Grand Theft Auto vs. ‘Iron Man’: Which Will Make More Money This Week?

Photo: Courtesy of Rockstar and Paramount

Good God, man! The AP breaks big news today in this week’s Iron Man vs. Grand Theft Auto War for Pop-Cultural Dominance, reporting that one analyst expects GTA to sell 9 million copies in its first week of release — which means it would gross about $450 million in that time, which means it would have made more money in one week than any other entertainment product, ever. (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End grossed $404 million in its first six days of release.) Put in video-game-specific but still staggering terms, a week from now GTA will already have outsold more units total than Halo 3. Still unstaggered? Thirty-five percent of all Xbox and PlayStation 3 owners will have purchased the game by next week. Basically, it looks like America now faces three major threats to its global economic hegemony in the 21st century: China, India, and Rockstar Games.

Since the war for actual currency seems lost, Iron Man’s best chance of saving face in this week’s pop-culture blockbuster showdown with GTA is in the realm of critical currency. On that note, good news! The movie’s Rotten Tomatoes score has shot upward like a jet-packing Robert Downey Jr., skyrocketing from yesterday’s lackluster 82 percent (The Talented Mr. Ripley) all the way up to the rarefied air of 86 percent (The Matrix). Unfortunately, experts calculate that in order to build anticipation to GTA-like levels, Iron Man will have to achieve an RT score of 1,000,000 percent, which will require not only more rave reviews but also major alterations to the universe’s fundamental mathematical principles. To see how they do with that, continue checking in with us throughout the week! —Ben Mathis-Lilley

Iron Man stars Robert Downey Jr., Liv Tyler, and Terrence Howard speak up for the film at our complete coverage of last night's Cinema Society screening with Michael Kors.