Last night I was thinking about Marvel massive success at the box office. Marvel makes it so easy to produce good movies and connect with the audience. Tony Stark has been my favorite character since 2008 Iron Man. “Part of the Journey is the End.” Sadly I had to wave a teary goodbye to my favorite character in Avengers Endgame. The death of Tony Stark might be more devastating for Disney more than fans.
The journey from Iron Man to Avengers Endgame has been magical and a huge part of my life. Last night I was analyzing the box office of Marvel movies and came to realize what Robert Downey Jr impact has been. I am not so sure why Disney had to Kill Tony Stark in Avengers Endgame. The future of MCU looks very bright but the fans will always miss the Ingredient that Tony Stark brought to the franchise.
Tony Stark has been the heart of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and a vital member of the Disney family. I am not just talking about box office numbers but also the marketing campaign. I will get to the marketing part after the box office analysis but first, let’s break down Robert Downey Jr’s career-defining role character evolution and massive box office numbers.
There was a Marvel brand before Iron Man thanks to the X-Men movies. Feige was working as an executive producer in X-Men movies. So Feige had some experience working on comic book movies. Iron Man was the first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The movie was a huge risk because of Robert Downey Jr’s history and the character was not well known as Batman or Superman.
However, John Favreau and Robert Downey Jr pulled off the impossible and gave birth to the greatest movie franchise of all time. Iron Man received rave reviews from fans and critics. The movie currently holds 93 percent on rotten tomato. Iron Man grossed 585 million dollars worldwide and was the eighth highest grossing movie of all time. The movie made Iron Man a household name and gave rebirth to Robert Downey Jr sinking career.
I could praise Iron Man for hours but my words will not be enough for the movie. I don’t blame movie goers or comic book fans. The advancement of visual effects, magnificent storytelling ability and experienced Kevin Feige has taken MCU to a whole new level. But let’s not forget Iron Man was the Abacus of MCU.
Marvel movies have always been very successful at the box office. Among 22 movies, eight of them have joined the billion dollar club and 2 of them have joined the 2 billion dollar club. MCU movies have grossed 21.4 billion dollars worldwide among 22 movies. That’s nearly one billion dollars every movie. Among those nine movies, Tony Stark was present in six of them. I am not saying those movies grossed billions because of Tony Stark presents, I am just laying down the facts.
Black Panther and Captain Marvel are only the two movies to join the billion dollar club without Tony Stark’s help. Those two movies were released recently which might be good news for Disney. But still, Bob Iger, Alan Horn and Kevin Feige might have fixed feeling moving forward without Robert Downey Jr.
Back to the box office numbers, Even Captain America needed Tony Stark’s help to join the billion-dollar club. Captain America is a very popular character but still, I would imagine Feige would not have betted against me if I said Civil War is not going to join the billion-dollar club. No one is going to point a finger at you if you say, The Avengers was very successful because of Tony Stark.
Iron Man 3, The Avengers, Age of Ultron, Captain America Civil War, Avengers Infinity War, and Avengers Endgame have joined the billion dollar club where Tony Stark played a significant role. As much as I love Iron Man 3, the movie is not the best in the franchise. The movie was able to join the billion-dollar club because it was released just after Avengers and Tony Stark was the main character. I could gush about RDJ impact in Marvel movies all day long.
Now let’s talk about the impact that Robert Downey Jr made on the marketing of Marvel movies. Everyone remembers the magical entry of Tom Hiddleston as Loki in the comic con of 2013. The entry of Hiddlestone might be the greatest surprise in comic con history.
Do you remember Robert Downey Jr entry on comic con panel for Iron Man 3 and Age of Ultron? That was the moment I realize there is no difference between RDJ and Tony Stark. The comic con panel was like Stark Expo of Iron Man 2.
Robert Downey Jr has a strong fan base throughout the world. The death of Tony Stark created a massive online chatter and fans even signed a petition to bring him back. Some fans are theorizing how Tony Stark could be brought back. Black Widow died in Avengers Endgame but no one is talking about her death. Why is that?
Robert Downey Jr has been a huge part of Marvel marketing campaign. Even Spider-Man needed Tony Stark help to make a huge impact at the box office. Tony Stark was a huge part of Spider-Man Homecoming marketing. Far From Home is heavily relying on Tony Stark and using his death as character development and impact on Peter Parker.
Robert Downey Jr has very good for Marvel off-screen as well. Robert Downey Jr was very welcoming to new members on Marvel family with love and respect. He used to gather cast and crew members together for brunch.
Robert Downey Jr, Zoe Saldana, Tom Holland, Paul Bettany, and Pom klementieff were on Jimmy Kimmel to promote Avengers Infinity War. Jimmy was asking questions to Tom, Zoe, Paul, and Robert but Pom was left out of the conversation. RDJ was aware of that and decided to bring Pom Klementieff on the conversation. The same thing happened with Paul Rudd during the promotion of Avengers Endgame. RDJ brought Paul Rudd into the conversation.
There is no denying Fans will miss Tony Stark very much but Disney will regret the most. Once Bob Iger and Alan Horn take a good look at Marvel movies box office numbers than they will be scratching their head again and again.