Marvel’s Hollywood Summer

May 5, 2008

iron-man-downey.jpgMarvel Entertainment Inc executives and investors heaved a sigh of relief after “Iron Man” smashed box office records in its opening weekend.

The movie about a billionaire industrialist turned super hero was the tenth biggest weekend box office performance of all time and the second biggest non-sequel. The expectations had been building up. The stock kept climbing steadily from the start of the year to hit a 52-week high on Friday.

“Iron Man” won the praise of critics — It has a 94 percent fresh rating on, which has taken a consensus of 163 reviews. The movie critic website says that Iron Man is the best-reviewed movie of 2008 so far.

Marvel managed to please them all: critics, audiences and, today, investors. For a company that emerged from bankruptcy in 1998, it has been a remarkable turnaround story. Its shares rose further today on the box office numbers.

Marvel has been planning this for years. And now that “Iron Man” has succeeded at the box office, all eyes are on the irritable green giant, who has been lying low since “Iron Man” took center stage. Marvel is planning a barrage of marketing for “The Incredible Hulk” when it gets closer to the movie.

Few analysts are as excited about “Hulk”, which has yet to generate a similar level of buzz.

The company also said it will not release any movie in 2009, when the company will have to look for trickle-down revenue from “Iron Man” and “Hulk.”

Marvel fans should watch 2010. That’s when the “Iron Man” sequel is planned. And so is, as some speculate, “Spider-Man 4.” There’s also a movie on “Thor” in the same year and two “Avenger”-themed films slated to hit theaters in 2011.

Reuters coverage:
Box office performance
First quarter financial results

(Photo: Reuters)

No comments so far

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see