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.


  1. It seems like Iron Man will be the darling of Hollywood for a week or two. But what I want to know is, if the Hulk lays a financial egg, how will this affect Hollywood’s view of Marvel studios? I hope it stays favorable.

  2. I’m kinda surprised that they put the Nick Fury cameo at the end of the entire credits, rather then in the middle of the credits. There are the first set of credits, where the use the instrumental from Sabbath’s Iron Man, and is filled with 3D graphics, and then there are the standard scrolling credits. The scene probably would have fit better in between the two sets of credits, especially since the last graphic you see is a SHIELD logo.


  3. I always wait until the MPAA rating. Partly to scan the credits for interesting tidbits (especially the music credits, but also cameos), partly to catch any “easter eggs”, but mostly to let the huge crowds exit the theater (and to exit the bathrooms).

    As to the effect on stock price, a blockbuster Marvel movie historically causes the stock price to drop. Unless a movie is a complete dud, the profit can sometimes be gained with DVD sales, pay-per-view, and overseas markets.

  4. There’s a bunch of super-hero movies from last year that I didn’t (and won’t) see, because super-hero movies generally aren’t very good. No plans to see the DARK KNIGHT. But last night, I figured what the hell? Paid my ten bucks and saw the movie at 10pm … pretty big crowd, and the midnight showing was sold-out. Everyone seemed to enjoy it.

    Ditto on Nick Fury. I stayed to the end and saw the last scene, but most people had bolted. The ones who remained — many (guys and girls alike) gasped when Fury spoke of the Avengers Initiative. Applause followed.

    Samuel L. Jackson — I was hoping they’d get a white guy to play Nick Fury, but I’ll take him as a black guy if I must. But something about Jackson doesn’t click. Fury may crack wise, but he’s a pretty serious guy. Nothing about Jackson says “military” or “secret organization” to me. Cop, crook, father, doctor, sure … but not secret agent. Maybe Denzel Washington would have been a better casting choice?

  5. The other day I heard a story where some studio insiders were expecting lower-than-normal returns this week because the intended demographic for “Iron Man” might be at home playing the new release of “Grand Theft Auto”.

    Looking forward to Iron Man going after the Hulk, but I’d really love it if the FF had a first crack at ol’ Greenskin. Unlikely, I know.

  6. Well, that 95% positive rating on RT doesn’t mean the critics thought it was the next There Will be Blood or No Country for Old Men, either. It just means that 95% of them thought it was worth seeing.

    And I thought it was worth seeing – no qualifiers about keeping expectations low or anything, just go in expecting to see a good Iron Man origin film and you’ll be pleased. It does the property justice.

  7. I think GTA4 would be a factor for box office on most movies, but not something “nerd-centric” like a superhero movie.

    I think gamers could spare the 2.5 hours for the movie.

  8. I’m too old to deal with crowds, I don’t bother to go to opening weekends. Heck, I don’t go to any movies on weekends if I can help it. The last movie I attended on opening day was Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. I got sunburned from waiting in line for almost 3 hours. I was also much younger back then. As much as I want to see this movie, I’ll be waiting a while.

  9. The joy of working nights is being able to go to matinees.

    That’s how I will likely see most of the blockbusters this season.

  10. Rich: As Marvel’s Ultimate line continues to gain new readers Samuel L. is more and more a perfect Nick Fury.

    Also: ever since Hasselhoff sullied the 616 Fury it’s Sam or bust.

  11. Awww, Francis – why did you have to say that about Hasselhoff? That movie (and Generation X) would’ve worked if it hadn’t been shot on a Canadian budget – and at least Hasselhoff looked the part.



  12. I saw Iron Man on Sunday, May 4 (my b’day). I really liked the movie. Robert Downey Jr was believable as Tony Stark and Jeff Bridges did a great job. We did not sit through the credits for Samuel L Jackson’s cameo as Nick Fury. I’ll try to find it on YouTube.

  13. Hmm … how do you feel about Adam West as Batman? Did he sully the role, for all time? Nah. Hasslehoff was ok … he seemed more the part when he wasn’t trying to sound “tough” and just spoke in his normal voice. Good acting on Hoff’s part, good production values. Terrible script, though.