Weekend Of May 10 – 12
1. Iron Man 3 – $72.5 million (Total: $284.9 million)
2. The Great Gatsby – $50 million (Total: $50 million)
3. Pain & Gain – $5 million (Total: $41.6 million)
4. Peeples – $4.6 million (Total: $4.6 million)
5. 42 – $4.5 million (Total: $84.6 million)
6. Oblivion – $4.1 million (Total: $81.9 million)
7. The Croods – $3.6 million (Total: $173.2 million)
8. The Big Wedding – $2.4 million (Total: $18.2 million)
9. Mud – $2.3 million (Total: $8.3 million)
10. Oz The Great And Powerful – $1 million (Total: $230.2 million)
Source: Box Office Mojo
Iron Man 3 is a family-friendly Christmas comedy. I’ll give you a second to read that again. I’ve never been so blindsided by a sequel’s shift in tone in my entire life. Disney did not disturb the first two Iron Man movies. So this third one had Disney written all over it. The entire film felt like a complete sell-out of the franchise.
There is absolutely no reason why this movie should have taken place during Christmas. In the beginning of the movie, there is a flashback to New Year’s Eve of 1999 where the characters meet for the first time. So when it goes back to the present, there is always a reference about how it’s been 13 years since they saw each other. But why not 13 and a half years?! Why on Earth would you kick-start the summer movie season with a Christmas movie?!
The biggest shift in this sequel is that it’s a comedy. Usually Robert Downey Jr. has a few clever lines spread throughout the movie. But in this, it’s every piece of dialogue. Every sentence was a joke. I’ve never heard so much laughter in a theater for an action movie. All the grittiness from the first two movies and The Avengers is stripped away to make for a family-friendly version of Iron Man.
Speaking of Iron Man, he is barely in the movie. Much like The Dark Knight Rises, the actual superhero doesn’t do anything until the end of the movie. The main focus is on Tony Stark as you watch him walk around Tennessee. There isn’t an action scene until 30 minutes into the movie. How can you kick off a third film without making something explode? Tony Stark also develops a technology to make his Iron Man suits operate on autopilot. Which makes Stark worthless to the superhero. Why is he even needed anymore when these things can do the work for him?
Overall, I was deeply disappointed by Iron Man 3. My biggest problem has to do with the villain but I’ll save that for the spoiler section below. It’s a significant part to the movie, so you may want to see the movie first. But it’s by far the worst thing to happen to the story. This is a movie that people will either love or hate. I’m just on the hating side because I’m a fan of this character and his mythology. People going into this fresh will probably enjoy it. It’s not a bad movie; it’s just not the Iron Man I know. Also be sure to stick around for a scene after the credits.
The part of the movie that absolutely infuriated me is that The Mandarin is not a villain. Ben Kingsley plays a British actor who is playing The Mandarin as a diversion for Guy Pearce (who is the actual bad guy). All the trailers built up The Mandarin as the main villain, but he is nothing but a sissy actor. That villain is a real villain in the comic books. He has magic rings that cause destruction and is a real threat to Iron Man. But they make him an insignificant loser. I felt totally robbed! Why waste my time with that?! Also, The Mandarin is a Chinese character, so I can’t help but think they changed him altogether to please the Chinese audience that this movie was also tailored to. You don’t want to piss off your investors. So because of that, we get stuck with a completely different version of this villain.
This is also definitely the last Iron Man movie. At the end, Tony Stark undergoes surgery to remove the remaining shrapnel metal in his body. He also removes the Arc Reactor from his chest. Which seems really stupid because that could keep him alive for a very long time. But I guess he wants to be more human now? Gwyneth Paltrow also confirmed that this will be the last stand-alone Iron Man film. I don’t know what that means for Robert Downey Jr. in The Avengers 2. But this will be the last time you see him in his own movie. Good luck in the future Mr. Downey Jr., I’m sure The Soloist 2 will bring in a lot of money.
As for the scene after the credits: Unfortunately it’s nothing special. I was hoping for some Avengers tie in or something setting up the next Marvel movie. But it’s just Robert Downey Jr. talking to Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/The Hulk) about the events in this movie. The whole joke is just that Bruce Banner isn’t a therapist. What a waste.