“Iron Man” and “Iron Man 2″ director Jon Favreau confirmed via Twitter this week that he won’t return to helm “Iron Man 3.”
“It’s true, I’m directing Magic Kingdom, not Iron Man 3. I’ve had a great run with Marvel and wish them the best,” the actor-turned-filmmaker said on Twitter (@Jon_Favreau).
“Magic Kingdom” will follow a group of vacationers who get stuck inside Disneyland after close as the park comes to life.
Favreau told the L.A. Times’ Hero Complex blog that he left “Iron Man 3″ in favor of “Magic Kingdom” because he wanted to “find something that lights a fire” inside of him as a filmmaker and gives him a chance to “blow people away, which is easier to do with a project that isn’t loaded with built-in expectations.”
He also told the blog he wants to find a similar smart but family-friendly spirit of “Elf,” his 2003 holiday film with Will Ferrell, which has become a modern-day Christmas classic.
Favreau will be keeping some ties to Marvel Studios, as a producer on ”The Avengers,” the 2012 superhero supergroup film that will feature Iron Man.
Favreau isn’t the only director working on a Disney film tied into the Mouse House’s theme park rides: David Fincher (expected to be Oscar nominated for “The Social Network”), is set to direct “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” based on the classic Jules Verne book with close Disney ties based on the 1954 film and the submarine theme-park ride, according to Hero Complex.
And Guillermo Del Toro will direct a new “Haunted Mansion,” based on the favorite Disney ride.
“Iron Man 3″ is set for May 3, 2013 release, and it will be interesting to see who Marvel Studios and “Iron Man” star Robert Downey Jr. (who will undoubtedly be an integral part of the hunt) will choose to direct the sequel.
Last week at a Los Angeles press conference promoting his new comedy “Due Date,” movie star “Robert Downey Jr. was asked how he feels about Disney releasing “Iron Man 3.”
“Love it,” he said with gusto. “What’s that mean?”
As our friend Matt Price of Nerdage recently reported, Disney, Paramount and Marvel have announced an agreement transferring Paramount’s worldwide marketing and distribution rights for
Marvel Studios’ The Avengers” and “Iron Man 3″ to Disney. Paramount remains the worldwide distributor for “Thor” and “Captain America: The First Avenger.” This is all part of a big deal Disney brokered with Marvel.
When the reporter added some of this context, Downey added:
“Well, you know what? I really loved our relationship with Paramount, but to me the main thing, I don’t care about any of that. They’re going to make all those moves. I just want to make a great movie.
“And thanks to my tutelage under two guys who know how to play with power, Zach (Galifianakis) and Todd (Phillips, his co-star and director for “Due Date”), I know exactly what to do with ‘Iron Man 3.’”
“Iron Man 3″ is due in theaters May 3, 2013. Downey will also play Iron Man in “The Avengers,” which will release May 4, 2012.
A version of this story also appears in Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
‘Due Date’ gives birth to comedy
Robert Downey Jr. continues his superheroic hot streak with the comedy “Due Date,” which partners him with Todd Phillips and Zach Galifianakis of “The Hangover.”
LOS ANGELES — The posters for the new road comedy “Due Date” exhort viewers to “Leave your comfort zone.”
Director/co-writer/co-producer Todd Phillips isn’t sure that’s possible for the film’s star, Robert Downey Jr.
“I don’t know that Robert leaves his comfort zone because I think Robert’s capable of anything, quite honestly, as an actor,” Phillips said last week in a press conference at the classy Four Seasons Hotel.
The “buddy comedy without the buddies,” as Phillips described “Due Date,” is just the latest high-profile project in Downey’s epic career comeback. After drug and alcohol addiction derailed him personally and professionally — even landing him in jail — Downey, 45, has been on a superheroic streak the past few years, becoming “Iron Man” for the 2008 blockbuster and this summer’s successful sequel, earning an the second Oscar nomination of his career playing an extreme method actor in the comedy “Tropic Thunder” (The first came for his portrayal of Charlie Chaplin in 1992′s “Chaplin.”) and putting a modern twist on legendary detective “Sherlock Holmes” in last year’s holiday hit.
For “Due Date,” Downey is partnered with rising star Zach Galifianakis and Phillips, two of the talents from the 2009 what-happens-in-Vegas smash “The Hangover,” the top-grossing R-rated comedy in box-office history. And it seems that he is loving it.
“There was something so cathartic … it was the most healing project I’ve ever worked on,” said Downey from his chair between his co-star and director.
“I’ve never come against anyone who is so confident and so thoughtful and so spontaneous that it’s not even daunting. He’s just in a class by himself,” he said, indicating Galifianakis. “And I think Todd is the best director I’ve ever worked with bar none.”
“Oh, did you all get that?” Phillips quipped.
“And don’t forget about the part before that, which I thought he was talking about you the whole time but then he glanced over,” Galifianakis dead-panned.
Although their “Due Date” roles called on them to have what Phillips called “anti-chemistry,” Downey and Galifianakis ribbed each other and the filmmaker like old friends during the presser. In the comedy, Downey plays high-strung architect Peter Highman, who is hurriedly traveling from a business outing in Atlanta back home to Los Angeles, where his wife (Michelle Monaghan) is about to deliver their first child. On the plane, he encounters Ethan Tremblay (Galifianakis), an aspiring actor whose maddening man-child antics get them booted off the flight and onto the no-fly list. Forced to leave his wallet on the plane, Peter grudgingly accepts Ethan’s offer to drive cross-country.
While “The Hangover” followed the misadventures of three guys about to marry off a pal, with “Due Date,” Phillips chronicles the chaos around another milestone: fatherhood.
“Every time that I feel like I hit critical mass and I’m in the right place is when I feel like the director and I become a third thing and that’s the character. And even though the central subject of the movie is Ethan, the person who you’re kind of seeing it through is Peter and … there’s a lot of fear and his kind of attitude and his anger are covering that fear,” Downey said.
“I always feel like I’m playing an aspect of the director, particularly when he’s an auteur. To me, it’s a way of almost making him a proud parent.”
But the lifelong actor — Downey was only 5 when he made his film debut, playing a puppy in his filmmaker father’s “Pound” — likened his onset relationship with Phillips to a squabbling married couple with Galifianakis a “hostage child.” The trio said every morning they met to hash out the day’s scenes, with Phillips and Downey having what the director dubbed “spirited discussions.”
“Robert has an aversion to things that are typed, I’ve learned. So even if we just rewrote the actual scene … on a napkin, even if it was the same scene, he felt better about it,” Phillips said with a laugh.
“He made me a better director,” Phillips added, “And the reason for that is he’s constantly challenging what we’re doing every day in the larger, bigger picture of it. A lot of times, you know, you hear about actors and they’re worried about their lines and their thing. And Robert thinks about the movie as a whole, he thinks of every character in the movie as a whole.”
Galifianakis joked, “I think that each morning there was a meeting. I would read the minutes from the last meeting: ‘Todd yells. Robert yells back. Let’s get on with the new meeting.’”
For his part, Downey also said “Due Date” was an educational experience, claiming his “tutelage under two guys who know how to play with power” has inspired him for “Iron Man 3,” due in theaters May 3, 2013. The actor was sporting shaggy locks from filming the sequel to “Sherlock Holmes,” a December 2011 release he said is coming along “fantastic.”
“Sequels are always tough but we’ve got a great group,” Downey said of the second “Sherlock Holmes” film after the press conference.
Even if “Due Date” is a “Hangover”-size success, Downey seemed reluctant to take on another follow-up project.
“Yeah, that’s what I need is three franchises so I can utterly have a personality meltdown and no real life,” he said. “But I would do it with these guys.”
Marvel has announced that “Iron Man 3″ will open in theaters on May 3, 2013, according to our pal Matt Price of Nerdage.
The third film in the blockbuster franchise will follow Iron Man’s appearance in the superhero super-film “The Avengers,” which will be released May 4, 2012.
Also, Marvel, Disney and Paramount have announced an agreement transferring Paramount’s worldwide marketing and distribution rights for Marvel Studios’ The Avengers” and “Iron Man 3″ to Disney.
Paramount remains the worldwide distributor for “Thor” and “Captain America: The First Avenger.”
“The Karate Kid” delivered a swift kick to “The A-Team” at the weekend box office in a match-up of 1980s remakes.
Sony’s remake of 1984′s “The Karate Kid” debuted at No. 1 for the weekend with a whopping $56 million, according to the Associated Press. The big-screen adaptation of the 1980s TV series “The A-Team” came in at less than half that, the 20th Century Fox release opening in second place with $26 million.
The big opening for “The Karate Kid” gave Hollywood a boost after a weak start to the summer season. “Iron Man 2″ opened big the first weekend in May, but the box office has lagged since.
According to the AP, overall revenues came in at $153 million, up 11 percent from the same weekend last year, when “The Hangover” led with $32.8 million.
“The Karate Kid” stars Jaden Smith as an American boy who moves with his single mom (Taraji P. Henson) to China, where he takes on a bully under the guidance of an unexpectedly skilled martial arts master played by Jackie Chan.
With his first lead role, 11-year-old Smith had an opening weekend that stacked up well against the track record of his superstar father, Will Smith, who has had only two debuts bigger than “The Karate Kid” (“I Am Legend” at $77.2 million and “Hancock” at $62.6 million), according to the AP Will Smith and wife Jada Pinkett Smith produced “The Karate Kid.”
“The A-Team” features Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper and Jessica Biel in a tale of former Army Rangers trying to clear their names after they are framed for a crime they did not commit.
After three weekends at No. 1, DreamWorks Animation’s “Shrek Forever After” slipped to No. 3 with $15.8 million. The animated hit raised its domestic haul to $210.1 million, becoming the fourth movie released this year to top $200 million.
Hollywood looks to build on its momentum in the coming weekend as Pixar Animation goes back to its roots with “Toy Story 3,” the latest sequel to the 1995 hit that was the first feature-length computer-animated film.
Here is the weekend top 10 list, from the AP:
1. “The Karate Kid,” $56 million.
2. “The A-Team,” $26 million.
3. “Shrek Forever After,” $15.8 million.
4. “Get Him to the Greek,” $10.1 million.
5. “Killers,” $8.2 million.
6. “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,” $6.6 million.
7. “Marmaduke,” $6 million.
8. “Sex and the City 2,” $5.5 million.
9. “Iron Man 2,” $4.6 million.
10. “Splice,” $2.9 million.
“Shrek Forever After,” the fourth film in the popular DreamWorks Animation franchise, won for the second straight weekend at the box office, according to the Associated Press.
With $55.7 million over the long Memorial Day holiday, the sequel raised its 10-day domestic total to $145.5 million.
But the fourth “Shrek” movie is trailing its predecessors, opening well behind the $100-million-dollar-plus debut weekends for the second and third sequels, according to the AP.
The difference grows wider considering “Shrek Forever After” benefits from premium 3-D ticket prices, which cost a few dollars more than 2-D admissions. The 3-D screenings account for 61 percent of the movie’s revenue, while the previous “Shrek” movies only were released in 2-D format.
Many in Hollywood thought “Sex and the City 2″ would debut at No. 1. But the fashion-conscious Warner Bros. release will apparently strut only into third place, according to the AP.
Based on studio estimates Monday for the four-day weekend, Disney’s “Prince of Persia” debuted at No. 2 with $37.8 million, slightly ahead of the $37.1 million for “Sex and the City 2.”
Based on the video game, “Prince of Persia” stars Jake Gyllenhaal in an action-adventure set in medieval Persia.
Box-office analysts had expected it to finish the weekend behind “Shrek Forever After” and “Sex and the City 2.” It trailed those movies for most of the weekend, but performed well enough Monday to leap into the No. 2 spot, according to the AP.
“Sex and the City 2,” which reunites Sarah Jessica Parker and her chic co-stars from the HBO series, would have put up bigger weekend numbers, but Warner Bros. decided to give the movie a head-start by opening it Thursday, a day ahead of most new releases.
The movie took in $14.2 million on Thursday, leaving it with $51.4 million after its first five days. The first “Sex and the City” movie took in $56.8 million in its first three days in 2008.
Another sequel, “Iron Man 2,” blasted into fourth place. With a $20.6 million weekend and a domestic total of $279.2 million, Paramount’s “Iron Man 2″ is outpacing its predecessor. But Hollywood’s overall business is lagging compared to last year’s record summer revenues, according to the AP.
Ticket sales for Friday to Monday came in at about $187 million, down nearly 16 percent compared to Memorial Day weekend in 2009.
Receipts since the summer season began in early May are at $811.5 million, down just a fraction from where revenues were at a year ago. Factoring in higher ticket prices, though, admissions so far this summer are down 6.6 percent compared to last year’s, reports the AP.
Here is the Memorial Day weekend top 10 list, from the AP:
1. “Shrek Forever After,” $55.7 million.
2. “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,” $37.8 million.
3. “Sex and the City 2,” $37.1 million.
4. “Iron Man 2,” $20.6 million.
5. “Robin Hood,” $13.6 million.
6. “Letters to Juliet,” $7.3 million.
7. “Just Wright,” $2.7 million.
8. “Date Night,” $2.3 million.
9. “MacGruber,” $1.9 million.
10. “How to Train Your Dragon,” $1.5 million.
The fractured fairytale sequel “Shrek Forever After” cast a spell on the box office over the weekend, opening at No. 1 with $71.3 million.
But the fourth film in DreamWorks Animation’s key franchise had the weakest debut of all “Shrek” sequels, according to the Associated Press. “Shrek 2,” from 2004, opened with $108 million. “Shrek the Third,” from 2007, made $121.6 million in its first weekend.
And the latest installment was available for the first time in 3-D and IMAX 3-D, where ticket prices are higher. “Shrek” made just less than $5 million on IMAX screens, or 7 percent of the film’s weekend gross.
This time, Shrek — voiced as always by Mike Myers — is experiencing a midlife crisis, so he makes a deal with Rumpelstiltskin to live as a fearsome ogre again for one day, with unexpected repercussions. Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy and Antonio Banderas return to the voice cast.
Paul Dergarabedian, box office analyst for Hollywood.com, told the AP that the cost of tickets may have been too high for some families.
“I think it’s a very pragmatic situation. Families want to see `Shrek,’ it’s the summer, and right now for kids there’s not a whole lot out there so it’s kind of a no-brainer,” he said. “Then people look in their pocketbooks and go, `Whoa.’”
Having said that, Dergarabedian said he expects “Shrek Forever After” will have legs throughout the summer, similar to another recent 3-D movie from DreamWorks Animation, “How to Train Your Dragon.” It opened in March with $43.7 million and has gone on to make nearly $211 million.
The previous No. 1 movie, “Iron Man 2,” dropped to second place after two weeks in the top spot. The superhero sequel from Paramount Pictures took in another $26.6 million and has now made over $251 million in three weeks.
The other new wide release, “MacGruber,” opened in sixth place with a disappointing $4.1 million, according to the AP. Based on the “Saturday Night Live” sketch, the Universal Pictures comedy stars Will Forte as a bumbling version of the mulleted ’80s TV character “MacGyver.”
But “MacGruber” was a relatively low-risk production because it cost less than $10 million to make, according to the AP.
Here are the top 10 films over the weekend, from the AP:
1. “Shrek Forever After,” $71.3 million.
2. “Iron Man 2,” $26.6 million.
3. “Robin Hood,” $18.7 million.
4. “Letters to Juliet,” $9.1 million.
5. “Just Wright,” $4.2 million.
6. “MacGruber,” $4.1 million.
7. “Date Night,” $2.8 million.
8. “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” $2.3 million.
9. “How to Train Your Dragon,” $1.9 million.
10. “Kites,” $1 million.
“Iron Man 2″ fought off the release of the latest rendition of “Robin Hood” to top the box office for the second straight week, according to the Associated Press.
The superhero sequel starring Robert Downey Jr. took in $53 million domestically over the weekend. The Paramount Pictures release has made more than $212 million in its first two weeks.
“Robin Hood,” which stars Russell Crowe working up with director Ridley Scott for the fifth time, debuted at No. 2 with an estimated $37.1 million. The Universal Pictures blockbuster, a sort of prequel to the Robin Hood legend, co-stars Cate Blanchett as Marian.
“Robin Hood” posted a huge opening internationally, making $74 million outside North America for a total of $111.1 million this weekend, according to the AP.
Paul Dergarabedian, box office analyst for Hollywood.com, told the AP the film’s relevance to today’s economy also was part of its appeal.
“There are a lot of things to crow about here, no pun intended,” Dergarabedian said. “The theme of stealing from the rich and giving to the poor resonates particularly well with worldwide audiences today.
The aesthetic similarity between “Robin Hood” and 2000′s “Gladiator” — the first film Crowe and Scott made together, which won the best-picture Oscar — was a bonus for filmgoers, he added.
Among the other new releases, the Summit Entertainment romance “Letters to Juliet” came in at No. 3 with $13.75 million. The film stars Amanda Seyfried as a New York journalist who travels to Verona, the setting for Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.”
Another romantic comedy, Fox Searchlight’s “Just Wright,” opened in fourth place with $8.5 million. Queen Latifah plays a physical therapist who ends up treating — and falling for — an injured NBA All-Star played by hip-hop artist Common.
Here are the weekend’s top 10 movies, according to the AP:
1. “Iron Man 2,” $53 million.
2. “Robin Hood,” $37.1 million.
3. “Letters to Juliet,” $13.75 million.
4. “Just Wright,” $8.5 million.
5. “How to Train Your Dragon,” $5.1 million.
6. “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” $4.7 million.
7. “Date Night,” $4 million.
8. “The Back-Up Plan,” $2.5 million.
9. “Furry Vengeance,” $2.3 million.
10. “Clash of the Titans,” $1.3 million.
Oklahoma City’s favorite rapping comedian twins Twinprov (AKA Buck and Clint Vrazel) recently debuted their latest clever movie-mocking rap ditty. This time, they’re taking on “Iron Man 2,” but credit the Vrazels, they didn’t base their rap on any of the obvious song choices.
No, they’re not riffing on Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” or any of the AC/DC hits used on the “Iron Man 2″ soundtrack. Rather, they use Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” as the basis of their mad rhymes.
Enjoy the show!
“Iron Man 2″ blasted to the top of the box office charts over the weekend, earning $133.6 million domestically in its anticipated opening.
According to the Associated Press, the sequel’s opening opening rocketed past the original film’s $98.6 million debut in 2008 and landed the record as the fifth-biggest opening weekend.
“We’re thrilled with the combination of the way it’s playing across the board,” Don Harris, Paramount’s vice president of distribution, told the AP. “It’s playing as a fanboy movie, but it’s also playing as family movie, too. I even know a bunch of people who are planning to take their mothers to see ‘Iron Man 2′ on Mother’s Day, which really made me chuckle.”
The film stars Robert Downey Jr. as wisecracking genius industrialist Tony Stark, who became the armored superhero Iron Man in the first film. In the sequel, he faces a new villain in Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke).
“Iron Man 2″ has taken in $194 million overseas since it debuted in many international markets last week, bringing its worldwide total to over $327 million. While Hollywood blockbusters typically open around the same date in most countries, some get an overseas jump of a week or more on their U.S. debuts. The biggest opening came from China with $7.3 million, according to the AP.
“It’s a perfect kickoff to the summer of 2010,” Paul Dergarabedian, box office analyst for Hollywood.com, told the AP. “It literally sets the tone for the entire summer movie season. To have the fifth biggest opening week of all time certainly sends a message that this summer season is going to make its mark. Audiences really do get caught up in that.”
“Iron Man 2,” which is only available in 2-D, shot to the top of the charts at a time when 3-D films like “Avatar” and “Alice in Wonderland” have recently dominated the box office. IMAX chairman and president Greg Foster told the AP that the $10.2 million earned by “Iron Man 2″ from IMAX theaters set IMAX’s 2-D record, beating out the $8.5 million debut of “Star Trek” last year.
“When we opened the original ‘Iron Man,’ it seemed to be one of the lesser known properties in the Marvel galaxy,” Paramount’s Harris told the AP. “Two years later, it’s one of the most beloved characters. I think the people at Marvel are incredibly bullish about how future ‘Iron Man’ movies might do and how ‘Iron Man’ interacts with their other characters.”
Despite the triumph over its predecessor, “Iron Man 2″ didn’t beat out fellow superhero debuts like the $158.4 million bow of “The Dark Knight” in 2008 or the $151.1 million debut of “Spider-Man 3″ in 2007. It also didn’t surpass last year’s $142.8 million dawn of “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” or the $135.6 million course charted by “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” in 2006.
The previous weekend’s No. 1 movie, the Warner Bros. remake of the fright feature “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” fell to No. 2 with $9.1 million, clawing to a total of $48.5 million. DreamWorks Animation’s family adventure “How to Train Your Dragon” remained at No. 3 with $6.7 million, bringing its seven-week total to $201 million.
“Babies,” the Focus Features documentary that tracks four infants during the first year of their lives, was the only other new release, debuting in 534 theaters at the No. 10 spot with $1.5 million.
Here are the top 10 movies from the weekend, according to the AP:
1. “Iron Man 2,” $133.6 million.
2. “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” $9.1 million.
3. “How to Train Your Dragon,” $6.7 million.
4. “Date Night,” $5.3 million.
5. “The Back-up Plan,” $4.3 million.
6. “Furry Vengeance,” $4 million.
7. “Clash of the Titans,” $2.3 million.
8. “Death at a Funeral,” $2.1 million.
9. “The Losers,” $1.8 million.
10. “Babies,” $1.5 million.