If you ask most people what movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s 23-film oeuvre is the worst, you’ll probably get one of three answers, Thor: The Dark World, The Incredible Hulk or Iron Man 2. Though it’s not just Marvel fans that found the Iron Man sequel lacking, because the late Apple founder Steve Jobs also really didn’t like Iron Man 2. Disney CEO Bob Iger recalled Steve Jobs’ blunt opinion about the film, saying:
When Iron Man 2 came out, Steve [Jobs] took his son to see it and call me the next day. ‘I took Reed to see Iron Man 2 last night,' he said. 'It sucked.'
Bob Iger reveals this in his new memoir The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company (via ComicBook.com). As he remembers, Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs took his son to see Iron Man 2 in 2010, and was apparently so displeased with the film that he actually called up Bob Iger to say how much he didn’t like it. Not that he was known for sparing feelings, but Steve Jobs didn’t mince words here either.
Steve Jobs let Bob Iger know, plain and simple, that he thought that Iron Man 2 “sucked.” That’s quite the position to be in, being able to call up the CEO of the parent company of the studio that made a movie you didn’t like and tell them how you really feel. Of course, Steve Jobs was able to do that because he was Steve Jobs.
Although he is known for bringing Macs, iPods and iPhones to the masses, Steve Jobs' legacy is not limited to that technology company alone. Steve Jobs bought Pixar before it was even called Pixar and acted as that company’s chairman. When Disney acquired Pixar, Steve Jobs wound up serving on the board of directors at the Walt Disney Company and was Disney’s largest individual shareholder.
So Steve Jobs thinking Iron Man 2 sucked was different than some fan on the internet having that opinion. This was someone Bob Iger needed to hear from. Bob Iger listened to Steve Jobs’ criticism, but countered with how successful the film was poised to be, telling Steve Jobs that he wasn’t the target audience.
Bob Iger admits that he knew Iron Man 2 was not high art or an Oscar hopeful, but he didn’t want to concede too much to Jobs and essentially used the 'money talks' argument. Bob Iger was ultimately right too. Iron Man 2 went on to make $623.9 million worldwide, and although it represents an early speed bump, the quality of the MCU films grew by leaps and bounds to the point they are at now, where one actually has been nominated for Best Picture.
Would Steve Jobs have liked any of the newer MCU films better? Who knows, but it’s pretty clear that both he and Bob Iger knew what they were doing in their respective businesses. Bob Iger actually served on Apple’s board of directors until recently, when he resigned from that position in advance of the two becoming competitors when Disney+ and Apple TV+ launch this fall, because everyone has to have a streaming service now.
Check out what movies the MCU has in store for Phase 4 and beyond in our guide and stay tuned to CinemaBlend for all the latest movie news.