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“Iron Man 3,” filmed 45 miles up the road in Wilmington, just took in the second-highest dollar figures ever for a movie’s opening.
The latest installment in the Iron Man series opened taking in a colossal $175.3 million, making it second only to 2012’s “The Avengers.” That movie was the predecessor in Marvel Studios’ ongoing series of superhero movies, which took in $207.4 million last year.
“Iron Man 3” took another $175.9 million from other markets outside the United States in its second week of release. The movie brought in $680.1 million worldwide, including $63.5 million in China.
The film features major motion-picture stars Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle and Ben Kingsley.
The movie, directed by Shane Black, is touted as a super-action-packed adventure with flamboyant special effects that also has a superb storyline allowing the talented actors, especially Downey, to flourish.
Downey was fabulous as the lead character in “Chaplin” in 1992, earning an Academy Award nomination as best actor (Al Pacino won that year for “Scent of a Woman”).
Downey’s woes from drug abuse sent his career spiraling. A few rehabs later, he appears to have emerged from his addictions—unlike some other notorious actors and actresses—and is again producing great work.
In the Iron Man movies, he uses his brain to help him get out of big trouble instead of just brawn, which makes his character more appealing than many action-adventure actors. Still, when he blows away a villain, it’s in spectacular fashion.
Technology, of course, has changed the way movies are made, in North Carolina and everywhere.
“Three in the Attic,” a movie starring Christopher Jones and Yvette Mimieux, was filmed mostly in Chapel Hill in 1968. But many people consider “Firestarter,” starring David Keith (“An Officer and a Gentleman”) and Drew Barrymore (of Hollywood royalty but just a child then), as the beginning of serious movie-making in North Carolina.
Still others credit Andy Griffith, who did his later “Matlock” shows here, for making North Carolina an appealing place to film.
Whatever the inspirations, we can’t help but feel proud that so many television shows and movies have been filmed in North Carolina. “Iron Man 3” is just another feather in the state’s cap.