movie math

Age of Ultron: How Much Screen Time Does Each Avenger Get?

Photo: Maya Robinson and Photo by Marvel

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has expanded quite a bit since the Avengers first assembled three years ago, and a bunch of new faces have been added to the mix. So much so that director Joss Whedon couldn’t even include fan favorite Loki in the franchise’s second installment. Age of Ultron is a bloated superhero smorgasbord involving at least ten Avengers by the film’s end, several former S.H.I.E.L.D. employees, and even a few villains (if we’re counting that post-credits scene). So, did every Avenger finally get their fair share of screen time, or was Hawkeye left out again with more mind control? To find out, Vulture once again crunched the numbers to see just how long each individual Avenger — Iron Man, Captain America, Bruce Banner/the Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Vision, Scarlet Witch, and Quicksilver — appeared in the film, and who had the most time in Age of Ultron. Here’s our math, with spoilers below.

Methodology: Using the stopwatch function on our cell phones, we sent nine interns to time Age of Ultron (which clocks in at just over two and a half hours), making note of when characters came on- and offscreen. We kept track of the length of scenes in which characters were prominently featured (both consciously and in dream sequences) as well as when they briefly appeared (including, in Quicksilver’s case, as a blue blur). Now, to the tally!

Vision: 8:41. Vision is the newest Avenger (he was literally “born yesterday,” as he jokingly reminds Ultron of his naïveté), so Age of Ultron isn’t exactly his biggest time to shine. Yes, Paul Bettany waited seven years to finally appear in semi-physical form in a Marvel film only to pop up for less than ten minutes toward the movie’s end. Granted, those are eight minutes crucial to the Avengers Initiative, as he’s the only one capable of vanquishing Ultron for good. It’s in that scene, in which he explains to Ultron why humans are such cute, silly creatures before dismantling him, that Vision takes center stage.

Thor: 14:18. One of the most surprising bits of data we discovered is that Thor takes a major backseat to the rest of the Avengers in Age of Ultron. Chris Hemsworth’s practically given the Hawkeye treatment, appearing for just two minutes more than Jeremy Renner did in the first installment. So why would Whedon banish the son of Odin to the cutting-room floor? Well, being the god that he is, Thor can’t really be bothered with the shenanigans of his mere mortal allies and spends most of his time away with Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård), tracking down clues about the Infinity Stones that appeared to him while under Scarlet Witch’s spell. Nonetheless, he still plays an important role in jump-starting Vision, and that panicked look he gives when it seems like Captain America might just have a shot at holding his hammer is one of the film’s funniest moments.

Hawkeye: 19:56. Unlike Hawkeye’s measly 12 minutes in The Avengers, Jeremy Renner’s kind of the star of Age of Ultron. He still has one of the least amounts of screen time, but at least now we know what he’s been up to all that time offscreen. He has a secret family! And when he’s not away doing all that wife-approved “avenging,” he lives on a farm with two kids and a baby on the way, and he’s very into home renovations. That farm eventually becomes the Avengers’ safehouse, wherein Hawkeye gets some much-needed screen time. He later gives a funny yet effective motivational speech to Scarlet Witch to convince her to fight with the Avengers. He even saves a little boy — a move that ultimately doesn’t end too well for one of his fellow superhero friends. Like he tells Scarlet Witch, he’s just a dude with a bow and arrow.

Scarlet Witch: 20:59. Age of Ultron sets up Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch as a key member of the new Avengers moving forward, and as such, she enjoys more screen time than two of the original Avengers, Thor and Hawkeye. We repeatedly see her use her mind games to weaken the Avengers in order to help Ultron. That plan backfires, however, when she realizes Ultron’s plan to destroy the world starting with hers and Quicksilver’s fictional home country of Sokovia. It’s there that Scarlet Witch gets most of her screen time, helping the Avengers to protect Sokovia after a nice pep talk from Hawkeye. She’s also one of the last people we see in Age of Ultron.

Bruce Banner/Hulk: 23:55. Despite playing mad scientist with Tony Stark to create Ultron and Vision (because apparently Bruce Banner can’t think for himself), the Hulk doesn’t get a whole lot of love in Age of Ultron. Sure, he receives a lot of romantic advances from Black Widow, but Mark Ruffalo’s mostly a minor character in this sequel compared to The Avengers (in which he appeared for close to 30 minutes), save for one extended fight scene between him and Iron Man in Hulkbuster armor. And just so the rest of his superhero gang gets the hint that he just wants to be left alone, he ends up flying off the grid in a Quinjet untrackable by Romanoff.

Quicksilver: 26:43. Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Quicksilver has a slight advantage over all our other superheroes in that he’s the “enhanced” one (sorry, no X-Men in this universe) who can manipulate time. Specifically, he can slow it down significantly, allowing him to rescue innocent civilians from a derailed train and annoy Hawkeye at super blue-streak speeds. It’s those blue streaks that account for quite a bit of his onscreen presence, which is likely how he’s able to have more time in Age of Ultron than his twin sister despite — major spoiler! — her actually outliving him.

Black Widow: 33:07. Scarlett Johansson probably won’t be getting her own stand-alone Marvel film anytime soon (or ever), and to make matters worse, her screen time decreased from The Avengers by a minute. But we do learn a lot more about Natasha Romanoff’s traumatic past via flashbacks and Scarlet Witch–assisted dream sequences — all of which contribute to a huge chunk of her screen time. She also shares several flirtatious moments with Bruce Banner, once again giving her the third-most screen time of all the Avengers.

Iron Man: 45:34. As the guy who created the very thing that could destroy the world with the intention of building his own sort of RoboCop, Tony Stark gets a lot of screen time in Age of Ultron. Unsurprisingly, he spends most of it getting chastised for being a narcissistic asshole and not consulting the rest of the Avengers (other than Bruce Banner) before he meddled with artificial intelligence. He’s especially hated by Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, for manufacturing the bomb that killed their parents. But just as in The Avengers, Iron Man winds up saving the day by somehow using his wits to figure out how to semi-safely drop the part of Sokovia Ultron tries to use to make humans extinct. But! Not before he again goes behind everyone but Banner’s back and tries a do-over at AI with Vision. You can never say Robert Downey Jr. wastes his screen time.

Captain America: 50:25. Captain America really is the Kevin Durant of superheroes: You know he’s doing stuff, but you don’t really comprehend just how much until you see his insane box score totals. For the second consecutive Avengers film, Captain America won the screen time race! And this time it isn’t nearly as close, with Chris Evans beating Robert Downey Jr. by more than four minutes (compared to the 41 seconds that separated them last time). While they both equally spend a lot of time in Sokovia fighting baddies, we’re betting at least a couple of those extra minutes were spent on Steve’s awkward, super-long-winded Holocaust comment. Captain America also has the advantage of appearing in two of Scarlet Witch’s hallucinations, both his and Iron Man’s — and Cap scolds Iron Man in the latter one for letting them all down, which might just be a bit of Infinity War foreshadowing. Expect to see these two butt heads and share even more screen time in Captain America: Civil War next year.

Additional reporting by Samuel Anderson, Eric Barbera, Audrey Bruno, Layla Ilchi, Marcus Jones, Brooke Marine, Claire Landsbaum, Sofia Lyons, and Claire Voon.

How Much Screen Time Does Each Avenger Get?