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Disney Stock Hits All-Time High as ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron” Nears

Shares climb to $109 on Thursday, eight days before the Marvel superhero sequel debuts in U.S.

Stock in the Walt Disney Co. hit an all-time high Thursday, a little over a week before “Avengers: The Age of Ultron” is to make its North American debut.

Shares in Disney rose $1.06 and closed at $109 on the New York Stock Exchange, eclipsing the former all-time high of $108.22 set Monday. At one point Thursday, it was at $109.90.

Analysts are projecting “Age of Ultron,” the sequel to the Disney’s 2012 blockbuster “The Avengers,” will exceed both the record $207.3 million opening of the original film and its $1.51 billion in worldwide grosses.

“Age of Ultron” opened at No. 1 in its first 11 foreign markets Wednesday and brought in $9.5 million. By the end of the weekend, Disney is projecting it will have grossed more than $160 million in its first weekend of overseas release.

The gains are not all about Thor, Iron Man and the gang, however.

Disney stock has been surging since Feb. 3, when the company announced better-than-expected first quarter results. That triggered a spike in share price from $94.10 to $101.28, and it hasn’t closed below that mark since.

Anticipation for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” the first film in the LucasFilms franchise in a decade, is also driving major momentum. That one opens on Dec. 18, and “Star Wars: Episode VII” is set for 2017. A spinoff, “Rogue One,” is set for December of next year and another is to follow.