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'Iron Man' boosts Marvel's bottom line, but can the company keep it up?

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Ironman_dlTalk about a superhero: Marvel Entertainment just announced that, thanks to robust Iron Man DVD sales totaling some $136 million, the company’s profits exceeded expectations at the end of 2008. Which is great news, indeed — for Marvel…and me! After all, I still submit that, when it comes to comic-book flicks, Iron Man is far superior to The Dark Knight. (Sorry, uh, rest of the world!) But I digress. The real issue here is: Can Marvel stay strong? Last year marked the organization’s freshman foray into filmmaking as a stand-alone studio, and while Iron Man wound up a huge hit (worldwide gross: $582 mil), sister summer release The Incredible Hulk fared merely well (worldwide gross: $263 mil). Meanwhile, the Punisher franchise seems finished for now, series like Blade, Fantastic Four, and Daredevil/Elektra could use a reboot, and while X-Men Origins: Wolverine is due out this summer, it’ll be a while before we get our next glimpse into the world of Tony Stark, more than a year hence. And who knows what to make of that Spider-Man musical. What do you think? And what Marvel movies/musicals are you looking forward to seeing?

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