Opening Weekend Results
The Dark Knight - $155 Million
Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At Worlds End - $135.5 Million
Iron Man 2 - $133.5 Million
All I can say to that is, really? Pirates 3 did better than Iron Man 2? I don't see how that happened personally, I mean I guess the economy is kind of tough and all but really? I watched Pirates 2 in the theater and the entire time I was just wanting it to be over, I so wanted to get out of that theater. It just went on and on and seemed so slapped together unlike the first Pirates movie which was a surprise hit and a delight to watch. Pirates 2 was like getting your balls waxed by a very angry lesbian. It was painful and you knew she didn't care but by God you paid the money to do this to yourself so you are going to set through it. I couldn't understand why anyone would want to spend $8 to see the third installment unless they had already invested so much into the movies that by God they were going to see it through to the end or were into pain.
The closest I came to seeing Pirates 3 when it was in theaters was when I read a synopsis on Wikipedia that I have to say was without a doubt the most rambling plot synopsis I have ever seen on that site before or since. I would say that it was at least 2 pages of typewritten stuff that sounded like something a high school student trying to meet a 500 word deadline hashed out the night before and really I don't even think the kid was grasping what he was writing. Through no fault of his/her own, there are just too many stories and plot lines for the usual two paragraphs. One reviewer opined that he liked the complexity of the movie but I have to say there is complexity and there are piles of horseshit like filler and Pirates 3 was mostly Horseshit.
The first Iron Man happened pretty much the same way as the first Pirates movie, people thought it was good but didn't expect it to really take off as well as it did. It was just supposed to be a good popcorn movie that opened the summer, the hype of the summer was supposed to be Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull. In Iron Man you have a guy that has never directed anything with action or CGI, director Jon Favreau (you are so money baby and you don't even know it) plus Robert Downey Jr's career was needing a shot in the arm. Jeff Bridges while being a pretty damn solid actor also has made more than his fair share of clunkers(let's face it without Iron Man and Crazy Heart he'd be heading toward Lifetime Originals in five years). The highest paid actor in the movie was Terrence Howard and he didn't even make it back for the sequel for some reason(rumor is he was an asshole or asking for too much). You have a lot of people here that are really hungry to make a hit and do some good work and that is probably why the movie turned out so well.
I also think that is why the Iron Man 2 is good because these guys made it to the top and they don't want to go back to making shitty direct to DVD indie films. It's like this, Robert Downey just made his third career comeback and he doesn't want to go from making Pulp Fiction to Battlefield Earth if you know what I mean. Jon Favreau is getting to work with a big budget which I am sure he likes and besides, he gave himself a small part in the movie as Happy Hogan the Chauffeur which is kind of neat seeing that he started out as an actor. What I am trying to say is you got these people who are still trying to prove themselves, trying to hone their craft and make a really entertaining movie. That has also played into their favor because the studio that made this movie wasn't looking to beat The Dark Knight, sure they wanted to make a profit but I'm sure they didn't think it would take off like it did in 2008. That is why you have a sequel to Iron Man and not one to Superman Returns or The Hulk because both studios behind those movies were expecting bofo box office and when that didn't happen, you got a reboot of the Hulk and no mention of Superman since it came out.
The other side of that coin is Pirates and the Matrix, both were to be stand alone movies without high box office expectations but when both took off they hurriedly slapped together two sequels to cash in as much as they could. Iron Man fits in because when the numbers started coming in better than expected they announced a release date for Iron Man 2 in 2010 which left Jon Favreau scrambling to get a script together in time to start shooting. I hope if and when he makes the third installment he beats the 3rd movie curse that has befallen all superhero movies as far as the mind can reach. Superman 3, Spider-Man 3, Batman Forver and even the turd X-men movie all kind of sucked. Good Luck Team Iron Man.