The Avengers: Age of Ultron has just become the latest big name blockbuster to get it's own executive suite and parking spot in the prestigious billion dollar movie club.
Over the last weekend, the second outing of the Avengers franchise managed to reach $1.142 billion, making it the 21st movie to make over $1 billion in the worldwide box office (when not adjusted for inflation). Currently, this means Age of Ultron is currently sitting at eight in the worldwide gross charts, just above Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
Until last weekend, The Avengers: Age of Ultron was languishing just below the billion dollar mark, however a massive opening in China has given it that extra important push into 10 digit territory. In China alone, the Marvel action flick made $156.3 million in just 6 days. This is of course great news for Marvel accountants, but it's probably even sweeter to Paul Bettany.
The Vision star, who also provided the voice of JARVIS in the Iron Man franchise, recently revealed in an interview that he was told by an irate producer he would never work in the industry again. Minutes later, while literally sitting in the gutter, he received a phone call from Joss Whedon offering him the role as the robotic newcomer, Vision. It must be satisfying for him to know that he went from being told he'd never appear in anything, to appearing in what could become one of the highest grossing movies of all time.
Avengers: Age of Ultron still has some work to do if it wants to dominate the year in terms of box office returns. At the moment, Furious 7 is still topping the worldwide charts with an amassed fortune of $1.488.8 billion. Indeed, Furious 7 also did incredibly well in China - setting an opening weekend record, and eventually becoming the all-time highest box office in the country with a total of $389,260,000. Avengers: Age of Ultron nabbed the second best opening in the country ever.
Currently, most box office experts expect The Avengers: Age of Ultron to overtake Furious 7 in the never-ending race of cinema economics. Final global box office returns are hard to accurately gauge, but it is certainly expected to beat the already impressive haul of The Avengers - which accumulated $1.5 billion internationally. Unfortunately for Marvel fans, it is unlikely to threaten the comfortable positions of Avatar and Titanic - which sit at first and second respectively. Both of these James Cameron movies managed to break the $2 billion mark - the only movies to do so.
Having said that, big things are also expected from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Experts suggest the return of the science fiction franchise could make over $2 billion globally.