Avengers: Age of Ultron joins the ranks of Disney’s billion-dollar movies

Avengers Age of Ultron

While its debut fell short of its predecessor, Avengers: Age of Ultron has defied critics’ expectations of its staying power, and recently became the country’s highest-grossing movie of the year while crossing the $1 billion mark internationally.

By crossing the billion-dollar mark, which it did over the weekend, Avengers: Age of Ultron, the sequel to 2012’s superhero team-up movie The Avengers, became the eighth film released by Walt Disney Pictures to join the billion-dollar club, and it is currently basking at the summit of the 2015 box office in the U.S.

Avengers: Age of Ultron also occupies second place on the worldwide box-office charts for 2015, with $1.14 billion in ticket sales globally to the $1.49 billion earned by Furious 7 so far in the year. With both films still in theaters and Avengers: Age of Ultron scheduled to debut July 4 in Japan, the race remains neck-and-neck, and the two films might well swap positions at some point.

Of course, with Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens hitting theaters before the end of the year, we could very well have a new candidate for top-grossing movie.

Even so, the list of records broken (or nearly broken) by Age of Ultron has put the film in elite company. Directed by Joss Whedon, the movie sits in third place on the list of highest-grossing installments of Marvel Studios’ cinematic universe domestically, after The Avengers and Iron Man 3. Its opening-weekend tally of $191.3 million this year gave it the second-best opening weekend of all time (after The Avengers), and it’s one of only three films to cross the $300 million mark in just 10 days (along with The Avengers and The Dark Knight).

Age of Ultron is also notable for generating the biggest opening weekend of all time in several countries, including Brazil, Mexico, Hong Kong, Philippines, Ecuador, and Bolivia, and the biggest opening weekend for a U.S. film ever in South Korea and Peru.

Of course, all of these numbers and rankings become even more impressive when you take into account that Avengers: Age of Ultron has only been in theaters less than a month globally (with its U.S. run starting only a few weeks ago).