Did Disney Deem Avengers: Age Of Ultron A Failure?
Can a feature film really earn gross profits of just over $1.4 billion worldwide during its theatrical run - and still be considered a disappointment by its studio?
According to a report at Bleeding Cool, this has been the case for ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ at Marvel’s parent studio Disney.
BC’s sources tell them that “although the film made a lot of money and got okay reviews, it didn’t make enough money. Or get as good reviews as the first. People, basically, didn’t go back for seconds.”
It would seem Disney were hoping to see the superhero sequel break the record set by its 2012 predecessor, which was until recently the third biggest box office hit ever - until that record was broken earlier this year, not by ‘Age of Ultron’ but by Universal’s ‘Jurassic World.’
As absurd as it may seem to look at box office takings of over a billion dollars as a failure, we might note last year’s ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2′ managed over $700 million worldwide, and was still deemed a series-killing flop.
However, it is important to note that the Hollywood studios tend to be particularly concerned with how well their films perform domestically, and ‘Age of Ultron’ grossed just shy of $478 million - less than a third of its overall takings - in the USA, whilst the original made just over $623 million.
‘Age of Ultron’ was also a more expensive film to make, with a production budget of $250 million - $30 million more than its predecessor. And that’s not taking into account marketing and distribution costs.
Still, it might not all be about the money. Indeed, it’s quite encouraging to think this could be an indication that the top brass at Disney take the creative side as seriously as the profits.
After all, it is fair to acknowledge that, at the end of the day, ‘Age of Ultron’ just didn’t have the same cultural impact that the original ‘Avengers’ had.
Bleeding Cool’s report ties in closely with the recent revelations coming out of the Marvel/Disney camp that Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has disbanded the Marvel Creative Comittee, considered instrumental both in shaping the MCU as it stands, but also driving many directors to despair with their micro-management.
‘Avengers’ writer-director Joss Whedon made little secret of the intense pressure he was under making the sequel, saying the experience “broke me a little.” This of course fueled his decision not to return for ‘Avengers: Infinity War.’
Most notoriously, the demands of the Marvel Creative Committee are believed to have driven Edgar Wright to drop out of ‘Ant-Man.’
With the Creative Committee seemingly held responsible for the (relative) disappointment of ‘Age of Ultron,’ does their dismissal bode well for future MCU filmmakers - notably Joe and Anthony Russo, directors tasked with ‘Captain America: Civli War’ and the two-volume ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ - being able to make their films with greater freedom and less external pressure?
Maybe so - but still, the notion of a film earning a ten figure sum at the box office yet being regarded a let-down certainly gives one pause for thought about the state of things in Hollywood.
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Snow White:Reality Warping Magic (needs to escape the hunter? The forest becomes darker and more dense. needs shelter? finds a small cottage in the woods. needs to reverse the curse? a prince finds her in the middle of the woods before her body can even start decaying.)
Cinderella:Communicates with Animals
Aurora:Siren Song/Mind Control
Ariel:Transforms between human/mermaid at will, Communicates with sea creatures
Belle:Telepathy, Enhanced Memory
Jasmine:Power Replication (via Genie)
Pocahontas:Ecological Empathy/Nature Manipulation
Mulan:Non-Powered Combatant trained in Sword Fighting, Explosives, Archery, and Hand-to-Hand (plus dragon sidekick)
Classic Avengers Group Shot for you Monday. Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Black Widow, Ironman, Captain America, Hulk, Thor, Wasp, Ms. Marvel, Black Panther, Quicksilver and Falcon. Can you also find Antman?