Warning: You must sit through all of the credits in IRON MAN to see a cameo by Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. This has kind of been floating around, but though we stayed to the “shot on Arriflex” credit for IRON MAN, most of the Marvel screening audience had already left the theatre, so we bolted, and we didn’t hear any whooping and hollering as we walked out that would have indicated the ending scene. But there it is up on Youtube…or it was for a few days. So what gives? If only we had paid more attention to Rich Johnston the other day.
One thing missing from the film was the much-touted end of movie scene with Samuel Jackson as Nick Fury. I understand from British Film classification sources that the scene is in the print that they’ve approved for general release, but not in premiere or preview screenings, so as not to spoil the um.. surprise… bugger. Anyway, he’s recruiting for a group called The Avengers.
Vulture has a whole run down of the affair, but basically the cameo was kept out of the critics’ screenings and put back in for regular audiences. Personally, we don’t mind saying until the very end of the credits—we were raised to believe it is a mark of respect to the filmmakers. However that was before credits went on for 5 minutes or so. (We were watching 1979’s Alien on TV last night and were shocked to see the credits lasted all of about 30 seconds.) What we do find annoying is the current trend of putting the ending of a movie AFTER the five minute credits — see Pirates of the Caribbean 3. Many movies these days do not pass the “bladder test” and making it necessary to sit through those endless credits may well be torture for many.
Meanwhile, the films has a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes at the moment. Trust us — it was GOOD, but it wasn’t the rapture. The movie is key for Marvel Studio’s future but they spent big — very big, ICv2 reports:
Iron Man, which cost $150 million to produce and another $75 million to promote, will require a strong debut to keep the stock market analysts looking favorably on Marvel Entertainment’s stock. Although with Marvel Studios’ unique financing plan, the company actually has little immediate financial risk associated with the film (see “Marvel to Produce Its Own Films”).
Not that Marvel really has much to worry about: the question about IRON MAN is not whether it will be a blockbuster, but how big a blockbuster it will be.
The movie is expected to open well, between $65 and $100 million, depending on how seriously you take the tracking that shows young women are not interested in seeing the picture–only 19% first choice– which makes it a “three quadrant” movie for starters. The biggest blockbusters, like Narnia, wind up pulling everybody. Young men under 25 have 95% awareness of Iron Man, 65% definite interest and 35% first choice. Women over 25 are more interested in Downey and Gwenyth Paltrow; they will spread the word that Downey is fun and Paltrow actually has a decent role. So the picture could hold well.