As of last Friday, Iron Man 3 has become the latest film to gross more than $1 billion at the worldwide box office. It has become only the 16th film in history to do so (at least, not adjusted for ticket price inflation), and did so in only 22 days. Now, Shane Black has become the most unlikely of candidates to have directed a billion-dollar flick.
It’s a club that’s becoming slightly less prestigious with every passing year. Foreign markets are becoming even bigger box office draws to the studios than the domestic one, and greater advertising pushes, bigger and more bloated sequels, and effects-heavy action (not to mention rising ticket prices) are leading to bigger and more top-heavy opening weekends. And it’s becoming more common: Four of these films (a full quarter of the list) were released in 2012.
Here are the 16 films that make up the Billion-Dollar Club, from the lowest- to highest-ranked on Flickchart:
Now, “Phase One” of Marvel’s blockbuster film schedule – kickstarted by Iron Man - is complete, Downey has two more performances and a cameo as Stark under his belt, and Phase Two has begun, with the North American release of Iron Man 3 today. Marvel and Disney’s advertising has been omnipresent for months, but if you’ve somehow been living under a rock recently, check out the trailer below.
Given that The Avengers is the highest-grossing movie of 2012 and the third highest-grossing film of all time (not to mention the third highest-ranked of 2012 on Flickchart), it’s little wonder that Marvel wants to keep the interest (and the money machine) churning while Joss Whedon preps The Avengers 2. This year will see Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Whedon’s S.H.I.E.L.D. television series (starring Clark Gregg as beloved Agent Coulson), and Captain America leading the charge for 2014.
Given that Captain America: The First Avenger saw Chris Evans‘ titular character displaced from his World War II timeframe to the modern-day, it’s unlikely that Hayley Atwell – who played his love interest, Peggy Carter – will return in any of Marvel’s movies. A shame, since she was one of the more enjoyable elements of Joe Johnston‘s film. But it seems that Marvel has found a new leading lady to take her place in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, in the person of Emily VanCamp.
At 22, VanCamp is already a veteran presence on television, with roles in popular series Revenge, Everwood and Brothers and Sisters. Her role in the Marvel sequel is not yet specified, but she is in talks to star alongside Evans.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier will see Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Sebastian Stan and Toby Jones reprising their roles from The Avengers and Captain America: The First Avenger. Scarlett Johansson is also expected to return as Black Widow. The Winter Soldier will also star Anthony Mackie as superhero The Falcon and Frank Grillo as villain Crossbones.
Though there is no firm date yet for the start of production, Captain America: The Winter Soldier will be directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo (also veterans of television, with Community and Arrested Development). A release date has been set for April 4, 2014.
Following last week’s announcement that the Walt Disney Company has purchased Lucasfilm for over 4 billion dollars and scheduled Star Wars Episode VII for release in 2015, the Internet has been in a flurry of speculation over the future of the saga. Far be it from us not to jump on the bandwagon.
Even more than questioning where the story is supposed to go in the future, everybody seems to be talking about who will direct the next episode of the franchise, given that George Lucas himself is reportedly leaving Star Wars behind (to serve merely as a consultant on Episode VII). Rather than offer any actual suggestions here, let’s take a look at some possible contenders in true Flickchart fashion: two at a time.
If you’re wondering how Joss Whedon is feeling after becoming the new king of the cinematic world with his Hulk-smashing box office bonanza, well, so is he… He can explain it better himself:
“Well, it’s been quite a weekend. Someday, long from now, I will even have an emotional reaction to it, like a person would. I can’t wait! But before I become blinded by this “emotion” experience, there’s a few things I’d like to say. Well, type. People have told me that this matters, that my life is about to change. I am sure that is true. And change is good — change is exciting. I think — not to jinx it — that I may finally be recognized at Comiccon.”
Read the rest of his thoughts over at the Whedon fan-site, Whedonesque, where he tells us which films are “perfect” (The Court Jester, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Godfather I & II), his best Avengers accomplishment, and reveals how much he really wants to reboot Air Bud.