Why “Iron Man 3” is doing better business than “Iron Man 2”

IronMan31. Modest Superheroes Work Best.

“The ideal superhero is a Spider-Man type. They don’t take credit for things; they hide their arrogance. Iron Man is the polar opposite; he’s an arrogantly likable superhero. That arrogance was played up to the hilt in Iron Man 2, but wasn’t seen as much in 1 and 3, where there is a lot of self-deprecation. That plays better internationally. Japan is the most culturally sensitive to that; they respond to a modest superhero.”

2. Superhero Fight Scenes Have to be Believable.

“There’s a scene in Iron Man 2 where the Mickey Rourke character, the villain, is pounded against a speedway and hit with a Bentley three or four times. He’s not wearing any armor. He should be dead, but he’s not. Audiences object to things like that, particularly fanboys, who pay attention to those nuances. You can say ‘suspend disbelief,’ but you have to suspend disbelief within the rules.”

3. So Do Origin Stories

“There has to be a very clear motivation for a villain. The geeky guy who was rejected in the beginning is now going to use technology to take over the world. In Iron Man 2, Mickey Rourke’s character develops this amazing technology in a hut somewhere in Siberia, I believe. It’s not clear where he got the technology or what his origin story was. That narrative wasn’t as tight as it is in Iron Man 3.”

4. The Avengers Effect

“Iron Man 3 is really kind of playing a bit like an offshoot sequel to The Avengers, which had the biggest opening of all time. It references that movie.”

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