'Avengers: Age of Ultron' debuts new trailer. Can Marvel succeed with a sequel?

Several Marvel sequels in the past have faltered. Can 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' recapture the magic of the first movie?

Zade Rosenthal/Disney/AP
The 'Avengers' films star Chris Evans (l.) and Robert Downey Jr. (r.).

A new trailer for the upcoming film “Avengers: Age of Ultron” gives fans one more look at the movie, which will be released on May 1. 

“Ultron” centers on the iconic comic-book superhero team and is a sequel to the 2012 movie “The Avengers,” which was also directed and written by Joss Whedon of “Serenity.” 

The new clip has many action scenes and finds the Avengers making a lot of quips – “It’s all in the swing,” Thor (Chris Hemsworth) says after using his hammer and Captain America (Chris Evans) says, “She’s with us” after Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) helps fight Ultron (James Spader). Even the people we presume to be the villains get in on the action. “You didn’t see that coming?” Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) asks after demonstrating his signature speedy running. 

“The Avengers” was the highest-grossing movie domestically of 2012, according to the website Box Office Mojo, and was well-reviewed. So how will the sequel be received? 

Sequels are notoriously tough because those behind the movie are already trying to capture the lightning in a bottle that resulted in the success of the first film. And Marvel, the studio behind “Avengers,” has struggled with sequels in the past. The 2008 movie “Iron Man,” which centered on superhero Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), was mostly well-reviewed, currently holding a score of 79 out of 100 on the review aggregator website Metacritic. But “Iron Man 2,” which came out in 2010, and 2013’s “Iron Man 3” didn’t fare so well with critics, with “2” having a 57 Metacritic score and “3” holding a score of 62

A sequel to the movie centered around hammer-wielding Thor struggled, too. The first “Thor” movie, which came out in 2011, earned an already negative score of 57, but 2013’s “Thor: The Dark World” did even worse and has a score of 54

The exception is the “Captain America” movies. 2011’s “Captain America: The First Avenger” did okay with reviewers and holds a 66 Metacritic score, but the 2014 film “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” did even better and has a respectable score of 70. As "Winter" is the newest of the sequels, perhaps the studio behind the movies is perfecting its formula for second-round films.

Expectations are always sky-high for a sequel to a movie that did as well as the first “Avengers” did. Fans will just have to hang in there and wait for May.

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