Top 12 Film Industry Stories of 2008:
#3: Iron Man Rocks

By David Mumpower

January 14, 2009

The armor is actually more of a titanium alloy.

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The results speak for themselves. Perhaps there is another actor out there who can vacillate between playboy, victim and orphan better than Downey Jr. did, but I cannot think of one off-hand. Audiences and critics clearly agreed with me as Iron Man is one of the most successful projects in recent memory in terms of combined box office performance and critical reception. 93% of reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes loved the movie with only 15 (idiots) out of 222 giving the film a thumbs down. At the time of its release, Iron Man was described as the "best-reviewed film of the year so far" by the review tracker Web site.


Of course, reviews are nice but it's money that matters in our industry. In this regard, Iron Man is the gold standard. Thanks to white hot trailers and glowing buzz, Favreau and Downey Jr.'s project opened to $102.1 million, the tenth best debut of all-time to that point. Even better, word-of-mouth prevented any danger of frontloading as Iron Man broke $200 million on its 16th day in theaters and conquered the majestic $300 million mark after only 48 days in release. The film would go on to earn $318.3 million domestically, allowing it to edge the return of industry icon Indiana Jones for the second best performance of 2008. In addition, Iron Man earned a respectable (albeit not as impressive as some others like Mamma Mia!) $258.9 million worldwide, giving it combined worldwide box office receipts of $577.2 million. Iron Man also became the most successful Blu Ray release of all time within just two days of its release on the new disc format. It has already earned almost $200 million in home video sales and is the 21st most successful domestic release of all time. Rare is the movie production that has the stars align the way that has happened with Iron Man, clearly the second most lauded title of 2008.

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