresh and organic to itself." At the premiere of The Avengers, Feige said the studio had an option for Whedon to return as director. In May 2012, after the successful release of the first film, Paramount Pictures CEO Bob Iger announced a sequel was in development. Most of the film's cast members were under contract to potentially appear in the sequel; however, Robert Downey, Jr. was not, as his four picture deal with Marvel expired after Iron Man 3.

At the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con International, director Joss Whedon said he was undecided about directing, stating, "I have not come to a decision on directing Avengers 2. I am having too much fun with this [Firefly reunion] now." However in August 2012, Iger announced that Whedon would return to write and direct the sequel and develop the Marvel television series, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., for ABC. Later in the month, Disney set a May 1, 2015 release date. When asked about his decision to return, Whedon said, "Avengers 2, it wasn't a tough decision. For a long time I thought, 'Well, it's just not going to happen.' Then when I actually started to consider it, it became so clear that I desperately wanted to say more about these characters, it would've been an easy no and it was a spectacularly easy yes. There was no wrestling." Whedon said that they intended for the film's production to not be as rushed as the first one.

In December 2012, Whedon stated that he had completed an outline for the film. In February, at the 2013 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, Whedon said that death would play a theme in the sequel, and in March, he said that he looked to The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and The Godfather Part II (1974) as inspirations.

Feige revealed that Captain Marvel, who is scheduled to appear in her own MCU film in 2018, appeared in an early draft of the screenplay, but was removed since the character had not yet been cast, saying, “It didn’t feel like the time. We didn’t want to introduce her fully formed flying in a costume before you knew who she was or how she came to be."

Filming

Filming began on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 in Johannesburg, South Africa, having been postponed that Monday. Second unit crews shot action sequences without the main cast, to be used as background plates for scenes featuring the Hulk, in the Central Business District of Johannesburg for a period of two weeks. By mid-March, principal photography, with cinematographer Ben Davis, had begun at Shepperton Studios near London and was scheduled to film there for at least four months. On March 22, production moved to Fort Bard, Italy and continued in the Aosta Valley region through March 28. The region doubled as the fictional Eastern European nation of Sokovia, with crews replacing local storefronts with Cyrillic script. Filming in South Korea began on March 30 on the Mapo Bridge and continued through April 14 at various locations in Seoul. While in Seoul, the production was able to attach cameras to drones and race cars to get unique camera angles and footage. An artificial island on the Han River known as the Saebit Dungdungseom served as the headquarters of an IT institute featured in the film. Scenes involving Ultron's attack on parts of the city were shot in the Gangnam District.

On April 8, shooting began in the Hawley Woods in Hampshire, England. In mid–April, Hayley Atwell, who played Peggy Carter in previous MCU films, was on set at the Rivoli Ballroom in London to film a 1940s flashback sequence. In mid-June, scenes were shot at the University of East Anglia in Norwich and at Dover Castle in Kent, while in July, filming took place at a training facility for London’s Metropolitan Police Service, which doubled as a city in Sokovia. Additional filming took place in Chittagong, Bangladesh, including the Chittagong Ship Breaking Yard and in New York. On August 6, Whedon announced on social media that he had completed principal photography on Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Filming at Shepperton as well as other locations in England allowed Whedon to get a "number of different looks and textures and moods" to give the film a different palette and fresh aesthetic from its predecessor. Whedon also stated that "we shot this movie very differently [from the first film]. I was running a lot of cameras, I was shooting long lenses, which I don’t usually do," and that he aimed to shoot the film almost like a documentary. Production designer Charles Wood built an enormous, new Avengers Tower set, one of the largest set ever built for a Marvel film. The set featured multiple connected environments and levels. To create the scenes depicting how Quicksilver views the world, scenes were shot with an ultra-high-speed camera and later combined with one of Aaron Taylor-Johnson running through the same frame at regular speed.

Music

In March 2014, Brian Tyler signed on to compose the film's score, replacing the composer for the first film, Alan Silvestri, while also marking his third film collaboration with Marvel following Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World in 2013. Tyler stated that the score pays homage to John Williams' scores for Star Wars, Superman, and Raiders of the Lost Ark and references the scores for the Iron Man, Thor and Captain America films in order to create a similar musical universe, saying, "That’s the goal for sure. You have to build in nostalgia and do it upfront so you can relate to it." Danny Elfman also contributed music to the score, using Silvestri's theme from the first film to create a new hybrid theme.

Release

Avengers: Age of Ultron will make its world premiere at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on April 13, 2015, and is scheduled for release in France, Italy, Norway and Sweden on April 22, with other territories seeing releases in the following days, before it is released in North America on May 1, in 3D and IMAX 3D. In September 2014, TNT acquired the US cable broadcast rights for Avengers: Age of Ultron to air two years after its theatrical release. On March 4, 2015, ticket pre-sales for the film began. Variety noted "The two-month gap between advance sales and the release is much wider than normal and reflects the heavy fan anticipation for" the film.

Reception

Box office

Avengers: Age of Ultron grossed $459 million in the United States and Canada, and $943.8 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $1.403 billion, becoming the fifth-highest-grossing film of all time and the fourth-highest-grossing film of 2015, behind Furious 7, Jurassic World and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The film's worldwide opening of $392.5 million was the seventh-largest ever. The film set a worldwide IMAX opening-weekend record with $25.2 million (previously held by The Dark Knight Rises (2012)) and also broke the record for the fastest movie to make over $40 million in IMAX theaters, doing so in 12 days. According to some analysts, the opening weekend box office gross was lower than expected because of the weekend's featured boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Deadline Hollywood calculated the net profit of the film to be $382.32 million, accounting for production budgets, P&A, talent participations, and other costs, with box office grosses, and ancillary revenues from home media, placing it fourth on their list of 2015's "Most Valuable Blockbusters".

On May 15, 2015, Avengers: Age of Ultron became the twenty-first film in cinematic history, the third Marvel Studios film, and the eighth film distributed by Paramount Pictures to cross the $1 billion threshold at the box office.

United States and Canada

Avengers: Age of Ultron earned $84.46 million on its opening day, marking the biggest opening day for a superhero film and the second-biggest opening and second-biggest single-day gross, behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011) ($91.7 million). The film's Friday gross included $27.6 million from Thursday night, which began at 7 p.m., and was the sixth-highest ever for Thursday preview earnings and the highest among Marvel films. The film totaled $191.3 million in its opening weekend, the third-highest gross behind Jurassic World (2015) ($208.8 million) and The Avengers ($207.4 million). It also saw the second-highest IMAX opening weekend total with $18 million (behind The Dark Knight Rises), a record $13.5 million from premium large format theaters and the highest share for the first weekend in May, accounting for 85% of the top twelve box office total earnings (previously held by Spider-Man 3 (2007)). Of those in attendance the first weekend, 59% were male, 41% were female and 59% were over the age of 25.

In its second weekend, the film fell 59%, earning $77.7 million, which was the second-biggest second weekend gross behind The Avengers ' $103 million (both were surpassed a month later by Jurassic World's $106.6 million). It holds the record for the second-biggest loss between first and second weekends with $113.6 million, only behind Deathly Hallows – Part 2's $121 million loss between its first and second weekends in 2011. It became the third-highest-grossing film of 2015.

Other Territories

Avengers: Age of Ultron earned $200.2 million in its first weekend from 44 countries, opening in first in all, which was 44% above its predecessor's opening. Additionally, the film saw the largest non-China international IMAX opening with $10.4 million. The top earning countries were South Korea ($28.2 million), the United Kingdom ($27.3 million), and Russia ($16.2 million). The film broke records in many countries, including opening-day records in Mexico ($6.8 million), the Philippines ($1.6 million), and Indonesia ($900,000); opening-weekend records in Mexico ($25.5 million), Russia and the CIS ($16.2 million), Hong Kong ($6.4 million), and the Philippines ($7.7 million); and highest opening weekend for a superhero film in the United Kingdom ($27.3 million), Germany ($9.3 million), Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands.

In the United Kingdom, where Age of Ultron was filmed, it earned $5.4 million on its opening day and $27.3 million during the weekend, setting an opening-weekend record for a superhero film, Marvel's biggest opening in Britain, the biggest April opening, and the eighth-biggest debut. It also set the best single-day earning for a Paramount Pictures and superhero film with its $9.4 million haul on Saturday. In South Korea, also where part of the film was shot, the film earned $4.9 million on its opening day and $28.2 through the weekend. It held the record for advance-ticket sales rate, accounting for 96% of tickets reserved, breaking the record of 94.6% set in 2011 by Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the widest release ever, across 1,826 screens, also breaking Dark of the Moon's 1,420 screens, and the fastest imported film to surpass one million admissions, doing so in two days; it topped the box office for three consecutive weekends, and became the biggest Paramount/Marvel release as well as the second-biggest Western film in the country. The Chinese opening scored the biggest weekday opening day, as well as the biggest Paramount/Marvel opening, with $33.9 million, and the second-biggest six-day start with $156.3 million (behind Furious 7 (2015)) of which $17.5 million came from IMAX theaters—the biggest ever. Age of Ultron also opened at number one in Japan in early July 2015 with $6.5 million, the highest opening weekend for an MCU release. As of March 10, 2019, it is the ninth-highest-grossing film, and the fourth-highest-grossing film of 2015. Its largest markets were China ($240.1 million), the United Kingdom ($75.5 million), and South Korea ($72.3 million).

Critical reception

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 76% with an average score of 6.8/10 based on 370 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "Exuberant and eye-popping, Avengers: Age of Ultron serves as an overstuffed but mostly satisfying sequel, reuniting its predecessor's unwieldy cast with a few new additions and a worthy foe." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 66 out of 100 based on 49 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale (slightly down from the first film's "A+"), and those at PostTrak gave the film a 90% overall positive score and a 79% recommend.

The film already holds a strong rating of 8.0 on iMDB (where once the rating was 9.4) with users giving the film largely positive reviews, calling it an "Oscar caelibar", calling it "better than the first movie" and particulary praising the action sequences and the "Oscar worthy" performances of the actors, especially that of Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johanson, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Mark Ruffalo, Paul Bettany and titling James Spader's Ultron as a "show stealer".

Top ten lists

Future sequels

Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame were directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, from a script by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. Infinity War was released on April 27, 2018, and Endgame on April 26, 2019. Much of the cast returns for both, with additional cast and characters joining from other MCU films.

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