Iron Man 2, follow-up to 2008 blockbuster Iron Man and the first Marvel Studios sequel, opened a decade ago today on May 7, 2010. After publicly declaring "I am Iron Man," revealing himself as the armored superhero, billionaire inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) resists attempts by the U.S. military to learn the secrets of his technology while a new enemy — Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) — teams with military contractor and Stark Industries rival Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) to carry out a vendetta against the self-destructive and vulnerable Stark, who is backed by the big-gunned War Machine (Don Cheadle) and S.H.I.E.L.D. super-spy Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson).
The Jon Favreau-directed Iron Man 2 won the then fifth best-ever opening weekend with $128 million — behind only Batman, Spider-Man, Twilight and Pirates of the Caribbean sequels — before going on to gross $623 million globally, bypassing the $585 million scored by Marvel Studios' first independent feature Iron Man and the $264 million punched up by its sophomore effort, 2008's The Incredible Hulk.
"Nobody expected anything of the first Iron Man movie," Favreau told Wired in a 2010 interview. "In fact, they rolled their eyes at the thought of launching a franchise with this obscure hero, thinking we were pushing the comic book genre too far."
A precursor to 2012's The Avengers — as well as 2011's superhero standalones Thor, introducing Chris Hemsworth as the Asgardian God of Thunder, and Captain America: The First Avenger, introducing Chris Evans as the star-spangled super-soldier — Iron Man 2 followed up on Iron Man's post-credits tag with a bigger role for shadowy S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), who deemed Stark "unsuitable" for the Avengers Initiative that would assemble Earth's mightiest heroes, including the eagle-eyed Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and the big-brained Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) in Marvel's first-ever billion dollar grosser.
10 Years since Iron Man 2 came out!! pic.twitter.com/EJs2vac38U— Guts (@gutsthebadass) May 7, 2020
Iron Man 2 released ten years ago today. pic.twitter.com/sZbfwG3M3T— robin sparkles fan account (@lord0fthunder) May 7, 2020
On this day in 2010, Iron Man 2 came out in theaters. Happy 10th Anniversary! pic.twitter.com/RJ0y80jiNd— Alec Behan (@alec_behan) May 7, 2020
Can’t believe it’s the 10th anniversary of Iron Man 2 , 10 years ago today it was her very first appearance in the MCU , Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow pic.twitter.com/RRxeFwadRq— Brucecomicfan 🕷 (@scopevandyne) May 7, 2020
🌟10 years ago Natasha Romanoff appeared for the first time in Iron Man 2 🌟— Aly_17 (@Hogaza17) May 7, 2020
🦋🦋SCARLY TIME 🦋🦋 pic.twitter.com/z5YNz8rq9w
Today marks the 10 year anniversary of Iron Man 2. May 7, 2010-May 7, 2020. The first movie we saw the introduction of Don Cheadle as Rhodey aka War Machine as well the first time we saw Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff aka The Black Widow in action. pic.twitter.com/p87mRPtsxA— Stuart Rotman (@StuartRotman1) May 7, 2020
ok iron man 2 thanks for give me don cheadle as war machine pic.twitter.com/blPKNdG8rh— eleanor (@filmweird) May 7, 2020
today 10 years ago tony stark discovered a whole new element by himself in iron man 2 and he was the happiest boy in the world pic.twitter.com/OqfwImXtFI— tiny t⎊ny (@woIvern) May 7, 2020
10 years ago today a very underrated MCU Film came out. Iron Man 2 pic.twitter.com/oh1WTYnkpy— Pear💜💛/⊃∪∩⪽ Hype (@icyshaw_) May 7, 2020
'Mr. Stark displays compulsive behavior'. In my defense, that was last week. 'Prone to self-destructive tendencies' I was dying, and, aren't we all? 'Textbook narcissism'?... Agreed 💥Happy 10 Year Anniversary to Iron Man 2 🎉 pic.twitter.com/Fn1Qbr1lMv— The Disney Bubble (@feeling_disney) May 7, 2020
It’s the 10 Year Anniversary of Iron Man 2! 🎉💗✨ pic.twitter.com/asgkyx0z6h— marvelous ⧗ (@fancyromanoff) May 7, 2020
Iron Man 2 and other Marvel Studios movies are available to stream now on Disney+.