Tag Archive: Robert Downey Jr.


There’s nothing quite like the start of May. Yes, the movie release schedule has become much more varied in recent years, with blockbusters invading all parts of the calendar. But there’s nothing quite like the start of the summer movie season.

The moments before the summer movie season begins are among my most hopeful. The time when all the would-be blockbusters seem like they could surprise, entertain and wow us. When the hype, excitement and hope is at its highest point. When a quick look at the movie schedule over the next four months brings questions on just how am I going to see all these movies? As a movie fan, there are few times that rival the start of May.

What will this summer bring? Let’s take a quick look. Part one will look at Superhero films and animation. Part two will hit this weekend and look at big sequels and potential breakouts.

Superhero showdown

Possibly the biggest film of the summer will also be its first. “Captain America: Civil War” is essentially an Avengers film. And both of those can lay claim to two of the top five opening weekends of all time. The buzz has been high and the reviews have been strong. Add in seeing the appeal of Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Tony Stark) face off, as well as several of the other heroes in the Marvel universe, and this is a slam dunk. Marvel can do no wrong so far and the hype on this one seems higher than even “Age of Ultron”. It won’t be “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”-type numbers, but it may be the highest Marvel opening ever.

Opening weekend: $210 million.

Total: $550 million.

“X-Men: Apocalypse” seems like it should be set to enter the upper echelon of franchises. Yet, “Days of Future Past”, which performed strongly with critics and holds a very strong rating on IMDB, topped out at $233 million, essentially tied with “The Last Stand”. Only one X-Men film has grossed more than $300 million: Deadpool.

Given this track record, it’s hard to see Apocalypse doing significantly better, even if this is a great film.

Opening weekend: $115-120 million (four-day).

Total: $240-250 million.

“Suicide Squad” will be among the most interesting to watch from a box office perspective. It’s being released in August, which normally isn’t a great time (though “Guardians of the Galaxy proved a film can thrive in this timeframe). Will Smith provides a huge name, though everyone remembers “After Earth” don’t we?

The biggest question is how, if at all, does “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” affect this film. It is a connected universe, after all. And that film’s bad reception has caused a very different trailer to come out, one that makes the film look far lighter than all previous trailers. I wonder if that will dent this film’s long-term prospects.

Opening weekend: $85-95 million.

Total: $260-270 million.

Animation overload?

In a somewhat unusual situation, there could be a major animation overload this summer. “Finding Dory” will likely be the cream of the crop. Pixar unleashes a sequel to one of its most beloved films. It should improve significantly on “Finding Nemo” in terms of opening box office. The first film hit theaters with $70.5 million. This one should flirt with $100 million. The overall quality will determine its legs, though. “Toy Story 3” was great. “Monsters University” fell off rather quickly by Pixar standards.

Opening weekend: $90-100 million.

Total: $290-310 million.

I’m still not sure if I’m excited for “The Secret Life of Pets”. But thanks to a stellar marketing campaign, this one could be one of the summer’s breakout hits. The premise seems fun and one that, surprisingly, hasn’t been explored yet.

Opening weekend: $70-80 million.

Total: $230-270 million.

“The Angry Birds Movie” is one of those that could be hard to predict. I don’t know a single person who is excited for this film, but it should do well drawing the millions and millions of kids out to theaters. “The Lego Movie” taught us that films like this can surprise. But my guess is if “Finding Dory” is up to Pixar’s lofty standards, this one may struggle to find its audience.

Opening weekend: $35-45 million.

Total: $130-150 million.

“Ice Age: Collision Course” sees the band getting back together .. again. The series has had diminishing returns in the U.S. And coming hot on the heels of “The Secret Life of Pets”, this one smells bomb to me.

Opening weekend: $30-40 million.

Total: $110-130 million.

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Here it is! The “Avengers: Age of Ultron” teaser trailer!

The highly anticipated Marvel film sees the return of Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow and a lot more. The film stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, James Spader and a host of others.

What do you think?

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Tony Stark to sell HTC phones?

Not exactly. But Robert Downey Jr. will be. RDJ signed a $12 million contract to appear in upcoming ads for HTC. One would think that Iron Man would fit selling the HTC One, but plans are for RDJ to appear as himself. RDJ also signed a contract with Disney/Marvel to appear in “The Avengers 2” and “The Avengers 3”. He earned $50 million from “The Avengers”.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

So some good news and possible bad news for Iron Man fans. “Iron Man 3” has earned more than a billion dollars worldwide already. But Robert Downey Jr. was in the middle of negotiations with Disney/Marvel to return as Tony Stark. Now comes news that he has a deal in place that will ensure his return in “The Avengers 2” and “The Avengers 3”. But back before IM3 came out Gwyneth Paltrow said she wasn’t sure there would be another stand alone Iron Man film. This news seems to support that cause as the contract is only for the Avengers sequels, not another Iron Man film. Are you OK with “Iron Man 3” from Shane Black being the send off to Tony’s stand alone films?

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

One month is in the books for the summer movie season. What was your favorite? A little note, I didn’t get to see really any of the smaller releases since I don’t live in a major town. But I did my best.

Here’s how I would rank them:

1. “Fast and Furious 6”: This may not be the “best film” in terms of acting and script, but it’s the most fun I’ve had at the movies in a long time. It’s big, loud, completely outrageous and a heck of a good time. Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Paul Walker and the rest provide one of the best summer action movies I’ve seen.

2. “Iron Man 3”: Erased “Iron Man 2” from my memory (for the most part). I loved the Ben Kingsley twist and, aside from a few misgivings, was an enjoyable romp.

3. “Star Trek Into Darkness”: It’s an uneven film tonally and pace wise. Also, is very emotional in parts, yet glosses over other parts. Still, a solid film, but not the leap forward many of us were hoping for, despite Benedict Cumberbatch providing a great Khan.

4. “The Great Gatsby”: I wanted to like this film. But, as I stated in my review, it seems Baz Luhrmann romanticized the very thing the book sought to de-romanticize. It was a waste of a great performance from Leonardo DiCaprio.

5. “Now You See Me”: Great cast wasted on poor story and poor execution.

6. “The Hangover Part III”: Just god awful.

7. “After Earth”: Even more awful.

I didn’t see “Epic” and have yet to see “Before Midnight”. What was your favorite film of May?

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Jackman done with Wolverine?

First came news that Robert Downey Jr. was mulling ending his time as Tony Stark/Iron Man for Marvel. Now comes news that Hugh Jackman may be done with Wolverine after this summer’s “The Wolverine” and Bryan Singer’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past”. Jackman told Entertainment Weekly:  “I wasn’t even sure after the first [stand-alone] film if I would do another. I won’t say never, because I’m still loving it. But there would have to be a pretty compelling reason.”

We’ll see, especially if “The Wolverine” turns out to be a hit. It does beg the question if you could only have RDJ or Jackman remain in his iconic role, which one would you choose?

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

The summer’s first blockbuster has reached a major milestone. “Iron Man 3” became the 16th movie to cross $1 billion on Thursday after 24 days with more than $700 million of that coming from foreign markets. This is Marvel’s second movie to cross the threshold. “The Avengers” became the highest non-James Cameron movie ever last summer. Disney now has six billion dollar movies. “Iron Man 3” stars Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Ben Kingsley and more.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Drew Pearce helped write Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle and more. Now he’s set to write “Mission: Impossible 5”, the sequel to “Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol”. Tom Cruise is returning as Ethan Hunt. Brad Bird is out as director and Christopher McQuarrie (“Jack Reacher”) is in. J.J. Abrams (“Star Trek Into Darkness”) is producing.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

“Iron Man 3”, staring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Ben Kingsley and more, raked in the second highest opening weekend ever. But with RDJ’s contract coming up for negotiations, Marvel Studios couldn’t possibly part with its most popular actor right? Here’s what producer Kevin Feige told Entertainment Weekly:

“I believe there will be a fourth ‘Iron Man’ and a fifth, sixth and a 10th and a 20th. I see no reason why Tony Stark can’t be as evergreen as James Bond, Batman, or for that matter, Spider-Man.”

Of course Bond has had numerous actors play the character, most recently being Daniel Craig. We now have two Spideys in Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield and a variety of Batmans from George Clooney to Christian Bale. Would you be OK with a new Tony Stark? Who do you want to see? And do you really want to see 20 Iron Man films?

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Marvel Studios kicked off Phase 2 with “Iron Man 3” starring Robert Downey Jr. last weekend. But producer Kevin Feige is already looking ahead to Phase 3. In an interview with Collider, he said this: “Dr. Strange is something that I talk about often and it’s sort of next up for us to dig into and explore. Our executive producer of Iron Man 3, having done Captain America: The First Avenger and as that was finishing he started working on the bones that would become Iron Man 3, and now that he’s finished with Iron Man 3, he’s working on the bones that would become Doctor Strange. Now that Iron Man 3 is finished, some of our quote-unquote spare time is going to be devoted to trying to crack Strange.”

That would likely put a Doctor Strange movie in the release window of summer 2016 if it came after Edgar Wright’s “Ant-Man”.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.