The stage is set for the summer box office battle of 2015. While fans in the United States are still days away from the first early showings of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, fans in other territories have been able to see Joss Whedon’s entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe since Wednesday.
The results are in, and The Avengers: Age of Ultron is a massive hit. In it’s first international weekend, Age of Ultron took in a staggering $201.2 million, according to Variety, and came just $50 million short of making back its entire production budget of $250 million. That’s far more than the $185.1 million opening of it’s 2012 predecessor, Marvel’s The Avengers. The figure also doesn’t represent sales in China, which had the highest foreign take for Marvel’s The Avengers. Age of Ultron won’t premiere in China until May 12.
Fans overseas weren’t shy about gushing over The Avengers: Age of Ultron on Twitter.
Holy crap The Avengers: Age of Ultron Was by far the greatest film I have ever watched.
— Finley brankin (@finleybrankin) April 26, 2015
Oh have I told you that I watched ‘Age of Ultron’? It was so awesome! Ahh! 8) — Michi. ~ (@Sherlocter) April 26, 2015
I need to see Age of Ultron again omg — Chloe (@folieatchoo) April 26, 2015
The large foreign box office take is likely happy news for Disney and Marvel. According to Deadline, Age of Ultron is tracking just short of the $207 million domestic opening earned by Marvel’s The Avengers. Of course, that would still make Age of Ultron the second highest opening of any film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Forbes predicts that Age of Ultron will hit $1.1 billion overseas alone. That would place the final numbers for Age of Ultron between $1.2 and $1.6 billion, just edging out Marvel’s The Avengers for the third highest grossing film of all time.
Director Joss Whedon called Age of Ultron “darker and weirder” than its predecessor. The massive cast includes the titular team of heroes, led by Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man and Chris Evans as Captain America, and appearances by other established characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including Peggy Carter, “Rhodey” Rhodes, Falcon, and Heimdall.
Whedon told E! Online that wrangling such a massive cast presented its own set of challenges.
“The trick is to yell at them, but only when they’re all together. When they’re all together it’s just a little difficult to get stuff done because they’re enjoying each other so much. ‘You’re supposed to be fighting. You’re supposed to be angry at each other. Stop laughing.'”
With Age of Ultron behind him, Whedon said he is going to take a breather, which means for the first time since he began work on Marvel’s The Avengers, he has no idea what he’s doing next.
“It’s been a long time since I wasn’t sort of eyeing the next thing. Now I feel like I can step back and try to live like a person.”
[Image via Marvel Studios]