Success in the movie industry is largely quantified by a movie's box office take, or, to a lesser degree, its critical reception. By both of these standards, most would consider Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron a hit, since it took in $457 million at the domestic box office, $1.4 billion worldwide, and scored a solid 74% "Fresh" rating from the nation's critics on Rotten Tomatoes. However, a new report from Bleeding Cool claims that Disney actually sees the superhero sequel as a failure, which lead to a big shake-up at Marvel that could positively impact the studio's future.
This report claims that Disney has deemed Avengers: Age of Ultron a "failure" because it didn't eclipse Marvel's The Avengers, both financially and critically. The 2012 superhero movie ensemble took in $623.3 million at the domestic box office, $166.3 million more than the sequel, and $1.51 billion worldwide, over $100 million more than its follow-up. Marvel's The Avengers was also received better by the critics, earning a stellar 92% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Disney reportedly felt that there was not enough movie goers who saw Avengers: Age of Ultron multiple times, which apparently means the movie "failed."
Bleeding Cool claims that Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige used this as a way to restructure his deal with Disney, where Kevin Feige and co-president Louis D'Esposito now report directly to Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn, instead of Marvel Entertainment CEO Isaac "Ike" Perlmutter. The site also claims they have two reasons for this "character assassination" of Isaac "Ike" Perlmutter, who has developed a bad reputation for his thrifty ways over the past few years. But those reasons have not yet been disclosed. We'll keep you posted as soon as these new developments arise.
This news comes just one day after another report that the much-maligned Marvel Creative Committee has been disbanded, which has been a source of contention for many filmmakers over the years. Rumor has it that the Creative Committee's notes on Ant-Man are what drove writer-director Edgar Wright off the project, after being attached as the director and co-writer (with Joe Cornish) for nearly a decade. The Creative Committee included Alan Fine, who came to Marvel with Isaac "Ike" Perlmutter after their stints at Toy Biz, Marvel Comics writer Brian Bendis who is a prolific Marvel Comics writer, Marvel Comics publisher Dan Buckley and Marvel Enterprises Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada.
It's worth noting that Avengers: Age of Ultron director Joss Whedon revealed shortly after the sequel's release, that making this movie "broke" him, stating that he won some battles but lost others, and that the entire process was much more difficult this time around. He didn't extend any of the blame for "breaking" him to Kevin Feige, who he said was "great" throughout the entire production, but it's clear that he had issues with someone at the studio. Whether or not the director's problems stemmed from Isaac "Ike" Perlmutter's frugal ways is not known, but with Kevin Feige's new restructured Disney deal, Marvel could become a studio that is more filmmaker-friendly.