It is official. Iron Man 3 has become a billion-dollar movie thanks in part to the coattails it rode off The Avengers one year ago. The standalone franchise has grown in popularity by leaps and bounds on both the domestic and foreign fronts, creating a double-edged sword of expanding box office dollars. Its budget came in at around $200 million the last two trips out, but with the most-recent success it would seem that attempts to lower the costs of production going forward would prove trivial. Marvel Studios actually wanted to cut this one down to $140 million for fear Iron Man 2 crippled the series’ potential, only to change their minds once their ensemble piece changed the equation. It was a hasty call that proved to be well made.
The next trip out for the Disney-owned studio will be Thor: The Dark World in November which nobody truly believes is capable of this size gross. Its first installment only made $450 million; however, Iron Man 2 only ended up at $600 million. Who are we to speculate that Chris Hemsworth’s next blockbuster would perform worse than Skyfall did in the previous November. Its competition will be just as tough as the foes Iron Man 3 is facing this May as Ender’s Game and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will bookend the Alan Taylor feature’s release.
It might be worth mentioning what the trades are all bullshitting their way through this week. They are all running stories about the imminent Avengers sequel negotiations and how many are unhappy with how they were treated the last time out. Naturally, this is all because agents went whining to reporters in an attempt to land sympathy from fans. Perhaps an angry letter suggesting Disney give Robert Downey, Jr. $500 billion would help put things in perspective.
What I want to say is the world needs to calm down on this topic. A lot of these stars are absolutely 100% optioned up through several film. Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlet Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Cobie Smulders, Mark Ruffalo, and Jeremy Renner should all be locks to return even though they could ‘hold out’ for a bigger share of the proceeds. Considering these characters are co-anchoring the film at about 20-30 minutes of screen time each, it would appear the $2-3 million salary is sufficient. Continue Reading
The box office results are in for Saturday, and they are really good to say the least. Upon hearing Friday’s $68 million opening for Iron Man 3, all eyes turned to the next 24 hours as it was considered a make or break period for an ‘overperforming’ type of weekend. These types of releases usually are heavily hyped in nature and therefore feature monster drop-offs in the days that follow. The most obvious exception was The Avengers which showed the family audience appeal of Marvel Studios was truly a three-day event.
That said, the industry has never seen such a feat for a standalone from the group…until today. Iron Man 3 found $62.2 million in its second day in U.S. release, adding to its North American total and prompting Disney to estimate $175.3 million through Sunday night. Such a feat would be the second-largest opening weekend of all-time, edging Harry Potter 8′s $169 million two summers ago.
The good news does not end there though as the Mouse House’s latest tentpole is estimated to be at $680 million worldwide through the end of the day. While The Avengers out-did Iron Man 3 stateside by about $7 million, it was the opposite when looking at overseas markets thus the tremendous number overall. Make no doubt about it, the latest superhero blockbuster will be a billion-dollar movie by the end of May.
Iron Man 3 was great. Plain and simple, it was my favorite movie since seeing The Avengers last May and that includes Skyfall, The Dark Knight Rises, and The Hobbit for those keeping score at home. It was not better than its Marvel Studio’s predecessor, but it certainly got the job done by showcasing a lot of fun sequences, capable dialogue, and better than average relationships created by superior acting. Sadly though, I have major nitpicks and no I am not talking about the twist that is infuriating fans of the comic book source material nationwide.
I am mostly referring to the overarching theme of the movie. Is it the suit or the man? What audiences will see from this movie is Tony Stark developing into more than just a playboy tech genius who wears a fancy suit of armor. They will really see his first ounces of pure heroism from an action standpoint. Have we ever seen Tony flaunt a gun and use makeshift gadgets to attack the bad guys before? Well, we certainly did in this movie to an excess. Continue Reading
Adding to Iron Man 3′s $307.7 million overseas total was the late night debut of the third Iron Man movie last night. The Marvel Studios release opened across the nation in primetime Thursday, banking $15.6 million which exceeded the $7.5 million from midnights that Iron Man 2 scored three years ago. Surprisingly, this came in well below the $30.6 million scored from The Dark Knight Rises in July which means DC still holds the superhero genre record in that particular category.
It must be said though that the assumption is the audience behaves differently for anything Marvel in that its ‘side of humor’ adds to a younger demo appeal and therefore the family traffic is what supports such features. The Avengers only found $18.6 million in its midnight showings, and it still went on to make $207 million by its first Sunday. That said, expect Friday night through Sunday afternoon to more than make up for any shortcomings in the record books thus far as Iron Man’s audience makes their way to the theater.
Hollywood still thinks the film is likely to gross over $150 million at the box office this weekend as a worst-case scenario. It is hard to find anyone who assumes that this will not go down as a top-three debut meaning The Dark Knight Rises should be passed as the top standalone superhero opener of all-time. This is helped tremendously by the addition of 3D which Christopher Nolan’s Batman movie chose to avoid. All eyes now point to the single-day records for all-time (Harry Potter 8′s $91.1 million) and the superhero genre (The Avengers’ $80.8 million) although neither appear to be in Iron Man’s range.
Tonight is the night where Iron Man 3 finally hits North American theaters. The film had already conquered the rest of the world to numbers greater than The Avengers in some places, and now it is finally time to figure out if a franchise this country bought into long ago has room to grow. Safe money is being placed on ‘yes’ as it would appear the movie is already headed to $150 million plus through Sunday night. The bigger question might actually be if Marvel Studio’s ensemble piece from a year ago is a fair measuring stick.
It is for late night showings, at least in my opinion. The Avengers actually had a relatively weak late night debut one year ago as moviegoers instead opted to bring most of their business Friday evening and onward. As a result, the movie only ended up grossing $18.7 million from its first showings–a genre record at the time. This was half the Harry Potter 8 record for $43.5 million so one could see why Hollywood was so blown away when the total three-day start exceeded Potter’s $169 million.
That is why every box office analyst is going to be looking at tonight’s figures when they come out early Friday. The assumption is that the size of this number will make up for the any Saturday-Sunday shortcomings in the record books and it is conceivable that moviegoers treat Iron Man 3 more like a sequel to The Avengers and all come back. I would bet my money on that not happening although a similar pattern of enthusiasm is definitely there which has me supporting the claim of $160+ million. This would be an improvement over Iron Man 2′s non-3D start of $128 million.
There are big numbers coming out of China for Iron Man 3. The movie (complete with its alternate cut) has managed to net a record-breaking $21.1 million in its first Wednesday–surpassing Transformers: Dark of the Moon’s $17.9 million debut two summers ago. This was aided by a slightly larger $2 million midnight appearance, suggesting to some that the Chinese box office is still yet to max out.
That figure is added to the $240 million seven-day international tally after a slow rollout last Wednesday, meaning the film is now at $260 million and change. The news hits us just half-a-day out from the first showings of Iron Man 3 in North American theaters which are really the big ticket for Marvel Studios and Disney. Tonight’s tally is assumed to blow away a lot of late night records for the superhero genre and its three-day debut could be in the top five of all-time U.S. releases, north of $150 million.
More news today is coming out of Disney’s decision to launch Iron Man 3 first overseas. They are capturing headlines once again (which was the purpose of such a rollout) as the studio announced the title had passed $240 million through seven days in release. This included a minor trickle out from last Wednesday and Thursday before the majority of markets joined in. China appears to be the last major country to get the title, but that will be remedied today as authorities over there have changed the date to Wednesday, May 1 instead of the previously announced May 3. The date is a holiday in China, thus why the move was a good one.
This update comes down a day before the late night release of Iron Man 3. The earliest North American showings are expected to come a few hours before midnight so numbers are expected to be eye-popping the next day to say the least. Many expect an Avengers-like $200 million draw, but tracking seems to be around $150-160 million early on. If the optimists win out, we will know by Saturday as the difference can be had with late night and matinees Friday. Those were the weak periods that The Avengers had as no one expected it would come close to $207 million in three days until 36 hours after debut.
Websites from around the entertainment industry, most-notably THR, are having a bit of a ‘mole hill’ moment regarding the camcorder piracy for Iron Man 3 today. They are noting that there are already cheaply-made versions of the film online and available to view that have in fact been downloaded. Even so, the rankings are yet to top Jack Reacher and The Last Stand which have pristine 720p copies thanks to those movies’ recent retail launches.
The reality of it is that Iron Man’s fans are very serious about this fan-favorite property and a lot of them cannot wait to see how it all goes down. They have every intention of seeing it in theaters next weekend upon North American release, so there really is no harm in such bootlegs. Having said that, it also must be acknowledged the limited demographic, males 18-24, who make up the vast majority of torrenters.
Iron Man 3 is a four-quadrant film with widespread appeal. Even if that key sliver of the pie was cut out, Hollywood’s latest blockbuster would still be a smash hit. Disney expects the film to gross over $150 million in its three-day debut, but even if that fails to be reality, the pic at least is responsible for a $200 million overseas start this past weekend.
With extra care to not get too far ahead of ourselves now, the box office watchers among us cannot help but notice that Iron Man 3 is looking like a film every bit as big as The Avengers, at least on the international end. A domestic launch on Friday should solidify that assessment at which point Disney has a bit of a problem. Now, Iron Man 3 is placed in the first weekend of May as that has historically been deemed the official start of the summer movie season. The weeks and months before hand are not at all known for its tentpole launches. Outside of this time of year, November and December are the performers while many studios continue to push March and February.
Basically, the red flag months are September, October, January, and April. A blockbuster can find success in these months and has on a number of occasions although it is exceedingly rare which is why Disney and the like would prefer to avoid these release periods. That brings us to today’s issue: Marvel Studios’ follow-ups to The Avengers are acting more like a fan-favorite television series in terms of retention than previously thought. We can look at Thor: The Dark World and accept its pre-Thanksgiving release this coming November, but beyond that lies the glaring elephant in the room. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is currently scheduled for April 4, 2014. Yes, early April of next year. Continue Reading
Iron Man 3 certainly shattered expectations abroad. Its overseas opening was projected to be $110 million, and the film is already at $195 million when including the $36 million two-day micro rollout. This is a big deal for the Mouse House as the latest Marvel Studios offering looks to obtain profitability by next weekend. They invested $200 million in the pic, just $20 million less than The Avengers, and Disney appears to be getting very similar returns from what they received one year ago.
This all is preceding what is expected to be the biggest domestic opening of the year next week. Tony Stark & Co. are expected to make over $150 million in its first three days of release, taking the franchise to new heights. That seems to be the floor though as all the hype leading up to the North American launch seems to suggest a similar gross to its direct predecessor and not necessarily Iron Man 2 in that regard. While $207 million seems crazy, so does the idea that the franchise would be flat ($120 million.)
All expectations point to Iron Man 3 becoming a $1 billion movie, the first standalone Marvel Studios title to perform such a feat. Stay tuned for on-going coverage in what will clearly be the biggest box office story of the year.
In looking at the early returns for the weekend numbers, I am willing to go out on a limb here and say that traffic is down more than usual. While some may point to the NFL draft or some really good weather, it might behoove people to look elsewhere given the past few weekends largely positive results. Oblivion looks to be crashing while The Big Wedding is opening really soft despite its stellar cast, thus making Pain & Gain the lone outlier. Earlier reports had as much as a $25 million three-day which is now looking like $21 million (which is still an overperform by the way.)
The only real answer I have is that people are staying away from the theaters more than usual in order to save their coin for what will undoubtedly be a spectacle. Iron Man 3 has fantastic reviews and the word of mouth is already incredible. This may not be The Avengers, but Hollywood seems to think it could be at least be as big as last year’s Dark Knight Rises open which found $160 million in its domestic debut. Foreign audience reaction supports that claim as a partial rollout overseas topped $36 million through two weekdays.
Following up Wednesday’s first international box office numbers for Iron Man 3 comes more good news for the Mouse House. The film found another $23.3 million, turning its two-day international debut into a whopping $36.5 million. This continues to play well ahead of Iron Man 2 but not exactly beyond that of The Avengers in more than a few markets. That said, the super hero pic led by Robert Downey, Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow appears to be well on pace for a foreign opening north of the $100 million.
It should be mentioned that this is still a partial rollout as the film is expected to do even bigger business when it hits the remaining international territories in the coming week. China gets the movie on May 3 which is quite possible the best news Disney could have hoped for in a country known for giving local flavor better dates while placing Hollywood tentpoles on non-holiday Mondays.
We continue our runaway coverage of Iron Man 3 today with the look at yet another spot for the Shane Black-directed blockbuster. Earlier Wednesday afternoon, I reported on first word coming in from the film’s reviews and the pic’s May 3rd date in China (which is a big deal to those familiar with the territory.) What makes this footage worth the mention above other recent spot is it shows the Iron Man helmet burning, a powerful visual for fans of the series no doubt inspiring a wave of similar-looking jack-o-lanterns across the country come October. Everything afterwards feels kind of muted by comparison. Continue Reading
Well, that was quick. The first positive sign of greatness for Iron Man 3 is that Disney lifted the review curtain a whopping 10 days before the official release of Marvel Studios’ latest. The second positive sign? What reviewers had to say immediately afterwards. Let’s not play a Debby Downer here and acknowledge that everyone who saw the pic liked it in some way shape or form. Lots of people are already calling it the best installment of the Iron Man trilogy with the sole hangup being an unexpected twist that some series faithful are bound to be disappointed in.
Nonetheless, this pic is regarded as better than the film that started it all in 2008 with a plot and solid character development to go with high octane action sequences and trademark one-liners. The film has currently scoring a 94% from Rotten Tomatoes as of this post with the only differing opinions come from those less inclined to accept comedy in their superhero movies. Congratulations go out to Marvel on making up for the franchise’s dismal outing three years ago in which a drunk Tony Stark personified the film’s many flaws.
Iron Man 3 releases in the U.S. on May 3.