EXCLUSIVE: Here is a big one for Marvel fans. I’m told that Marvel Studios is setting Glenn Close to a major role in its newest franchise creation, Guardians Of The Galaxy. They’re always circumspect at Marvel, but …
UPDATE, FRIDAY AM: Disney confirmed today that last night Iron Man 3 crossed $1B at the worldwide box office and $300M at the domestic box office. The global milestone came on the 23rd day of release around the world, making it the second Marvel Studios film (after The Avengers, which crossed the mark in 19 days) and sixth Disney pic (Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Alice In Wonderland, Toy Story 3, and Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and Avengers) to cross that threshold. The domestic mark comes on the 14th day of release and is the ninth studio pic to reach that peak. To date, the pic has grossed $1.008B globally — $698.9M international and $301.9M domestic. It is the 16th highest-grossing film of all-time globally and 11th all-time internationally.
PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, WEDNESDAY PM: More records breaking for Summer 2013 as may continues to sizzle at the global box office. The Disney/Marvel threequel has only been in theaters for 23 days around the world but already Iron Man 3 is set to cross the $1B mark on Thursday. Its latest cumes are $294.7M domestic and $685.6M international through May 14. That makes it the 16th biggest film ever amid predictions it will finish as the 5th highest grossing film of all time when all theatrical grosses are in.
EXCLUSIVE: Robert Downey Jr is set for another huge payday from a mega-hit Marvel movie, this time Iron Man 3. I’ve learned he’s already made $35 million from the actioner, which grossed $680 million worldwide in its first 12 days. He should exceed his biggest payday to date — that $50M from The Avengers which I’ve learned was more like $70M-$80M now that the film is all in. But it’s really Avengers 2 where he’ll clean up big-time — if he wants to reprise the role. He’s hinting to some media it may be time to retire Tony Stark. And saying to other outlets that Marvel better show him more money for Avengers 2. ”I don’t know,” he said on The Daily Show. ”I had a long contract with them and now we’re gonna renegotiate.” (“You are Iron Man! You are!” cheered Jon Stewart.) I’ve learned that Marvel and therefore owner Disney are going to run into big trouble on that sequel because the upfront pay, backend compensation, break-even points and box office bonuses aren’t pinned down yet for several big stars and castmates. This is major hurdle that Walt Disney Co Chaiman/CEO Bob Iger hasn’t even mentioned to Wall Street or shareholders though he’s already been hyping Avengers 2 for more than a year now.
First and foremost Marvel does not have Downey in place yet. ”They need him, and they don’t have him. He’s got a lot of leverage,” one insider tells me. Much less so Scarlett Johannsen (paid to pop up in Marvel movie after movie), Chris Evans (whom some sources say made his deal for Avengers 2 when he signed for Captain America 2), Chris Hemsworth (a much bigger star now than before and unsigned for Avengers 2), Mark Ruffalo (whose Hulk role already was cast 3 times and could be the most vulnerable), Jeremy Renner (probably grateful for more exposure), Samuel L. Jackson (Scarlett’s doppelganger) among others who were paid pittances for their first movies, not much better for the sequels, and are counting on at least $5 million upfront and better back ends for Avengers 2. That means much better than what Marvel claimed was Avengers’ break-even point: a whopping $1.1 billion in global grosses. (“If Avengers wasn’t profitable until then, why would you make it?” one rep pointedly asked Marvel top execs Kevin Feige and Louis Esposito.) In a business where studio accounting is known as fatal subtraction and even worldwide blockbusters are still supposedly in the red, Marvel and its famously frugal CEO Ike Perlmutter still give new meaning to the term stingy. I’ve learned that one reason why The Avengers was nominated for only one Oscar – Best Visual Effects – in the 85th Academy Awards contest was because Marvel refused to pay for an awards season campaign for the picture. And even when Disney offered to foot the bill, Marvel still wouldn’t budge. (Yet the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences assembled the cast onstage to create buzz.) Here’s how one exec describes any negotiation with Marvel: “I wouldn’t say it’s brutal. It’s uncompromising, not mean or draconian. The fact is this is the reality of the world we’re living in right now.”
But The Avengers cast are ready to rumble with Marvel for the Avengers sequel slated for a May 2015 release. “Some received only $200,000 for Avengers and Downey got paid $50M. On what planet is that OK?” an insider tells me. CAA represents an overwhelming majority of the Marvel stars and is trying hard to keep the negotiations out of the public limelight and media headlines. But that may not be possible with some reps blaming the studio for ’scorched earth’ tactics past and present. ”Marvel has created so much animosity by strong-arming and bullying on sequels already. It’s counterproductive,” one source tells me. Says another, “I’m sick of Kevin Feige telling me again and again how Marvel is ‘reinventing the movie business’. It doesn’t work like this. They’re reinventing business, period.” I’ve learned Marvel already has threatened to sue or recast when contracts and/or options are challenged. That prompted a few cast members to respond, “Go ahead.” I hear Hemsworth especially wasn’t anxious to go back into that arduous diet and training regimen and subsist primarily on egg whites for Thor: Dark World which hits theaters November 8th. I also understand that Scarlett Johanssen told castmates she’s “not going to cut her quote” for Marvel’s Avengers 2. The actress as butt-kicking operative Black Widow in The Avengers and Iron Man 2 is wrapping Captain America: The Winter Soldier and has a whopping 8 options total.
Already a lot of brinkmanship played out for Captain America 2 and Thor 2. Calling it the “weirdest experience”, one rep still can’;t believe Marvel offered “only a $500,000 raise and then would pay another $500,000 when the movie hits $500M. Are they out of their minds?” When it was pointed out to Marvel that Hemsworth already had received $5M for his starring role in Snow White And The Huntsman, the studio shot back, ”I don’t know why you’re complaining when Marvel only has hit movies.” To which the response was, “He’s happier working at a place like Universal.” After hard-fought bargaining, Chris Evans for Captain America 2 and Chris Hemsworth for Thor 2 wound up with deals still weighted on the back end but at least with attainable break-even numbers and small upfront guarantees and box office bonuses.
The issue going forward is how many of the Avengers stars and starlets are still bound by early agreements and longterm options which Marvel can continue to exploit individually. To counter, I’ve learned the Avengers cast are becoming united behind Robert Downey Jr who is seen as the “leader” – like “a big brother” in the words of one rep - for all the younger actors in the ensemble. “He’s the only guy with real power in this situation. and balls of steel, too. He’s already sent a message that he’s not going to work for a place where they treat his colleagues like shit,” one source explains. Another rep tells me, “I have four words for Marvel – ‘Fuck you, call Robert.’”
‘Iron Man 3′ Breaks Records: $175.3M Sets 2nd Biggest Domestic Opening Weekend; Worldwide Totals Franchise Best $680.1M
SUNDAY AM, 9TH UPDATE: Walt Disney Company Chairman/CEO Bob Iger has his Wall Street earnings call on Tuesday and more good news to report with the stock already at an all-time high. Disney/Marvel’s 3D Iron Man 3 kicked off the North American summer movie season in 4,253 theaters with $68.3M Friday and a very good hold for $62.2M Saturday. With an estimated $44.7M Sunday, that $175.3M domestic weekend puts it on a path to the #2 biggest Friday-Saturday-Sunday opening ever (previously occupied by Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 with $169.2M). But it’s behind Marvel’s #1 The Avengers and its $207.4M. Audiences gave Iron Man 3 a coveted ’A’ CinemaScore so word of mouth should stay strong. Exit polling showed that audiences mostly saw the film in 2D (55%) vs 3D (45%, including 9% IMAX), were overwhelmingly male (61%) and couples (52% vs families 27% and teens 21%). The age breakdown was 2-11 (9%), 12-17 (13%), 18-25 (23%) 26-34 (26%), 35-49 (20%), 50+ (9%).
Pic’s international cume to date is $504.8M through Sunday for an updated global box office of $680.1M. Iron Man 3 has now passed the franchise total worldwide for Iron Man ($585M) and Iron Man 2 ($624M). Internationally, the 12-day run of the Robert Downey Jr-starring/Shane Black-directed actioner has passed the total international box office of Captain America ($192M), Iron Man ($267M), Thor ($268M) and Iron Man 2 ($312M). Overseas it played in 54 territories by the end of the weekend after beginning its international rollout on April 24, debuting #1 in every territory and setting the biggest opening weekend of all time in Latin America and Asia Pacific and the biggest opening of 2013 in Europe. This weekend’s box office take from Iron Man 3 means that Disney has now crossed the $1B box office threshold internationally and represents the fastest time that Disney has ever achieved this. Here are the new Iron Man 3 cumulative results after the weekend: China $63.5M, Korea $42.6M, United Kingdom $38.3M, Mexico $35.8M, Brazil $30.1M, Australia $28.4M, France $27.8M, Russia $21.7M, Italy $17.4M, Japan $16.4M, Taiwan $15.1M, Philippines $12.3M, Indonesia $10.6M, Hong Kong $10.5M, Malaysia $10.5M, Germany $10.5M, other markets $113.8M.
SUNDAY 2ND UPDATE: Iron Man 3 internationally is opening bigger than even The Avengers with $195.3M from its first 5 days in theaters in 42 territories representing 79% of the marketplace abroad. It’s the #1 …
2ND UPDATE 2:30 PM: The largest domestic movie theater chain Regal Entertainment says this post is going up on its Facebook page: “Regal has Iron Man 3! After some extensive talks with Disney, we’re glad to say that Tony Stark will definitely be in our theatres for Iron …
The blogosphere is going wild as Marvel chief Kevin Feige does interviews for Iron Man 3 and acknowledges that Daredevil has returned to the Marvel fold at Disney. We told you this was going to happen last August, when …
Iron Man 3 doesn’t come out until May 3, but you can find out plenty about the movie today by visiting your local Albertsons. Of course, you might find it a little below your reading level. A novelization for children that …
UPDATE: ‘Iron Man 3′ Tickets Not On Sale Yet By Some Theater Chains Because Of Dispute With Disney: Movie Due May 3rd
4:30 PM UPDATE: My sources say Carmike and Disney have come to terms.
7:30 AM UPDATE: My sources say Regal, Carmike, and as I previously reported AMC are among those big movie chains holding out.
BREAKING… 6 AM EXCLUSIVE: CinemaCon underway now in Las Vegas gives the impression that the Hollywood studios are buddy-buddy with the movie exhibitors. But there’s a frenemies drama unfolding there. I’ve learned that a number of movie theater circuits are refusing to put tickets on sale for Iron Man 3 even though its one of this summer’s most anticipated hits when it opens May 3rd. That’s because Disney decided to leverage the film in order to renegotiate the studio’s future terms with the chains beginning with this humongous Marvel blockbuster. I’m told that AMC, one of America’s largest exhibitors, is among those holding out even though the Robert Downey Jr movie opens wide in North America in just 17 days. Some chains were selling advance tickets — and then stopped. Distributors tell me Disney hasn’t negotiated its terms with the movie chains in several years — not even for Summer 2012′s huge tentpole The Avengers — so the studio thinks it’s due for a new overall deal on future Disney titles. Those include not just Marvel sequels but also Lucasfilm’s new Star Wars series as well as Pixar toons. That’s why the studio right now in Las Vegas is bargaining with the exhibition community, some of whose chains are pushing back. The result is an impasse with a number of circuits refusing to put IM3 tickets on sale until there is an accord.
With filming now underway on Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the studio today unveiled final cast and plot details for the sequel slated for an April 4, 2014 release. …