Briefly: Tony Stark has defeated the Iron Monger, Whiplash and now he’s beaten Harry Potter, Jack Sparrow and Batman, too. Iron Man 3 opened this weekend with a whopping $175.3 million box-office take, the second best opening weekend of all-time. The only film Stark couldn’t beat? His own. 2012’s The Avengers remains the all-time record holder with $207.4 million from Friday to Sunday.
What’s even more impressive about the Shane Black-directed film? As it opened internationally a week prior to the US opening, Iron Man 3 has now grossed $680 million globally in its first week, outgrossing the entire run of both Iron Man ($585.2) and Iron Man 2 ($623.9 million).
The only questions now are, can Iron Man 3 combine the grosses of 1 and 2? Which other summer movie could topple it, if any? And will there be an Iron Man 4? [Box Office Mojo]
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Iron Man 3 is a bundle of contradictions. It is light and genuinely funny, yet a vein of deep cynicism acts as the movie’s spine. At times it is gleefully silly, but it indulges ideas that are merely goofy. It wants to reconcile real-world violence into larger-than-life escapism. Yet the contradictions don’t quite break the movie. Director/writer Shane Black and co-screenwriter Drew Pearce understand the mode in which they have to work, and manage to make both impulses live side by side.
Those contradictions give Iron Man 3 a weird sense of pace, and a personality that isn’t quite like any other superhero movie. This isn’t the gleeful candy-colored romp of The Avengers, and I sympathize with any audience thrown by the film’s shuffling rhythm. Shane Black writes and directs movies that walk a fine line between idiosyncratic and mainstream, and many of the director’s impulses (winking narration, in-jokes, the subversion of cliches) are on display here.
Black and Pearce struggle at times to keep all their ideas in the frame, but that struggle alone makes Iron Man 3 interesting to watch. The film’s giddy highs are quite wonderful, and its personal quirks are testament to the power Marvel Studios has accumulated. The film plays loose with characters and ideas from the comics, but in doing so presents a story that is more unique than we have any right to expect from a threequel. In fact, crossover between real and heightened worlds has defined Marvel Comics since day one, and Iron Man 3 may be more true to Marvel’s spirit than any other film.
(Note: Iron Man 3 features a couple big plot elements that shouldn’t be spoiled, and so the following review avoids discussing those elements. I’m not going to say this is 100% spoiler-free, but I’ve avoided the big points. ) Read More »
A couple weeks ago I got the opportunity to sit down with Marvel head Kevin Feige and Iron Man 3 writer/director Shane Black.
We’ve run some of the answers over the last week as stand-alone posts, but you can read the whole interview transcript after the jump, including collecting Back to the Future memorabilia, Iron Man at Disneyland, transforming a superhero movie into a detective story, Patton Oswalt’s Star Wars/Marvel crossover rant, if it was weird for Black to direct Jon Favreau in an Iron Man movie, how Iron Man 3 sets-up future Marvel films, Tony Stark’s unexpected team-up with a child, how Marvel deals with leaks, misinformation and the rumors of the age of the internet.
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Its very hard to keep secrets in the age of the internet, especially when it comes to fanboy properties like superhero movies. While talking to Marvel head Kevin Feige and Iron Man 3 writer/director Shane Black, I asked how Marvel Studios is evolving to deal with this growing interest in rumors, leaks and sometimes even misinformation.
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Marvel is well-known for inserting scenes into their films to surprise audiences, and Iron Man 3 is no different. As always, stay to the end of the credits. What is different about Tony Stark’s latest adventure is that the film’s Chinese release is four minutes longer than in the rest of the world. China helped co-finance the film (though it isn’t an official co-production) and the Chinese footage features cameos by some of the country’s most famous actors. Those four minutes got a lot of fanboy interest when director Shane Black said they featured an “interesting surprise.”
Iron Man 3 premiered in China Wednesday night and details of those scenes have now made it online. Sorry, there are no major revelations like an appearance from villain Fin Fang Foom. The footage is just a bunch of extended scenes that some fans claim are totally extraneous to the plot. Read about them below. Read More »
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During my interview last week with Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige and Iron Man 3 director Shane Black, I brought up Patton Oswalt’s awesome ad-libbed Star Wars: Episode VII pitch (a Parks & Recreation outtake) which involved a cross-over event involving Disney’s Marvel superhero and galactic universe.
While many of my colleagues were asking the softball questions like “will Robert Downey Jr come back for a fourth Iron Man” or “where will Marvel go in Phase 3?” I knuckled down with the much more important hardball question: when is Disney going to take Oswalt’s pitch seriously and give us that Marvel/Disney cross-over film? Find out the answer after the jump.
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Shane Black is best known as a screenwriter of many R-rated action comedies released in the 1980s and 1990s. So when Black came face to face with writing a superhero film for kids, how much of a struggle was it to keep Iron Man 3 from an R rating?
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Going into the junket for Iron Man 3, one of the things I wanted to talk to writer/director Shane Black about is the film’s Christmas setting. Many of the films Black has been involved with have been set during Christmas: Lethal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout, The Long Kiss Goodnight and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Someone beat me to the punch at the press conference, and as it turns out, setting the movie during Christmas wasn’t even Black’s idea.
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After getting out of Iron Man 3 I was inundated with text messages from friends and colleagues asking not only how it was, but more than not how it compared against the first two films. This seems to be the question more and more nowadays. When I saw Monsters University at CinemaCon, people asked how it compared against the original and more than not, how it placed in my ranking of the Pixar filmography. I can’t even tell you which Pixar film is my favorite, never mind asking me to rank them. I understand people want context, thats probably why film grades, rotten tomato and IMDB scores are so massively popular.
I could tell you that Iron Man 3 is a much MUCH better movie than Iron Man 2, but what does that really say? While I don’t think it tops the original, many aspects of this film are better than the first film.
But what does that even really mean? That’s comment without context. For me its hard to compare because, as it turns out, Iron Man 3 is much much different than the first two films in the franchise. After the jump you can watch a spoiler free video blog I recorded with Steve from Collider after a recent screening, along with a few written thoughts.
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