Superheroes rule this week's releases with iron fist and bespandexed crotch.
If you were still awake after the Oscars ended last night, you may have caught Robert Downey Jr. on Jimmy Kimmel Live, where he debuted a brand-new Iron Man 2 trailer. Whether you're a comic book fan or a Robert Downey Jr. fan, this trailer is must-see material, since it showcases a lot more fun lines from the movie, as well as some major plot points and details. Here are our six favorites.
For the staff at Movies Without Pity, there is usually only one reason to watch the Super Bowl: to recoup our gambling losses for the season. Also, new movie trailers! Granted, not all of them are first looks -- all of these films have had teaser trailers and even full trailers before -- and all of them are a content-light 30 seconds. But for movie buffs like us, the excitement of who will win the game nicely translates into excitement (and sometimes disappointment) for the films advertised.
In a testament to the power of superheroes (not to mention Robert Downey Jr.'s charm and Scarlett Johansson's bodysuits) Iron Man 2 came out on top for the second week in a row, preventing Robin Hood from rising to the number-one spot. Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott did all right, with $37 million, but IM2 made another $53 million, putting it over the $200 million mark and overtaking How to Train Your Dragon, which is still making money in its 8th week. Perhaps if Robin Hood had been riding a dragon, we might have had a different champion.
Well, that's it. The backlash has begun. Against the Iron Man franchise (although not the first movie, which is apparently unimpeachable), against Marvel's slow build to The Avengers (which is really only touched on twice in the new film, briefly) and against Robert Downey, Jr. himself, who is apparently too obnoxious, although they may have him confused with the character he plays. I'll admit that I had my own doubts going into this second installment since I do recognize the greatness of the original and since Marvel hasn't had the best luck with getting their comic book characters firmly established as film characters on par with the likes of James Bond, Indiana Jones and Harry Potter. But from the perspective of a long-time, die-hard fan of ol' Shellhead, I thought director Jon Favreau, screenwriter Justin Theroux and RDJ and the rest of the cast delivered a sharp, entertaining follow-up despite some cracks in the armor.
There is very little that could be done to make me (or most people) worry about Iron Man 2. The first movie was so good, and so fun, that the second would have to be good, right? Unfortunately, it has to be good. It has to be better than the first, in fact, or people will be disappointed. It has to bring something new to the table. Luckily, director Jon Favreau and star Robert Downey Jr. seem to realize that, and they brought their A-game to the San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend. The footage they showed isn't online yet, but the descriptions of it dazzle the imagination. Here are ten things I learned from the Iron Man panel at SDCC that have gotten me even more excited to see it.
From the perspective of someone who works in an industry where most of the professionals couldn't tell you where their next job is coming from, most people in Hollywood are probably sitting around the dinner table tonight discussing how Robert Downey Jr. is like, totally set for life. The Iron Man actor has signed on to play Tony Stark in three more films. With Iron Man being, well, let's face it, the second-biggest movie of the summer, Marvel Studios nevertheless has about five hundred and seventy eight million ($!) reasons to get him back for a sequel. And while reports aren't out yet as to just how much of that juicy box-office gross they used to lure RDJ back, they got him, and not just for one sequel, but two. Oh, and also what could technically be called a spinoff.
Have you always wanted to walk the red carpet at a glitzy movie premiere? Have you dreamed of meeting movie stars? Is it your fondest wish to hang out on the set of a huge movie production and be treated like a VIP? Were you unfortunately born without the acting talent or at least the family connections that would make these things possible? Well, good news! Thanks to Stand Up To Cancer, if you're the winning bidder on its eBay auction, you not only get to walk the red carpet at the Iron Man sequel's premiere, you get to be in the movie! ...Oh, and benefit cancer research, too.
It was no surprise that Iron Man 2 was the number-one movie at the box office this weekend. The only question was how high up the list of biggest openings of all time it would go. Well, it did pretty amazing, making $133.6 million to the first movie's $98.6 million, and landing in fifth place, behind four other sequels: Dark Knight, Spidey 3, New Moon and Dead Man's Chest. Sure, it didn't beat Batman's haul, but it beat Shrek 3, and that has to count for something.
Jon Favreau must really like AC/DC. Or, more likely, the band's blistering guitar rock, violent lyrics and electrically inspired name simply make them perfect candidates to provide the entire soundtrack to Iron Man 2. Rockers providing soundtracks is nothing new, but rather than featuring all-new songs, like Queen did for Highlander and Daft Punk is doing for Tron, the AC/DC soundtrack will be a "greatest hits" collection, including some of their best-known anthems from as far back as 1976. (The promo video is set to 1980's "Shoot to Thrill.") With this in mind, we looked at other tentpole films slated for this year and picked the bands (and solo artists) with suitable back catalogs to provide all of the music for each movie.