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David Poland

By David Poland

Iron Money


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30 Responses to “Iron Money”

  1. MASON says:

    My sister — a total soccer mom in Virginia — told me she can’t wait to see it. And she sees about three movies a year.
    Who knows? Hopefully it will do well enough to make Don lose his stupid signature. Seriously, what’s the deal? Did Favreau bitch-slap him too?

  2. IOIOIOI says:

    Heat: teen girls have teen boyfriends, that will want to see this movie. If you think it’s so low before we even get to freakin May 1st. This is how you roll because you simply refuse to accept this movie as being anything more than some rinky-dink comic book movie to open the Summer. It’s you right, but IT’S IRON-MAN.

  3. therealmrbortman says:

    What about Twister? It opened on May 10th (early May technically the second week like The Mummy, and what’s a couple days amongst friends?) and ended up making considerably more money than the much more heavily hyped Mission: Impossible, which opened on the coveted Memorial Day weekend.

  4. David Poland says:

    Again, IO… it’s NOT low.
    I love Iron Man. I grew up loving him above all other comics. But outside of my personal feelings, he isn’t a natural franchise on the level of Spider-Man and he isn’t as four-quadrant friendly as Spider-Man.
    It has nothing to do with the movie, ultimately. It has to do with selling the movie.
    I have seen the ads. I have the toy. I watched the free sequence on Apple. It all looks fine… a CG metal suit shooting cool shit with a clever actor inside. Great. I’m there. I am looking forward to seeing Iron Man vs Transformers when I am 60.
    But where do people get this thing about this number being sooooo low. Batman Frickin’ Begins did $205 million… rave reviews… geek jism… so Iron Man is supposed to be bigger than that?

  5. martin says:

    I can’t imagine it being seen as a miss making anything over $150. Iron Man may be a name in the comic book community, but that’s a small group (as Dave says, the geek $8 million). It also doesn’t have huge name talent to draw a crowd. Downey Jr. is a great actor and looks like a strong choice for the role, but he’s never been big box office. It’s like of like Jumper, which IMO is a solid hit with $80 mill off the back of Hayden Christensen, who outside of SW is not necessarily guaranteed box office. Iron Man making $150 is also a “hit” based on its market-drawing elements. If $150 mill for IM and $80 mill for Jumper meant losing money, then the real problem is that they were budgeted wrong. Cause they made about what should have been expected, and even hoped for.

  6. MASON says:

    Didn’t we kinda go through this with Transformers?

  7. Wrecktum says:

    A fair analysis, Poland. I think it’ll hit the high side of your projections, but you’re right that it’s not a phenom.
    That said, a $150-$200m gross will be considered a very nice haul for this property, and well within lines of other recent comic book films.

  8. Aladdin Sane says:

    I’m looking forward to this – not so much for the property, but cos I like the actors and the director involved. It looks like it’ll be fun, and if does live up to that promise, I think it will do alright at the box office.
    What everyone wants to see is Indy or the Dark Knight. Thankfully one of those is out sooner than later.

  9. SJRubinstein says:

    It’s funny to think about where Iron Man fits into the Marvel universe because, frankly, I grew up pretty hardcore Marvel – not D.C. at all – and Iron Man was one of those characters like Captain America that, for me, appealed to a generation of comic fans that grew up in the seventies, not necessarily the mid-eighties and early nineties.
    Yes, NOW there’s great writing again for the characters – specifically Brubaker’s run on Cap and the Warren Ellis run on Iron Man – but for awhile there, Iron Man, Thor and some of the other Marvel titles just weren’t being given the kind of attention, say, X-Men was or even the many different Spidey titles (Web, Spectacular, Amazing and eventually the Todd MacFarlane “thing”). Hell, Punisher was a hipper read around then than Iron Man or Thor and even an X-Factor “Inferno” tie-in was niftier than anything having to do with Reed and Sue finally popping out a kid in FF.
    So, even though Iron Man is, yes, pretty recognizable and a big part of the Marvel universe, I’d say that for a certain generation – one who grew up thinking Captain America couldn’t hold a candle to Wolverine – he’s a second tier character.
    And yes, I know how nerdy this all sounds.

  10. David Poland says:

    Actually, not, Mason.
    Transformers was slotted in position to do the numbers it did. Iron Man is not… unless ou think it’s Spider-Man all over again. Does it look like Spider-Man all over again to you?
    Transformers hit the kid market huge. Iron Man is not being sold to that market in the same way… nor does the character have a live inside of our homes the way Transformers did for 2 generations.
    And in the end, I was wrong about how much built-in interest Transformers had and how much CG Tranformers appealed to people. But this is a very different animal.
    We are in the same place, in that my $200 million estimate for Transformers was not insulting or crazy. But it was wrong.
    The same kind of issues are there around Indy 4. Is it a $300 million movie or a $200 million-plus movie? You could make the “it’s too old to be sure” argument. You could make the “it’s the only real 4-quadrant film of the season” argument as well.
    Is Hancock a $200 million movie or a $300 million movie? There have only been two $300 million movies in that slot. But it’s Will Smith in an action comedy, two of which have done over $250 million for him opening July 4 weekend.
    And we had the same conversation a couple years ago about Superman Returns, no?

  11. Drew says:

    Wasn’t me at Anne’s blog.
    But I don’t know anyone who isn’t at least intrigued by IRON MAN now that the campaign’s in full-swing, and everyone who has actually laid eyes on it seems to be full-blown dizzy about it. Sounds great.

  12. Geoff says:

    I really don’t think Dave’s expectations are out of line – have any other comic book movies really broken way out of the $200 million statospher in recent years, besides Spiderman?
    Honestly, I see this doing 300 numbers – $70 million opening and $210 overall – nothing to sneeze at.
    The trailers have been great, though – honestly, seems like Paramount has their heart more in this one than Indiana Jones. Could it be a category maker? Probably no. But could this be Downey Jr’s commercial breakout a’la Depp in Pirates? Posssibly. I know that some one earlier mentioned that Downey doesn’t have near the female appeal that Depp does….but we are not that many years from when he was on Ally McBeal and woman loved him on that show.

  13. Meh. Sooo not interested in Iron Man.

  14. IOIOIOI says:

    SJ… he’s Iron-Man. He’s the first tier of first tier. He’s been in the first chair for most of this decade, and some part of the last. If you are a kid in a comic book shop. Tony Stark’s image is very familar to you. Hell. If you have seen the biggest comic book toy of the last 10 years in any toy isle. IRON-MAN is familiar to you.
    I simply see it as irrational to believe in this day and age — as in 2008 — that anyone would believe 150 to 200 million is reasonable for this movie. This has been brewing for over a year now. Anyone short-selling this film with such ridiculous numbers (ticket prices going up and what not), comes across as silly to me.

  15. jeffmcm says:

    He is _not_ ‘first tier of first tier’. That stratosphere is limited to Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man. Maybe Hulk. We’re talking comic book characters that everybody knows, from kids to grandparents. And while Iron Man is high up there, he’s not in total name recognition territory yet.

  16. IOIOIOI says:

    Actually Jeff it’s Supes, Bats, Spidey, and Wolvie. If you want to break it down to the above leve, that sort of thing I can accept. I am still on with Iron-Man being under-sold by many, that may be shocked when it may pull-off. What it may pull-off.

  17. jeffmcm says:

    I think Wolverine is just below the others you mention. Captain America and Wonder Woman are properly in that same territory.

  18. Alan Cerny says:

    I think IRON MAN is second-tier, but he’s at the top of that tier. Anyone into comics in the 70s and 80s as kids will at least be aware of him. And, visually, he’s more interesting than, say, Daredevil or Blade or even Hulk (at least the Hulk we got onscreen). Shit’ll blow up real good, and the dude flies to boot.
    I expect this to do well.

  19. SJRubinstein says:

    I’m looking forward to the Iron Man movie as much as anybody else as it looks like “one of the good ones,” so I think it’ll be pretty huge. Was commenting more on the character’s place among Marvel characters than the movie itself.
    The thing is, however, with Spidey, it’s a teen getting to do his big, wish fulfillment adventure. With the X-Men – again – it’s getting to go to school with Wolverine. With Batman, there’s a little of that childhood fear of having your parents taken away and getting to grow up as a ninja to become Batman. With Superman, you’re a kid from an alien world – all alienated and stuff – growing up with bullies, but They Don’t Know Your Secret!
    There is definitely big-time kid wish fulfillment in getting to be a super-cyborg like Iron Man, but like the surgeon-who-got-in-an-accident-and-got-into-eastern-mysticism origin for Doctor Strange, Tony Stark’s origin story isn’t as intuitively kid-friendly as, say, Spider-Man.
    Again, this is just my opinion. Reading this thread has kind of made me wonder why I never really got into Iron Man as a kid and this is one possible answer.

  20. anghus says:

    if they want a campaign that’s more four quadrant friendly, i’d be showing more Paltrow. Not a lot mind you, but women like her, and that gag bit at the end of the ad ‘this isn’t the worst thing you’ve caught me doing’ plays kind of flat.

  21. movieman says:

    Has anyone noticed that the director of Sony’s “Iron Man” counterprogrammer, “Made of Honor,” is Paul Weiland?
    This is the same guy who helmed Bill Cosby’s staggeringly bad b.o. dud “Leonard Part 6” (a 007 spoof that was at least two decades out of date when it opened at Christmastime 1987) and the insufferable “City Slickers” sequel, “The Legend of Curly’s Gold.”
    How does someone with a resume that godawful stinky even get a job??!!
    I’d put my money on Cameron Diaz-Ashton Kutcher’s “What Happens in Vegas”–opening the following week as counterprogramming to “Speed Racer”–for the May rom-com
    crown. (“Sex and the City” opens too late in the month for eligibility.)

  22. Kristopher Tapley says:

    I would say the film will land in around the x2/Batman Begins mark of $200-220 million. I never expected a monster here. If it sucks, maybe it’ll be worse. But word of mouth will carry it far (just like those two films) if it is indeed what we all hope it is.

  23. THX5334 says:

    I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but it’s asinine to compare Downey JR. with Hayden Christensen..
    The chicks are going to come out in droves for this flick pushing it to almost four quadrant status.
    Mark my words.
    I can’t tell you how many women I’ve dated that have an unhealthy weird attraction to Robert Downey Jr.
    It is in the same vein as Depp, but different in that they know he’s the guy with the crazy and the drugs and the prison – and they don’t care!
    They love this guy since Weird Science, Back to School and he slayed them with Less Than Zero, the way Cusack got them with Say Anything. And he reignited it on his Ally McBeal run…
    Downey is the ulitmate “rescue” sex symbol.
    That attractive but flawed guy that women just want to rescue and clean him up and fix him and make him better, so they can validate themselves!
    Which is in nature of the Tony Stark character.
    Combined with those story elements and Favreau’s more intimate story telling instincts, seeing a story where the rescue character fixes himself and transforms into the ass kicking Alpha-Male…
    This is going to be the comic book flick that women are going to flock to…
    Believe it.
    The trailers show wit, stakes, thrills and passion
    Chicks from Generation X and younger love, love, Downey JR..
    Combined with the fact that we are in the worst movie drought for quality fun in ages (At least that’s how all my middle America friends feel)
    Factor in a country (and possibly world) that as a society is deeply depressed from a War and recession looking for some escapism entertainment…
    BOOM!!! Way bigger numbers than you’re all predicting…
    And it will just keep getting bigger. Because the more this country can get two hours to escape all the negativity running around, they’re going to be there.
    For Tony, For Speed, For Indy, For Bruce.
    This will be a summer for the ages because the country needs a place to breathe and feel something that of a higher vibration than what they get day to day.
    That is the power of story, and film and why we’re all here…
    And why these movies are going to ignite huge box office and spin that the business is better than ever (it’s not)
    Hayden Christensen isn’t even fit to wipe the amphetamine laced dribbles from Downey’s nose.

  24. Lota says:

    THX dude,
    you forgot “Only You”. He was a riot.
    I’ve been an Iron Man collector since I was a wean, so I’ll be there and Robert Downey is PERFECT for that role. I was cringing when Tom Cruise was being considered.
    RObert Downey I don’t want to fix up, even though he needs his ass kicked over and over again, as he would be the first to admit.
    I’m alsoa SPeed Racer freak and I quietly hope it will not be uncool.

  25. Geoff says:

    THX, I got a kick out of your “rescue” comments about Downey, Jr. and you are so right – honestly, if he had the same agent as Matthew McConaghey, there’s little doubt he could have that same kind of career, as well (why would he, of course?)
    Dave makes some good points about how they really haven’t played up the sex appeal/woman angle in the ads, but it’s still quite early. I’m sure they’ll do some romance-angle ads with more shots of Paltrow – it’s a no-brainer. And Downey will probably make the rounds on The View, Tyra, Oprah, etc. – you can bank on that, as well. If Downey is going to go out and sell this thing to the right channels, then look out.
    I still think just over $200 million is the end goal for Paramount – it’s not underestimation at all for a “second tier” comic book hero. If this film can gross on the par of Batman, Superman, and X Men, then the battle has been won and look out for the sequel.

  26. Joe Leydon says:

    Actually, from what I’ve seen of Paltrow in clips/trailers so far, this looks like her first brazenly sex-appealing turn since Flesh and Bone.

  27. Geoff says:

    They heavily pushed her sex appeal (or lack thereof) in all of the marketing for Great Expectations several years back.

  28. My friends love Downey Jr, but mostly as his character from Ally McBeal. it still confuses me.

  29. LexG says:

    HOT. NESS.
    The cast on this owns all and Bridges alone should make this a must-see because EIGHT MILLION WAYS TO DIE FUCKING RULES YOUR WEAK ASS SO FUCKING HARD YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW.

  30. Martin S says:

    The thresh hold for IM opening weekend is 80M.
    Top-Tier characters are based upon worldwide licensing. It’s been Superman, Batman, Spider-Man Wonder Woman, and Hulk for decades. FF and Punisher rank higher than Wolverine.
    I never read the shooting draft for Hancock, but when it was At Night He Comes with Mann as director, it didn’t feel like a summer film, let alone monster numbers.
    What I find funny is that Hancock and Watchmen are considered the “anti-superhero” superhero films, yet every indication is that the productions moved as close as possible to being more formulaic.

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon