Movies & TV / Columns

Was Avengers: Age Of Ultron Really a Failure?

September 5, 2015 | Posted by Steve Gustafson

What a curious age we live in that a movie that grossed $1.4 billion (so far) would be considered a disappointment. $1.4 billion. Wow. But that’s what Disney feels. Disney has reportedly had many issues with Marvel Entertainment CEO Isaac Perlmutter and the direction he is going in, so word is they have used Age of Ultron’s less than expected earnings, to them, as the final insult. Disney has under cut Marvel and taken over all film operations.

It might seem weird that this is news but after all the shakeups, it makes sense. At the beginning of the year, most box-office analysts were predicting that Avengers: Age of Ultron would set an all-time box-office record in its opening weekend. Sort of like how they’re saying Star Wars: The Force Awakens will do this December. Instead, Age of Ultron earned $191 million domestically, falling short of the $207 million that the first Avengers made during its opening frame.

The horror.

I read many articles proclaiming ”superhero fatigue“ and that the first cracks were showing in Marvel’s cinematic universe. All of this about a movie that had a $191 million opening, did $457 million domestic, making it the 8th biggest ever, and settled around $1.4 billion worldwide. If only we could all have “failures” like that.

It was with more than a little surprise that I read Bleeding Cool and saw Disney considers Age of Ultron a disappointment. First, the sequel didn’t gross as much as the original. The reaction wasn’t as good as the first. It didn’t get as much praise. It wasn’t as awe-inspiring. It…seems like a stretch.

Until word got out about Ike Perlmutter.

Word is Kevin Feige used the supposed “failure” of Avengers: Age of Ultron to move the Marvel Cinematic Universe away from C.E.O. Perlmutter.

Who is Perlmutter? Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter has been the CEO of Marvel Entertainment since January 1, 2005. He has a reputation for being very frugal, to put it nicely, and likes to be hands on, micromanaging, if you will.

A story just came out that Feige threatened to quit over disagreements with Perlmutter about the climbing budget of Captain America: Civil War. Word was that Ike and the Marvel Creative Committee (Marvel Entertainment president Alan Fine, Marvel Comics writer Brian Michael Bendis, Marvel Comics publisher Dan Buckley, and Marvel Entertainment CCO Joe Quesada) attempted to “scale down” Civil War, which upset Feige, prompting him to consider quitting before Disney CEO Bob Iger agreed to change the corporate structure so Feige would no longer answer to Perlmutter.

What else changed? Now that Feige reports to Disney’s Alan Horn the Marvel Creative Committee has been dissolved, and budgets will most likely grow. Oh yeah, Marvel and Fox will probably come to an agreement now that Ike is out of the picture.

I can only hope that this talk of Age of Ultron being called a failure was just a ploy used to rearrange the corporate structure. If this really is the feeling at the studio, it’s a dangerous one to have and will impact every single future release from Disney/Marvel.

Still, I have to ask. Do you think Age o Ultron was a disappointment?