Sarah Whitten CNBC Published 4:24 PM EDT Jul 21, 2019 A decade ago, moviegoers were introduced to Tony Stark. He was a fast-talking genius, playboy, billionaire, soon-to-be philanthropist played by the comeback kid himself Robert Downey Jr. Marvel’s “Iron Man” arrived in theaters in 2008 just as rival DC’s gritty Dark Knight trilogy, directed by Christopher Nolan, was making its bow. It was a near polar opposite to the dark, gloomy story of billionaire Bruce Wayne, aka the masked vigilante Batman. In its opening weekend, “Iron Man” snared nearly $100 million at the box office, before going on to garner just under $600 million worldwide. At the time, opening weekend ticket sales of “Iron Man” were just short of the first-weekend sales for “Spider-Man,” the 2002 blockbuster that held the record for the top non-sequel superhero movie opening. A year later, Disney made its move. While Marvel had already contracted several films with Paramount and Universal as part of its Marvel Cinematic Universe, CEO Bob Iger closed on a deal to purchase the comic book company for around $4 billion. “This is perfect from a strategic perspective,” Iger said at the time. “This treasure trove of over 5,000 characters offers Disney the ability to do what… Read full this story
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